Au Pairody .. a play on the noun Au Pair /ˌō ˈpe(ə)r/ – A young foreign person, typically a woman, who helps with housework or child care in exchange for room and board, and the noun Parody /ˈparədē/- a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature or writing. The irony of the title of this blog being that my intentions are for this to be the whole truth (though often humorous), nitty gritty, etc. etc. about an ex-au pair becoming an au pair once again.
At the ripe age of 18 (when I knew everything, and my parents certainly did not), I hopped on a plane and left my apologetic, below freezing, toque wearing Canadian homeland behind. I was heading to the US to embark on what would be a 21 month Au Pair program. Rather than dwell on the experience in the intro, I’ll simply tell you those 21 months held some of the most terrifying, exciting, happy and sad moments of my life. I learned a lot of lessons, made a lot of mistakes, seen a lot of places, pulled out several chunks of my own hair .. and I don’t regret one second.
After returning a year and a half ago, thoroughly exhausted and ready to close the Au Pair chapter of my life, I was often asked, very generally, how it went. My favorite response was “It was the time of my life, but I would never ever do it again”. So, why am I doing it again? Your guess is as good as mine. Gut feeling maybe?
Motivation for this blog .. well, for starters, I frequent Au Pair/Nanny blogs in my spare time. I find it fascinating to read about other experiences because though the experiences are so similar in nature, they are so unique. I also feel like I missed out not blogging during my first tour of duty in the US. I didn’t get a chance to share the stories of bite mark scars, ER room visits and first steps. This time I’m starting right from the beginning; right from the application process.
It is my hope that this blog evolves into a place for other Au Pairs to find comfort that they’re not the only ones who find themselves wanting to run into a corner and hide, and for those who have not been through what we have, to see just how strong we really are.