I can’t believe that I have already been here for a month (exactly one month today), on the one hand it seems that it has gone by so quickly and on the other I feel as though I have been with my host family for a much longer period of time.
Meeting new people
I have been able to meet so many new amazing people. Some I met through social media. When I traveled to the US, I was fortunate enough to do the takeover for CulutralCareNL’s instagram. I loved doing it! But through that some people reached out to me that were already in the area. I also reached out to a few au pairs in the area through instagram and met up with them. This is how I was able to make a lot of friends in a short period of time… and during covid. It is harder because you cannot go out to a bar or to a party to meet new people. And not all LCC meetings are taking place yet so step out of your comfort zone and reach out to people. All I can say is that all the other au pairs I have met so far want to help and meet you and show you around. So please do not be scared! I am lucky that I was able to have a live LCC meeting, and I also met some other au pairs in my area while there.
I met Tamar through instagram and we get on so well… she doesn’t know yet but I am going to be going to her house later with a little care package because she wasn’t feeling 100% yesterday. She came a week after me, so we share a lot of the same experiences in regards to visas and coming during covid. We have also been trying out a lot of American foods… sorry but the candy is a little disappointing.
My host parents invite me to hang out with their friends every weekend, and I love going with them. They have such a nice group of people that they hang out with and everyone has made me feel very welcome. They have kids around the same age as my host kids and another family also has an au pair with who I now arrange playdates with sometimes.
Getting used to the routine
In the first month it can feel a little daunting because there are so many new things going on. A new house, country, culture and a new job. I was lucky that the nanny they had before I came was able to help me on my first few days. My host mom sent me a document before I left that I read through so I was already aware of what I had to do every day and important things such as phone numbers. When you are here the best thing you can do is ask, and communicate. It might feel a little scary but they want to help you and they will understand that you cannot do every single thing right away. Or that you may forget something one day. It is a lot different reading through what is expected of you and actually doing that. It can even be simple questions like ‘What do they usually eat for dinner’. I had this conversation and my host dad made me a menu that I could use during the week.
Bonding with the kids
I feel so lucky that I have the two sweetest kids as my host children. I get on so well with them and I can tell that they love me too. I think the time I struggled most with at the beginning was waking the older host kid up. Sometimes he would call of his mommy or daddy (which I totally understand and do not take offence too). I tried a couple of different things like waiting for him to calm down, reasoning with him, telling him to get out of bed. And one morning I just decided to pick him up and hug him. He settled down straight away and now every morning we have our morning cuddle while he drinks his milk and I really cherish this time with him.
Sometimes I take them out of daycare early, one at a time, to have one on one time with them. Every child wants to be seen as an individual, I learnt that a lot in teacher college. So it is very important to get to know your host kids separately from each other. My host parents were very helpful, they gave me a lot of options of where I could take them or activities that they liked to do. For example I took my older host child on a pony ride and I baked some chocolate chip muffins with him. It can even be just a simple trip to a local playground (which are open in NC now).
Still looking forward to…
In my next month here I am looking forward to exploring the area more. I have now settled down and I have driven around a bit and feel comfortable doing so. My aunt gave me some traveler cards which have challenges on them to explore the area so I will probably use those. I am also planning a trip to Virginia next month so that should be exciting, and another state I can tick off!
Also, it’s my birthday tomorrow, so I will be celebrating that with my host family 🥳 my host parents already took me out for dinner, to an Indian restaurant. And my host mom’s and host kid’s birthday are coming up. So a lot of parties will be going on in the house the upcoming month, and I cannot wait!
I love baking and cooking and 90% of the time you can find me in the kitchen. This means that most of the time while I was an au pair I was making nice breakfasts for the kids. Let’s be honest, they also did get cereal or oatmeal some mornings. Waffles Being from Belgium (kind…
You might be thinking, isn’t all tomato soup healthy? Well, probably, but this particular recipe is packed with hidden vegetables to make it even more nutritious. I grew up eating this soup, it has been a staple in my parents household for a long time, especially in the winter. It was one of the few…
If you’ve been following the blog or know me, you know I was an au pair in North Carolina. My term ended in August and my stress level was through the roof of what to do next. This is still my most asked question ever! And I’m guilty of asking other au pairs to 😅.…