How cute is home in Chicago

Experience reports from Illinois

After I signed up for the au pair program, it was clear to me that I didn't want to go to Chicago or New York and not look after more than 2 children. But as it always is, everything turned out differently than planned! After waiting a long time for the first call from a family, four families got in touch relatively quickly. The first three have chosen a different girl. Soon I got an email from a family near Chicago. When I saw the photos, I knew immediately that this was the right family for me. However, they also had four children; Triplet girls at the time 2.5 years and a little one 10 months. I knew it was going to be a challenge, but the kids were just too cute and the parents looked very personable too! We then spoke on the phone and wrote e-mails a lot until I left. Then my journey started ... It was difficult for me to say goodbye, but I was so excited and excited about my "new family".

After the one-week workshop in New York, I was already expected by my host mother and the four children (in a huge stroller) at the airport in Chicago. It was very, very nice and I felt very comfortable from the start. After she showed me the house and we were in the park with the children, neighbors came by who really wanted to get to know me. In the first week I got to know everyday life and we did a lot. Our first au pair meeting was in Chicago, where we went on a boat trip where I got to know all the other au pairs in my group. In the beginning everything was so new and exciting that I didn't feel homesick.

In November we went on a road trip to Florida with the family. Almost two days of driving, but thanks to our good equipment in the car - a built-in DVD player and lots of toys - it was quite pleasant. We were there to visit family and also went to the beach. Christmas decorations were also provided there: fairy lights in palm trees ... but they also had Christmas trees.

Christmas was also celebrated very big here, especially in a very different way than at home, as Santa brings the presents overnight from the 24th to the 25th. The children's enthusiasm can hardly be described. New Year's Eve was also a little different: since fireworks are not allowed in Illinois, it was very quiet in front of the door at midnight.

Everything went so well with my host parents and the children, so that after 6 months I said that the time had simply passed so quickly and that I couldn't imagine going home in just 6 more months. That's why I took the opportunity and extended my stay for another six months! It's just so nice to see how the children change over time, grow, talk more, potty training, etc. I really don't want to miss any moment in the last 1.5 years! I've also done a lot, whether with my family or friends.

At the beginning of April it was time to say goodbye, probably the hardest day of my life! I couldn't stop crying on the way to the plane, it was also bad that my feelings got mixed up because I was really looking forward to my family and friends at home. What made saying goodbye a little easier for me, however, was that I knew that I would not lose contact with my American family and that I would visit them again in just a few weeks. They are all very dear to my heart and I would also like to see how they develop over the next few years. ...

Christin Sandmann