Hello, I'm Nina, 22 years old and a pediatric nurse from Celle in Germany.
Currently, I live with my host family in Danville, CA and take care of 3-year-old triplets. Unfortunately, I'm almost finished with my 1 and a half year, just 2 more months left. The names of my adorable triplets are Tylie, Tenley, and Cooper. The girls are identical so it is very hard to tell them apart.
After I finished my degree in Germany I worked for 8 months in a hospital and decided to become a professional au pair in the US. In the hospital, I have limited time with each child and really mostly spent time with the kids for medical purposes. I was curious to see a child growing up, teach them, and see their progress. Also, I traveled a lot in Europe and as a professional au pair you have the opportunity to travel and you get to see the American culture as well than other ones. Since I have friends from all over the world now, it's been opening my mind to different kind of views a lot. Improving my English skills was a great side effect.
My host parents Chris and Tammy give me a lot of free space with planning the kids' activities and the schedule. It's my favorite thing as a professional au pair to plan the week and get them to do all kinds of stuff.
I went with the kids last year on Halloween for trick or treat around the neighborhood in our costumes. They were the minions and I was Spider-Man (image at the top).
Right now we have around 90-100 degrees so the kids love to go to the waterpark or play with water balloons, they are so happy kids.
The other day we went to a farm in Walnut Creek. My kids love all animals.
My advice for other professional au pairs is to stand in for your rights but also hear your host family out. Take advantage of your time here, meet people especially not from your country and travel as much as you can. Some days can be hard and it is important that you have someone to talk to. Don't give up too easily, I was in rematch and it was the best decision for me.
For the host families, speak in the beginning about rules so that we know what to expect. Your professional au pair works at the most 45 hours the week, so free time for the professional au pair without the family is also important for them to get new energy for the next day. If there are problems just speak right away about it, maybe it was even just a misunderstanding.
My host mom said best about having me as their professional au pair is that I don't just care for the kids, I love them and I'm an extension of the family. She said I'm a hard worker, consistent and flexible. I'm a fun person but because I'm already having my profession I know when to give the kids boundaries.