Hi Au Pairs!
Today I will interview Romain, a French boy of 28 years old, 23 when he left to be an au pair for one year in Boston.
Age: 28 years old
Au Pair in: Boston USA
Facebook:Romain Menu Films et photographie
- Who is Romain?
I am my own boss J I work as a videomaker and photographer. You can follow my movies and photos here :
Romain Menu Films
I grew up in France and Tahiti (French Polynesia). I love making people smile and laugh. I consider myself as an artist. Since I am able to hold a pen I write stories, draw, paint and then makes movies. And most of all, I am simply incapable of doing a “real” job. Doing paperwork in a bank is like death penalty for me. After my studies (master of urbanism) I have been working as an au pair in Boston for 1 year. I was 23 years old when I left.
- How did you know of the existence of the Au Pair program?
I was an intern in an architect office for my studies. I was bored by the job I was supposed to do on this day so I ended up looking on internet a solution to work in the USA and have fun. I found a website. 6 months later I was flying to the USA for one year.
- Why did you decide to be Au Pair?
I have always wanted to speak english. The reason for it is that I still secretely hope to meet George Clooney and drink a coffee with him. What can I do if I can’t speak a proper english, then? Other reasons were that I like to travel, meeting people from other countries… Speaking english gives you the possibility to connect with this foreign world you want to discover. Last point is that I already had great experience taking care of kids in Tahiti where I was living. Being an au pair was the best solution for me : working with kids and speaking english !
- It is not very frequent that the boys are au pair: How was the reaction of the people towards you being a boy au pair?
The worst reaction I had was a dad making fun of me in front of my host family because I was working as a nanny with my master. Other reactions were most of the time curious, happy and interested to know more.
One good reaction when you are a boy au pair is simply the reaction of girl au pairs! Happy to finally see a man in a girly world. I have to say that I was happy to enter a girly world as my need for attention was filled easily.
- How was your impression when you saw your host family for the first time?
Very disappointed. I had in mind my great experiences with kids in Tahiti and I was hoping something even better in Boston. When I arrived in the host family, the kids were happy to see me (one good point) but in a few minutes I understood that my time with them will be difficult : my host mom did not prepare at all my arrival. I had no bed prepared, I had no furnitures to order my clothes (we emptied a kid’s furniture full of toys for my clothes) and most of all… I did not even have a room ! I was staying in the kid’s playroom. I was sleeping on a couch and the kids could play videogames on a big screen next to me.
The rest of the time is a proof that my host family had no idea of what an au pair is (asking me to order the dvds in alphabetical order?? Really??). I can’t believe they got accepted in the au pair program. That means someone from cultural care (the au pair agency) actually met them, saw the playroom, had a talk with them and validated them.
- What were the biggest difficulties being an au pair?
My host family did not understand the person I am and didn’t want to know me. This is hard when you take one year of your life to live a strong experience and it ends up in something like this.
- How long are you going to be in the United States “Boston”? How long do you go?
I was in Boston, USA for one year.
- How are there the days as Au Pair? What are your tasks? What do you do in your free time?
As an au pair you need (in theory) to do everything that has a connection with kids : waking them up to go to school, preparing the breakfast, cleaning after breakfast, driving them to school, etc… Not things I had to do like cleaning the garage or shoveling the snow. Also, this work shows the quality of the education provided by the family you are living with. For example : how do you want your kids to learn how to clean their room if the room where they play, is a mess everytime… And they simply leave the place and the au pair goes behind them to clean everything.
I was seeing this job as a help given to the parents in terms of organization and education. A lot of families simply see in their au pair a simple domestic.
To learn more about my typical days :
I had great friendships (and a girlfriend!) and they were the reason why I finished my year. My job was a loss of time and energy.
- What are your objective after one year as Au Pair?
The reason why I left was to be good in english. At the end of my year I was talking with Americans who told me a few times “I notice an accent you have, do you come from the UK?” This is a great award for me J
I also wanted to “grow up” and I think I did.
- Could you give an advice to boys who are thinking about being au pairs?
Simply do it ! Be brave and see this experience as a unique experience you will live in your life ! Despite the bad experiences I had in terms of working I am glad I took the time to do it.
- Do you believe this experience changed your life?
Yes it did ! I know more the country of the USA, I can speak in english fluently now and it gave me some confidence. It also taught me that I don’t want to be treated that way again in my life and that some families might have money but can be really poor in heart.
- Would you like to share any anecdote that happened to you during your au pair year?
A bad one : I was pushing the stroller in the street. The weather in Boston was horrible for weeks (minus 10 degrees Celsius during the day!). I had no possibilities to see my friends, go out and having fun for weeks… The kids I had (we were coming back from school) were fighting next to me and the stroller, running on the road and even throwing stones at people’s window… I crossed a guy in the street and I think he might knew the kids from before and understood in my eyes what I was starting to feel. I didn’t know him at all. He stopped in front me, looked at the kids acting badly and told me “Good luck man”.
A great one : The last day of my au pair job. All this pressure, all this injustice and bad treatments were gone… Man, I did it. Do you believe this? I was finishing at 5 pm. At 5:01 pm I was in the street in front of the house. In the middle of the road I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and let the happiness run into me. I hated my job. But I was free. Free to run into the country with my backpack and meet the awesome people this country had. Free to live my life without a mean boss in my back. Less than a week later I was doing my bag, took a flight for the West Coast and had maybe the best time of my year traveling everywhere and meeting fantastic people for one full month.
Thanks Romain ! 😀
Espero que os haya gustado la entrevista que le hice a Romain. Sobretodo CHICOS! espero que os haya ayudado mucho para decidiros a ser Au Pair!! 😜
Más adelante voy a traducir la entrevista!
Saludos y feliz semana !!!