Summer is change-over time for au pairs and we have lots of practical advice and top tips to help you start work/leave Paris/choose a family/find friends/know if you’re paid enough etc.
I’m looking at ways to update the site in August to make our advice pages more easily accessible, so in the meantime I would love to hear from you about any suggestions, comments or contributions to the site you may have! It doesn’t matter whether you haven’t started out yet, are currently au pairing or finished some time ago, Ultimate Au Pair is the perfect place to share your experiences!
Here is a link to our advice pages:
Olivia (Editor) x
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After what can only be described as weeks of excessive indulging in French ‘cuisine’ (if croissants and crepes can really be labelled as such!?) I decided to get the fitness juices flowing and kickstart the day with a run. I think it’s important to remember that, when living in Paris for a year, you have to just accept weight gain – nobody is immune from bakery calories! But as one of my close friends here said: “would you rather look back, at the end of your year, and say ‘wasn’t it fun that time I lived in Paris and didn’t eat any of the delicious French treats all around me’ or would you rather say ‘wasn’t it fun that I lived in Paris and ate baguettes up to my eyeballs’!” This obviously comes with some aesthetic consequence/sacrifices but it’ll all be temporary m’dears!
It was onwards then to my lunch shift where I was welcomed in the door by the 19 year old in my hose family who proceeded to show me eagerly a video he’d found on the internet of some police men falling into flood waters after their rickety makeshift boat (of which they accessorised with digging spades as ores!) capsized!
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By Alice Warde
We have many au pair writers based in Paris who contribute to our blog. Each has their own style and shares their experiences differently! We are currently looking for a new writer to begin a weekly diary starting in August/September 2016.
You would be free to write as much or as little as you liked each week, about almost anything you like (…within reason of course…!) as long as its honest. There is always the option of writing anonymously if you prefer!
Have a look at our current blogger’s weekly diaries to see what its all about. Don’t hesitate to send a message via the contact form if you’re interested in blogging with us
After having slept at the night at the hotel my parents were staying in I awoke to have the most incredible shower. I live in a chambre de bonne here in Paris aka little hideaways not exactly renowned for their comfort or modernity. Therefore when given the chance to cleanse in a power stream beast I snatched at the opportunity and I could almost feel the 9 months of grime and city grossness I was wrapped in just be blasted off my skin.
It was a wonderful start to the day that was shortly followed by a bakery feast with my parents for breakfast (including an adorable little turtle brioche we simply couldn’t leave behind) All washed, fed and fuelled we were eager to trot off to our first destination, notre dame…(Click title or photo to see more)
By Alice Warde
So, the time has come to leave your host family, and it often comes with A LOT of mixed feelings.
Let’s set the scene; you’ve been working with the family for almost one year, you feel sad to leave the children, but guiltily happy to leave behind some of that stressful responsibility (just being honest). You have suddenly realised you need to move your whole life out of the 13m² box you call home and can’t work out how you acquired so much stuff living on so little money.
You’re seriously down about your friends leaving before you and, for those of you leaving Paris completely, your love-hate relationship with Paris has you wondering how you will ever live anywhere else…(click title or photo to see more)
By Olivia Brett (Editor)
I wouldn’t exactly call myself a tennis expert but the 4 hours of straight up Rollabd Garros viewing I did today might suggest otherwise! Being an au pair to 2 tennis mad rascals has meant I have well and truly been served a generous helping of this sport over the past 9 months of working here. With the French Open just commencing, I knew I should brace myself for a hearty helping of the stuff this week.
We did nothing but watch match after match with short periods of intermittent play fighting, playing baby, the youngest dressing up in his mother’s clothing and English homework-ing…(Click title or photo to see more)
By Alice Warde
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
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
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…
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By Olivia Brett (editor)
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