The matching process is like a roller coaster, at least it was for me. I went through so many feelings and thoughts while trying to find my "perfect host family".
First of all I want to illustrate that the matching process is an individual experience and there is no one similar to some one else. Second I want you to always have in your mind that there is no perfect family that will fit all of you requests. Especially you will never now if it is actually your "perfect family" until you are there and living in it. Before that the only thing you can do is believing in your self and just go for it.
When my application got approved and became visible for families I was super excited. I wanted to go to Amerika NOW!! What kind of family would show interest in me? When will my first family show interest? How will it be talking English to the family? What will my finally match be like? On this question I had a lot of exceptions and requests I wanted my host family to have. But the truth is, which I realised already after my first host family, that you need to prioritise. Make a list on what is the most important things for you that you want your host family to live up to, both things that affects your work but also things that affects your free time or living with your host family. For me these things was,
- young kids
- how to take care of the kids (how to handle different situations, what to do with the kids etc.) had to be similar
- cleaned home (I need a life with a nice and tidy home or I will go crazy)
Before starting to talk to host families you need to know what you are looking for. At last as a beginning because it may change durring the ride. What I also did before talking to host families was preparing questions I wanted to ask, based on my prioritised requests. I sorted them after subject and how important I thought they were. I always also made a short summary of the application from the host family that I had infront of me while doing the skype interviews. On this paper I also made notes while talking to the family. For me the interested host families always sent me an email where they asked about a Skype interview. I read their profile and offered different times I could talk. We scheduled a meeting and talked for everything between 15 min up to 1,5 hour depending on the family. In most of the meetings we ended up saying that I should come back the day after with my thoughts and feelings in an email, which I always did. I scheduled a second meeting with some families and told some that they were not the perfect match for me.
Already after a day I got interested families. I was told to always talk to families, even if they doesn't seem interesting. Which I did and I defiantly recommend doing that. Because I talked to some families that I couldn't find anything "good" about at all after reading their application. But after talking to them I got a hole other view on them and thought they could be interesting. I tried to talk to all families that showed interest on me, but after a while it was hard, because there were just to many families and I didn't have time to talk to all of them so I had to sort some out.
For me it was hard to find a family that I liked. Finally I had two families that I had a really good feeling about when we said goodbye, let's call them family A and B. But since I overthink everything I started to get unsure. By this time I had probably talked to about twenty different families without any results and been in the matching process for three weeks. So after thinking a while I didn't know what to do anymore. I was tired on talking to families, I was stressed out and wasn't sure if I even wanted to do this anymore (become an AuPair). I didn't know what to do and freaked out. I talked twice to both families and family A asked for a match and family B said that they were trying to figure out if they wanted to match with me or another girl they had been talking to. These news didn't make it easier for me... I had no clue what to do, I was seriously thinking on giving up and not do an AuPair year.
I figured out that I wanted to go with family B because the schedule was better with that family and that was the first family I talked to from these two. I also thought on matching with them already before talking to family A. So I told family A that there was some things I was unsure about and had decided to go with another family, even if there was a chance that family B would not go with me. The reson I didn't want to go with family A was because it was very long working days and I expected more free time durring the days, like it is for AuPairs who have their kids at school durring the days. The answer I got from them was a very long and explaining email were they told me that they were very impressed on me and asked if I could clarify my unsureness so that we could talk about it since they really wanted to match with me. From this answer I got even more upset and confused, what should I do? I had just figured out what to do and they give me this answer! I thought, no, I'm not going to do this. I will stay in Sweden and keep working here. At this moment even my parents were tired on me, always freaking out, telling them it went great after the Skype interviews but the next day I had so many "buts" about the family. So my mom hold a very good "speech" to me were she told me that I will regret it if I don't go since I have been wanting to do this for a very long time, and I also need to stop overthink everything and just trust my feelings. After that I realised that the schedule will probably not matter as long as I thrive in the family , because the most important thing is that I feel happy with the people that surrounds me. So I gave family A a second chance and I told them that I hade just thought too much about it and there were no actually problem, so we ended up in a final match.
What a story. Like I said my matching process was a rollercoaster and it was hard for me to admit that I wanted to match with them because I was so scared that I was going to regret it. But it ended up being pretty good. Actually amazing! Yes, I do work from 7:45am to 5:30pm everyday (almost) but that doesn't matter at all. Because I love being a part of this family and I love taking care of those boys all day long. I feel so comfortable In this family and that is all that matters, everything else will workout.
So my thought about the matching process now after I have been living in my final match for two month are that I'm very happy about that my host family wrote back and tried to convince me. Where would I have been otherwise? I wished I wouldn't have been as stressed out about it as I was and had taken it more as it came. I also wished I would have realised that as long as I'm happy in the family and we undersand each other everything else will workout some way or another. For example, now I'm actually more then happy that I work that long every day. Because it means that Im always off the hole weekend and I save a lot of money on that, because I don't have any time to spend money on durring the week. I also get a lot of time to do activities with the kids before it is time for nap and other important stuff we need to stay in the hose for.
So to all you AuPairs who are going to go through the matching process soon, take your time, be patient and most of all, listen to your self and trust your feelings. When you are talking to the right family, you are going to feel it in your hole body. You are just going to know, this is the family. I know everyone says it, but it is true. I always wondered how am I going to know that it is that feeling, but you will just now. It is hard to explain, but you will now, I promise you. The important thing to do when you feel that feeling is to believe in your self and not overthink everything. Just go with it and see what happens.
If interested I can make a post with questions to ask durring the Skype interviews and then also tell about talking English.