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Alice’s au pair diary – week 15

This week kickstarted itself with a glorious bank holiday (or otherwise known as a ‘jour férié’ by the stripey t-shirt, baguette wielding French!) and so, encompassing the mood of such a day – we chilled! The sun reared it’s head most pleasantly and we arose hungry to scoff some hearty grub!

A favourite of mine will always be Cafe Nuage (whom I relentlessly rave about I know!) but, as all au pairs will appreciate, frugality is the fruit of life over here and so, if you can pick up a deal like spending €4 for an hour of unlimited food, drinks, wifi AND comfy seating, don’t tell me you wouldn’t snatch at the opportunity! Conveniently close by is the glorious Pantheon (one of my favourite Parisian gems!) and so we couldn’t resist a cheeky pop in to sneak a peak at the tombs of the likes of the resting Marie Curie, Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo. It was onward then to the Jardin des Tuileries for a pleasant rest of our weary legs on the infamously adorable green chairs that line the two fountains there. We chatted for a lengthy time about Paris…(Click title or photo to see more)
By Alice Warde

ultimate au pair blog paris

Alice’s au pair diary – week 14

Monday:
Whilst Monday always arrives in the most resented of fashions, I’m always pleasantly surprised by how painlessly she passes. Today was no exception.
For no real occasion other than that a friend had stopped over for dinner, we were treated to a three course French extravaganza of a feast! We gorged upon luxurious fineries which made both my stomach and face smile with delight … though I was exposed to caviar for the first time in my life and I can confidently confirm that never again shall I enter into that domain of degustation and, in my opinion, despair! The good humour and laughter flowed as freely around the table and the sumptuous food down our hungry throats! There were English vocabulary test games, exchanging ‘rude’ words in as many languages as could be mustered up and stories of behaviour ‘bête’ at school over the years…(Click title or photo to see more)
By Alice Warde

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Ways to find friends – Social Media

1. Groups for au pairs :

There are endless groups on Facebook dedicated to au pairs! It’s easy to join a few, go to the events advertised on there and meet other au pairs. Don’t be scared to post on the groups yourself, asking if anyone wants to meet up for coffee or to explore!

Most groups for each city will stay the same each year and simply change their name. Sometimes you will be contacted by strange people (…often guys) who look at the au pair groups as a way to meet nice foreign women. Be wary!

Some au pairs leave their families and advertise on Facebook which can be this can be really helpful. BUT some who say that hey are leaving the family…
(Click title or photo to see more…)
By Olivia Brett (editor)

ultimate au pair blog paris

Alice’s au pair diary – week 13

My working week commenced by what some might refer to as an endurance test. Between Monday morning and Wednesday midday I had crammed in 27 and a half hours of work. I fool you not! A room rejuvenation meant that my presence was required in the apartment in case the painters ran into any issues.

Whilst I longed for a spot of fresh air every now and again, my vitamin D-deprived bones kept themselves entertained by ploughing on with a great deal of French work (and I even began to dabble in the dark arts of Italian!) Turns out I can be quite productive if I’m forced into it!

My friends were most lovely by way of meeting me after work to sneak in a few hours of socialising which definitely brought me back to sanity……(Click title or photo to see more)
By Alice Warde

ultimate au pair blog paris

Alice’s au pair diary – week 12

After what can only be described as a fabulous week of holidaying in Madrid, reality (of course) has to reappear and make its presence well and truly known. This came in the format of an eight o’clock start today; not a wholly unreasonable start time I will give you that unless you were up until three AM the night previous having a chatty catch up with your friends!

Karma certainly showed me by slapping a seven hour tennis tournament across my face most ferociously of which I was assigned spectator and enthusiastic supporter duty. This marathon was broken up ever so slightly by short pauses to play a game or two of ‘baby-foot’ with my host child (table tennis to you and me!) My services were only required luckily for this portion of the day and after a successful series…(Click title or photo to see more)
By Alice Warde

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Learning the Hard Way: So Many Red Flags

Honestly, I knew that this work arrangement was problematic from the start. Red flags came up before I even formally accepted the position. As time passed, they kept on coming. I saw them, I ignored them, I made excuses, and then, after too much time had passed,

I found it hard to admit to myself I had allowed the situation to become ridiculous. Larger problems are sometimes the result of mismanaging little problems, and that was definitely my case. Everything built up until it became intolerable.

First, Marie* decided that the hours I spent babysitting before I took the job should not be paid because they were “part of the process of getting to know each other”. Eventually, after I objected, she paid me a measly wage of 6 euros an hour…(Click title or photo to see more).
By Bernie Brooks

ultimate au pair blog paris

Alice’s au pair dairy – week 11

A chilled out Tuesday began with a hearty French breakfast feast whilst lazing around in pyjamas. I feel that regardless of if you’re living the ‘Parisian dream’ for a year, everybody is entitled to a few slob days: and today was just that! A friend and I lay around listening to music, nattering away and stuffing our face with baguette slathered in a variety of accoutrements feeling most content indeed!

My slow paced start to the day however was made up for later at work when my littlest host child summoned me outside for a session on the scooters. This involved racing one another, time trials (where it was imperative we beat our PB each time apparently *collapses to the ground in fatigue*) and we even attempted a few tricks that, naturally, I failed at! It was so wonderful to see him happy out and about in the sunshine laughing and having fun. We even filmed ourselves and reversed/sped up/slowed down the footage ending in us bent over in stitches with laughter at. It was a lovely afternoon together that culminated in a pleasant stroll (or rather scoot) around the local area…(Click title or photo to see more)
By Alice Warde

au pair jobs

Looking for an au pair or nanny job?

– Where to start –

Job hunting can be really difficult when you don’t know where to start! For detailed information about applying for an au pair position, have a look at this article: Au Pairing – How to Start your Journey.

Below is a quick list of websites to help you to begin your search. Rather than recommend one particular agency, I have noted down websites that I know of to help you find the right match.

If you are looking for a position with accommodation (living with the family or in a small independent studio/room), with food and other perks provided as part of your pay, then the first list is for you:

….(click title or photo to see more)
By Olivia Brett (editor)

ultimate au pair blog paris

Alice’s au pair diary – week 10

And the award for the experience with the most rapidly fluctuating ups and downs goes to … au pairing! I was feeling as though I was on cloud nine this week just passed; the sun shone down, I had my best friend from home by my side and a cold ice cream milkshake in my hand – nothing could have seemed dandier! Naturally then, anything trying to follow that subsequently is bound to be quite underwhelming and disappointing in comparison – which just so happened to be Monday.

True to form she was a cruel mistress this infamous day of misery, lethargy and sorrow. Not only was I feeling the ‘post-Parisian weekend blues’ but I had also been thrust the lengthy task of working overtime as both parents weren’t due home that evening.

Whilst it was a tediously long shift, it was filled with some nice moments; little things but nice ones … (Click title or photo to see more)
By Alice Warde

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The 5 biggest problems & solutions for new au pairs in France

Hello again!

I recently wrote an article for the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce & Industry on the five biggest problems an au pair faces upon arrival in France. While the article focuses on British au pairs, the principles apply to au pairs of all nationalities and is so definitely worth reading.

In the article, I made sure to suggest ways that each host family can help their au pair to overcome these difficulties. Advice for host families is not often included on au pair blogs, and I think it is extremely important, so please do not hesitate to share it with …. (Click title or photo to see more)
By Olivia Brett (Editor)