9 THINGS I LEARNED BEING AN AU PAIR

Before I flew out to Oz I had done a lot of research (read: created multiple Pinterest boards) on traveling Australia alone and working whilst doing so. Au pairing was mentioned in multiple articles when talking about ways to experience the country more like a local than a backpacker, so it had already been on my mind as a potential job before arriving.

When I first moved to Orange I had no idea what to expect. I was putting all my trust into a family I had never met before and they were putting their trust in a backpacker they didn’t know to look after their most precious thing in the world; their one-year-old daughter. Yeah, Australians are weird…

So anyway, fast forward 7 months and I was heading back to England and making the most heartbreaking goodbye to Poppy; my little partner in crime, my number one gal, my BFF. I had the most amazing time looking after her and watching her grow and develop was truly wonderful, so I wanted to share with you guys a round-up of the main things I learned from being her au pair and add a few of my many favourite photos of my time with her too.

Kids are a hella lot smarter than you think.
They know that phones are meant to be put up to your ears, they know when you’re trying to hide something from them (read: biscuits), and I don’t know about any other child, but Poppy sure as hell knew when a camera was out and made sure she was looking her best.

Parents work bloody hard at what they do…
…and we need to give them more credit for it. Especially when their kid is throwing a tantrum in the middle of a store and they’re trying their best to calm the situation.

Peppa Pig is a bad influence.
She’s a brat. End of discussion.


I’m more responsible than I thought.
I no longer joke about how I’m not cut out for adult life because let’s face it, when you’re thrown into the deep end your instincts kick in and you realise “actually yeah, I’m pretty damn good at this whole adulting thing”.

I’m broodier than I thought.
This one makes me laugh because although I don’t want a child of my own for at least another 6/7 years, I just wanted to take Poppy back to England with me because I got so attached to her. I am excited about having my own kid, don’t get me wrong, but I think for now I’ll just stick to dogs.


Kids bring you so much joy.
My Mum always said this to me (because I’m the light of her life of course) and every time I would respond saying I very much doubt it. But through au pairing I’ve realised they will bring you all the happiness in the world when, for example, they say novel words or choose to bring a book over and cuddle with you rather than playing with toys.

Patience.
I’ve always been a relatively patient person, but that was truly tested over these seven months. I will never again take for granted how little time it takes for me to leave the house or how I can just run into a store to do a quick food shop, because a toddler who’s adamant on carrying the basket and making a run for it down the frozen isle when all you need is a carton of milk will get tiring very quickly.


Kids are not adults and we shouldn’t expect them to behave or understand like them either.
Before I became an au pair I would talk to young kids (by young I mean 1-3) using full sentences and expecting them to understand, but now I realise that using few-word sentences with only keywords such as “more or finished?” makes it easier to understand and respond. I would also expect them to behave as if they knew the consequences of their actions, but kids don’t, and that’s all a part of their innocence and they’ll learn as they go on.

Being an au pair is hard work…
…but it’s the best job I’ve ever had and I would fly back out to Oz to look after Poppy again in a heartbeat.

If you’ve been considering au pairing during your travels let me know in the comments below, especially if you have any questions you want to ask before applying! I seriously can’t recommend it enough.

 

Until next time,

Liv

xo

TO THE PLACE I CALLED HOME


First of all, I apologise for being inactive over the past month. A couple of days after New Year I became really homesick and got myself worked up over what to do or where to go next now that my reason for staying in Sydney for so long had passed. However everything is sorted now and I’ve got my motivation back!

If someone had said to me a few years ago that I’d be living in Sydney for 5 months after graduating university I would have called them crazy. However since arriving in Australia this city been my home away from home and I’ve gotten to know the place like the back of my hand. My initial plan was to stay until the start of January so I could celebrate Christmas and New Year here and tick it off my bucket list, but I ended up staying an extra month, not just because it’s become my security blanket but because of the people I’ve met who have made it what it is.

I stepped out of my comfort zone when I arrived as a solo traveller, but made a load of new friends when I moved into Wake Up. I met my best friend here who I’ll be travelling the east coast with and going to live with her and her family for a month in Vermont, US. I saw two of my favourite DJs, Paul van Dyk and Eric Prydz, live and experienced my first proper festival. I tried sushi for the first time and ate it so much that Sushi Hub gave me a discount card and already knew my order each time I walked up to the counter. Queuing for two hours to get Rush tickets for Aladdin the Musical was so worth it and I would 100% recommend it if you ever get the chance. I spent Christmas Day on a beach and brought in 2017 watching the Harbour fireworks.

Living in a hostel meant spontaneous plans were always popping up, like when Maya, Kim and I took a trip to Skyzone trampoline park after deciding to go only half an hour prior, or when Maya, Meg, George, Worm and I got bored so we went and bought Monopoly, and let’s not forget MOANA SING-ALONGS! Albeit we got some odd looks playing friendship-wrecking board games in reception or the kitchen but when the hostel is basically your home you’re going to start treating it as such. And at the end of January I celebrated Australia Day even though I’m not a citizen, but hey it was a nice day out with nothing but good vibes. 

There are so many more amazing things I’ve done in Sydney but I’m sure no one wants to read an endless list. But now it’s time for me to move on and start my regional work, and although it stressed me out to no end finding a place to go (already breaking my new year’s resolution to worry less) I found the loveliest family in Orange, NSW. I’ll still be posting my unpublished drafts about Sydney such as the best things to do there and how to live in the city on a budget etc. because I feel it would be a waste of writing not to, and I hope it will help other travellers alike find their place in the big city.

So for now Sydney I bid you farewell, but don’t worry I’ll be back to visit soon enough.

Liv

xo