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Махина, Таджикистан- США, 2011-2012
I am Mahina Inomjonova and I was an au pair for one year and this is, surely, the experience which will mark my life for good! I quite my job in USA as a flight-attendant, because I was ready to risk, to undertake a new temporary existential "journey”: a challenge with life and myself! I had been chasing the American dream for years and, then, when I was in foreign Land, I considered myself really fortunate! The place where I have always dreamed of living was America .The fate has been very nice to me and I only have to be thankful! This is the part of the world that, more than others, I would compare to Paradise: palms, beaches, sun and very polite people.
Being an au pair means a lot of things: above all being a loyal, respectful, patient, energetic and creative person. It takes to pull all these resources out in the shortest time as possible! Children, in general, tend to test your patience and to put to the test your sensitivity. At the beginning, for me it was not easy. But guys don’t worry. First of all at the beginning try to accept it, swallow it. You need to understand your new American family’s point of view. You are still a stranger, the world is dangerous, and you are taking care of their most important thing in the world. Their kids! Despite of this fact, there should be a way to compromise and negotiate. The very first step would be to be a very responsible au pair in order to gain trust from your host family. Try to always be on time, especially when you pick up the kids from school or somewhere else. Also, if you really want to succeed, use your soft skills! In my opinion soft skills play a vital role for your success to live without curfew. Be sensitive, communicate in a very friendly way, be optimistic, be a good listener, show desire to learn. And after a while talk to your host parents about your concerns. I guarantee you are the right path!
I was an au pair of three children aged 9, 7, and 4. It has been impressive to witness their physical and mental growth in only one year. In particular, I talk about the one youngest kid Mia. Her learning was amazing! The stimuli she get from their outside environment was immense and a visible source of richness. Her language is not obviously as developed as that of an adult, yet it is through them that I learned new words.
About the United States I have learned that there is a possibility for everyone, always an opportunity that you can take advantage of and that… meritocracy really exists!!! In the American families there is a great sense of union and all the institutions work together in order to build a very strong society. Even at the bank, at the gym or at the carwash there are child centered activities. This, I believe, is the most amazing thing that my eyes could have witnessed! In Tajikistan, where I come from, all this does not exist and the average number of children per family is only 1.1, which means the lowest in Asia. What sadness! I have learned that I have an amazing source of energy and the threshold of my patience had risen a lot once there with them. Most of all, I have realized that I am a very strong girl. Sure, I lived in a wonderful Fratkina’s family who I held and hold in great esteem, but homesickness and my loneliness were situations which I had to deal with on my own. It is the internal that emerges when we face new challenges that teaches us who we truly are, and what we have yet to become. I was simply proud to be an au pair. … Through the eyes of an Au Pair host mum well, here is my experience as the host mom to five au pairs over the years… I am a mom of three little munchkins. At the time we hired our first au pair, we had a three year old and twin one year olds, all girls. I embodied the term "overwhelmed”. After talking with my husband’s brother, who lives in French with his wife and three wee ones of their own, we were convinced to take his advice and get an au pair. They had hired several au pairs over the years, and loved everything about the experience. We worked out a new budget to afford the au pair fees and chose to accept the awkwardness that comes with welcoming a stranger into your home, come what may. Looking back on our year, we are grateful we chose Mahina as an our Au Pair. We feel the cultural interaction with our au pair, as well as the camaraderie I feel toward our au pair, far outweighed the worry of having another adult at the table each night (which was no big deal after the first few days). As a stay-at-home mom, it was nice to have a woman in the house to share the daily activities, successes, obstacles, etc, of the children. We still keep in touch with our au pairs. We absolutely loved having our au pairs and we wouldn’t change a thing! Raya Fratkina (mom of three gorgeous kids Alex, Ellen and Mia) USA ,New Hampshire, Nashua. To put it in a nutshell, getting experiences of being an Au pair means to me more than just nanny some kids. It is such a great opportunity to grow as a person and to create some amazing memories and stories you ll never forget!
You are a new au pair? an old au pair? a future au pair? or a current au pair? – it does not matter…
Good Luck! I did it, and so I know you can do it!
Cheers , Mahina
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