How To Accept And Adapt In Your Au Pair Journey Like A Total Boss
Versatility and adaptability are undoubtedly the qualities that set good and great Au Pairs apart.
When travel bans were implemented at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Au Pairs were challenged to rise to the occasion and make their dreams a reality despite the winds of change, calling for an alternative Au Pair destination and programme.
One of our CAP Sisters, Emma Stacey, had a lifelong dream of becoming an Au Pair in France:
The French travel ban on South African travellers led Emma to Belgium where she currently is an Au Pair to a five-year-old little boy.
“A dream deferred is not a dream denied.”
We asked Emma a few questions, and she had us in awe about her maturity and resilience.
1. What has been one of the most important lessons you have learned about yourself during the application process?
I love to be in control. Due to COVID-19, I had very little control or certainty over the application process. I was forced to deal with a lot of challenges.
I had to push myself to embrace the uncertainty. It’s okay not to have all the answers, to not be able to figure everything out immediately.
I was surprised, relieved, and proud to realise that I could keep living a full and authentic life amid uncertainty and changes.
I learned that I had deeper reserves of patience, bravery, and strength than I gave myself credit for, and I was able to draw upon these to keep showing up and LIVING, no matter how off-plan and plot-twist-filled and uncertain my life felt.
I also learned that if I choose, I can see the lesson, gift, beauty, possibility, or even just the humour in a difficult situation.
I like to think of that as my superpower.
2. Do you have any regrets about your journey so far?
I had been so convinced at the beginning that France was my dream destination. When I had to give up France and the wonderful family, I’d matched with there, it did feel like my dream was crumbling.
Later on, my dream had gotten so much bigger than just France. I wanted to be in Europe, and if Belgium was going to be the way now, I was open to it.
I realized it might be better to have my first real experience in Europe be in a country I had no preconceived ideas or expectations about – I could just arrive and let myself be fully open to whatever arose.
I knew with complete certainty I had made the right choice and I was in the right place.
I am so glad I have now gotten to know and love Belgium!
3. Do you have any advice for potential Au Pairs?
Don’t ever look at any step of your journey as being wasted or pointless.
I had to remind myself of this often!
Be OPEN to the plot twists and changes, and trust in the magic of possibility.
Remember that your feelings are valid!
It’s okay and perfectly normal to feel angry, disappointed, frustrated, or heartbroken. At the same time, you may feel hopeful, and excited about the changes a new direction may bring.
If you allow yourself to be curious and open, then every experience can be an opportunity to learn, grow, broaden your perspectives, live deeper and more fully, and be surprised and delighted.