Hi there AuPairMom,
I was hoping you may be able to give me some advice. I am a 22 year old UK girl working as a AuPair in Germany. I have been here for just over 3 months. When I first arrived I found it difficult but was soon used to the job. The family has treated me well, but they are distant and cold and they are always very work orientated (I definitely feel more like an employee, not a part of the family). The 2 children (2 years old and 3 months old) are nice but it does sometimes get very stressful because I have to do a lot of housework (sweeping, mopping, ironing, preparing food) at the same time as watching them.
However, my main issues do not lie with the work but the fact that I feel extremely isolated and alone here – it is a very small village and there are no other AuPairs or young people I can be friends with. I have tried going to night classes and the gym to meet people but to no avail. I am becoming more and more depressed and i can’t sleep properly. I even prefer working now because my free time is spent alone. I work 8 till 5 with my only company being the children. I spend all evening and weekend alone.
I miss my family so much. I haven’t yet broached the subject with the host mum (who organises the childcare) and to be honest I feel very anxious to do this – one of their ex AuPairs left after 3 months with homesickness and they were very angry. So, at the moment I am continuing as usual. I feel i am a good AuPair overall and even though I feel very depressed and lonely I remain cheerful whilst working.
My dilema is I am flying home for Christmas in 3.5 weeks and I am supposed to be coming back after a weeks holiday but I really don’t think I can continue working here after Christmas. I don’t know what to do, tell them now and feel utterly terrible for almost a month before leaving because they are so angry and disappointed or go home as originally planned for the holidays and call them when I am at home and talk. They are getting another AuPair in January anyway because they wanted two, so they will not be without childcare for long.
Needless to say, I feel intensely guilty and upset about this. I really have tried to make it work but I can’t carry on living in such isolation.
Kind Regards, and thank you for your thoughts.
— Home After Christmas