Posted in Au Pair Anecdote

Anecdote of a Filipino Au Pair (2)

Adjustment Period

Kansas, USA. A state, a country and a culture that’s all foreign to me. Before deciding to register with GAP I answered the questions that a couple of people asks me:

(1) Can I do it? I know I can and I believe I can.

(2) Are you willing to give up your professional career? Yes.

(3) Will you be ok being called a nanny rather than a nurse/teacher? I had a strong yes on this when I was in The Philippines. However coming here, when people started to look at you differently because your JUST a nanny made me feel small and insignificant. Soon enough though, I met people that didn’t mind what I was doing, they liked me as a person. I’d be honest that it still bothers me when people look at you like you’re a lower class person because you take care of other people’s child and live with them. I learned to just shrug my shoulder about it.

(4) Can you do what I do? Your the only one who can answer this question.

(5) Can you live with someone you don’t know? I’ve been living alone since I attended college and this is a tough question for me. Remember to ask your host parents about house setting so you can better prepare yourself. In my case, my host parents live in a Golf course property house with a wonderful basement. My room is in the basement next to the guest room. The lower level has it’s own Kitchen (fridge, dishwasher, coffee maker, microwave, stove, etc.), entertainment showcase (cable TV, Wii, PS2, lazy boy), golf course view or more like a backyard and personal bathroom. Somehow, I’d say I’m still living alone — which I like.

Andy (I’ll call other Au Pairs with pseudo names. Lol) is also an Au Pair under GAP from Ukraine, her house setting is different from mine because their house is one-story, her room is next to the 4 kids room so she complains about the kids going to her room even on her day off and she shares everything with the family.

I’ve only been here roughly four months and I’d say I am passed the adjustment period. I am happy with my host family and the situation I am currently in. Sure, money is very small especially when you start going out and doing your own thing. Overall, the money should still be enough to meet your need, I mean the host family is paying for the house, food and bills (even gas in my case). I believe life as an Au Pair can be fun and meaningful depending on how you set your mind.

*I’ll tell you more about 3 Au Pairs with GAP in KS in other post and their experiences so far.

 

 

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Posted in Au Pair Anecdote

Anecdote of a Filipino Au Pair (1)

I received a couple of e-mails asking How I was doing as an Au Pair in US, How my life is moving to a foreign country living with people I don’t know, How I was able to give up my professional career for a role of ‘just’ a Nanny, and If they can do what I do.

For starter I appreciate the messages.

Part 1

I flew to USA on the 18th of April with three transfers or connecting flights. First stop Shanghai, then Chicago and finally Missouri. I worked in a Call Center industry so the American Culture at the Airport didn’t surprise me that much. Please don’t think of it in a negative way,  I’m talking about the casual talk and greetings.

When I registered with GAP I tried to make everything as specific as I can (like the number of kids I can take care of and the type of host family). My application clearly states that I can only take care 2 kids at the same time, sure, this probably made less ‘match family’ than agreeing to take care of more kids. But I know in the long run, I’ll be happier and will do my job better. The second thing is that I was looking for a family with either a Filipino Mom or Dad. Of course, the search was hard and I didn’t find a host family that was interested with my specific requests. God is watching me though, my host mom found my information and everything went fast.

Each Au Pair will have their own experience and mine is awesome (so far). Let me just say this, I believe I was matched with the perfect family because we were both honest during our Skype talk. I’m naturally an open person, so when they asked about certain stuff I gave them a transparent response and they did the same thing.

I’ve only been in US for four months and I’ve seen Lake Tahoe, Reno, Missuori, Omaha and NYC. My host parents/family are good natured and fun! We do the touristy stuff together like a family. Of course, once in a while I still feel like I’m an outsider and that I’m tired of watching someone else’s kids. When this thougths come to my mind I pray and ask for guidance because if you think that you’re an outsider, you WILL be an outsider. It’s all about mindset, sure I get tired and ran out of patience with the kids but don’t let it poison you. I love the kids I’m watching and the family that took me into their home.

Okay, back to my anecdote. Lol. As a rule, an Au Pair should be with at least 1 parent while watching the kids for the first 3 days.

Day 1 – Kids was in Daycare. My host dad showed me Kansas City Missouri/Downtown with all the touristy stuff.

Day 2 – Host Mom thought me about the kids basics (food, diaper change, activity, etc)

Day 3 – Day off (yep).

Day 4 – Drop Kids off daycare then head to SSS office for my Social Security Number.

Day 5 Onwards – Watch the kids, look for classes to enroll in and open a bank account.

Au Pair Program requires you to take classes with 6 credit hours/units. I wanted to get this requirement done the soonest so I enrolled for summer classess. This is my excuse for being ‘busy’ apart from watching the kids and travels. Hahaha.

May to July – Summer Classes. Paramedic Class. Grade: A 😀

August – Trip to Lake Tahoe, Reno, Lake of the Ozark, and Omaha.

September – NYC baby! and KS Drivers License wohooo!

That’s pretty much what happened in the last 4 months. Nothing too big, but next anecdotes should be more interesting since I started driving more, know other Au Pairs & their stories, meeting friends, going out, party and dating 🙂