Au pairing: A thankless job

You know sometimes when you are in the middle of something and you know it is difficult but can’t quite put your finger on one exact thing. Well, au pairing is difficult. And I can give you probably a thousand reasons why. But, my mom has brought to my attention one factor that makes a difference that I have never thought of before. It is a thankless job.

Let me explain.

Now, I have never been one to need praise and approval. I do whats right, I try my best. Done. I don’t need anything for it. But talking to my mom about this has somewhat opened my eyes. I guess I never realized how important it is to sometimes get confirmation that what you are doing is correct. Im not saying ending everyday in applause, but some sign of “hey, you’re doing ok.”

My friend Robin has a blog and one of her posts did a good job explaining the hierarchy of au pairing, (see the link below, for some reason WordPress is not cooperating with me and hyperlinks). It’s truly is sad how many of us fit into the slave category. Now, if you ask me, I always thought I had a pretty good deal. I dont have a family like some of the horror stories you hear. I do love them and through all my bitching and complaining that feeling is real. Somehow though, when all the newness wears off and you begin to look at your situation, you realize its not all roses and butterflies.

Inspiration for this post: Today. I decided to do a load of laundry. Normal, right? No. It leaked EVERYWHERE. We are talking multiple inches of water here. Anyways, whatever. I dealt with it. I kindly let the mom know and not once did I get a “sorry that happened,” “thanks for dealing with it,” I mean I would have settled for a “well that sucks.” And it made me realize. This is how it always is. I was put on this planet to serve them. Never a “sorry the kids are a bit tired,” or “you did great today with them. I know they can be a handful.” I know this may sound weird, but imagine being in a job for 9 months and never once hearing any confirmation of your work. I mean most jobs have a review or something.

This was never something that bothered me (consciously) until it was brought to my attention. Au pairing is just strange. And not for the weak minded.

Link to Robin’s post:


One thought on “Au pairing: A thankless job

  1. I kind of considered being an au pair a long time ago when I was desperate to live abroad. But I quickly realized it wasn’t for me. I honestly don’t think I could have done it and I admire au pair.

    Like you said, it’s a thankless job and you have to live with strangers in a foreign country. Not as easy as it sounds!

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