My dear readers,
In case the tone of my past few posts were not clear enough of a hint, I have been rather unhappy in my choice of au pair family. For three months I was rather ill-treated and taken advantage of, which I have used this blog as not only an outlet but as a warning to future au pairs that it is not always easy. So this leads me to rule no. 5: if you are unhappy, leave!
Luckily, the family you are with, is NOT the only family in France in need of an au pair. You can find a new one! This is what I did. YAY! My experience in France has gone from struggling to get through the day to looking forward to the end of my days off! So don't feel trapped by a bad situation.
But then again, I'm not saying to just give up. Try talking to your family, make sure that they know that you are feeling as if there needs to be a change. The last thing you want to do is say that you're leaving without giving them a chance to change. I suggest going to them and telling them how you feel, why you feel that way, and what you think can change in order for those feelings to be vanquished! Then I suggest you and the family settle on an agreed amount of time, say two months, and if by the end of those two months you still feel unhappy, then leave. You have tried your best to make things work to no avail, and so you leave.
Now, what I recommend is to not give up on France. After one failed experience, don't go home just yet. I would say that if you have spoken to your family and they agree to the two month period to get things back on track, if by the end of the first month things aren't looking up, start looking for a new family. That way by the end of the second month you can move to a different family immediately.
This is not what I did. I had A LOT of luck on my side, and also a French father with lots of French friends. My former family was not willing to negotiate at all, once they realized they couldn't take advantage of me anymore they wanted me out. So I went to some friends of my father's and through them I found my new family.
I hope that none of you have a horrible experience like I did, but I just want you all to know that it doesn't have to be horrible! You have to power to get out! If it comes to it, use that power!!!!