We introduced you to Granny Aupair on our platform for professional expatwomen. This is the story of one of these fabulous Grannies.
It all started when I saw a small note about Granny-Aupair in a German magazine („Öko-Test“) that mentioned the possibility of going abroad as an Aupair in your „mature“ years.
I was thrilled, still treasuring the experiences I had made during my year as an exchange-student in Arizona when I was seventeen, always having referred to it as „the best year of my whole life“ (in spite of several difficulties I had to face).
After my graduating from school I had wanted to add another year abroad as an Aupair – but then I I fell in love with a guy from my hometown in Northern Germany. And instead of exploring the big wide world I began studying in Heidelberg close to the city where my boyfriend went to university (with Anglistics as my major subject).
And when the first of my two sons arrived I decided at the early age of 23 to be the care taking mother at home I had always been longing for, when I grew up as the only child of a very hardworking single mom.
With all the grandparents far away and struggling with a difficult marriage and two lively sons I really missed the support of the older generation, while schoolmates of mine were taking advantage of being young and without any social responsibilities.
While during those times travelling was difficult I could at least act out my other passion – that for the theatre.
For about 20 years I regularly was on stage as an extra and later on behind the stage helping out in the props-department.
Meanwhile I had become a single mother, went through years of training and then working in the unfortunately rapidly declining book selling business. When the blow hit and I was made redundant that short note about Granny-Aupair came immediately to my mind.
What a chance of combining my passion to explore other countries and ways of living, get new „inspirations“ for alternative possibilities in life, interacting with people, supporting them in their daily life, introducing children to the basic skills and wonders of life and culture (singing, reading, handcrafting etc.) or being companion to lonely people, whose bodies maybe old but who are still young at heart and curious and would love somebody to share their time and experiences with! And which young au pair can offer those in life acquired experiences, skills and maturity that are the benefits of the lived through years?
When I got to stay in London as an au pair-Granny (although being just over 50 I rather feel like an „aunt“ than a „granny“…) and came in contact with really young au pairs, I was amazed how thoughtlessly and lightheartedly families would leave their children in the fluctuating care of such young inexperienced persons.
And in many cases I heard of, it turned out that neither side was happy with the situation. The young au pairs often had the feeling of being looked at as cheap opportunities to secure the childcare for working parents and also were feeling quite lonely. And I must say that even for me as a mature woman who really can enjoy being on her own, that sometimes poses a problem, because my host lady (who just separated from her husband a few months ago and has to take all the burden and is exhausted by the big task of a now full time-job and responsibility for her „demanding“ 4-year-old daughter with her family on the other side of the world) can’t make as much time for me as she would wish. So I’m mostly on my own exploring this huge multi-faceted interesting London by tube, bus and on foot.
As one of my objectives is getting to know the English lifestyle and people a bit better in a smaller venue than London I would really love to do my next Granny Aupair stint – from May or so onwards in a city like York or Bath.
Any families or single parents wanting to get in touch with Christiane or one of our other Grannies can contact Granny Aupair at email@example.com. More about the service can be found at www.granny-aupair.com
Christiane Kuck, London