So when you first hear about the idea of Au Pairing, you may think "Dude, living for FREE in another country and only working for about 30 hours a WEEK? Sweet." Then you start listing the cons. For example, you have four kids, you have to work some weekends, you live in the middle of no where, you have four kids, you don't speak French, you don't know how to meet people, you have four kids, you work crappy hours, and like it or not, you're living in someone else's HOME. And they are varying degrees of comfortable with what you do in your free time. I am relatively lucky. As long as I'm not working, they're cool with me taking the car or doing whatever at night. This is not always the case. I've heard stories including everything from having to be home at 7 am on a saturday to dress the baby, to coming in and waking the girl up to discuss man problems, to making the girl write a list of her evening out and contacts of where she will be.
Another interesting thing that I have came in contact with, is how often people come up to me and offer me jobs with other families. On more than a few occasions, people have blatantly asked me if I'm looking for new family. Today for example, I went to a clothing store in O-town to exchange a shirt. I made the sensor go off, turns out my coat had some sort of thing that needed to be cut off. So the girl started talking to me in English, and I asked her to speak in French. When I got up to the counter she asked me if I lived in O-town, and I said yes, she then asked if I was a jeune fille au pair. Why yes, I am, I told her. She then asked me when I would be staying here and told me she was looking for someone. I wrote down the name of the agency I used and wished her luck.
I find this situation interesting, because I'm not looking for a new family (and if I was, they sure as hell wouldnt live in O-town). And I'm thinking to myself, my God, why am I even trying to go back to the United States if I could just stay here and get job offers on the street! This is what immigrants must have imagined the US to be like...
Well, young American girls, Come to France! The land of unending job offers for Au Pairship! You too can live like an indentured servant and take care of children who drive you crazy and get paid crap!