Living Abroad, Au pair Style: Top 10 Cons

Although living abroad in Spain has WAY more pros than cons, it is important to also take a look at some of the situations you MIGHT face as an Au pair. Don’t read this before first reading: “Living Abroad, Au pair Style: Top 10 Pros”

It is KEY to not be in a rush when selecting a family. Listen to the red flags and talk about what is expected of you and your work conditions before accepting. 

My list of the top ten cons: 


  1. Au pair hours.

I have talked to people who feel like slaves in their Spanish home.  I have also talked to ones who have set hours and lots of freedom.  I have free time, but choose to hang out 24/7 with the parents even when I am off duty.

 Be sure to figure the hours out before you sign up or some families will take advantage of you by taking all your free time and not paying extra.  


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2. If you end up with a family who is strict and not easy going.  

I have heard horror stories of girls getting with mean, controlling families. If you get in this situation, you don’t have to stay in it.

 You deserve to be treated with respect and you must establish that from the beginning or some people can really put you through hell and back.  


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3. Having kids that behave terribly.

 This is a tough one.  Many girls here have Spanish parents that are “too” easy-going and let the kids get away with everything and rule the house.  This has been a HUGE complaint with other Au pairs.

 If you don’t establish control of the children from the beginning, it can take a huge toll on you, because they are your job.  


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4. If you are a super picky eater, this could cause conflicts with a family.

Families will say that there is nothing more annoying than someone who will not eat what they eat and they have to prepare something different for the Au pair each day.   

5. Not having the opportunity to practice Spanish. 

This could be due to the fact that you are always at home and speaking English with the kids or parents.  

As much as you are there to speak English, you are also there to learn Spanish. Establish a common ground of speaking both languages at the beginning.  

6. Compared to what you were probably making in the USA, your Au pair salary will be pretty low.  

The most I have heard of an Au pair making is 300 euros/month.  However, if you have a family who lets you have all your free time, then with the amount you would be paying for food, rent, etc. balances out.  

7. If you’re not creative with the kids, the job can lose its excitement and become very repetitive.  

Instead of doing the same thing every day, take the kid to the library, park or see something different.  That is good for you and it teaches the kids more English vocabulary.  


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8. If you have a family with lots of marital problems.

  It can be a very uncomfortable situation when your host parents are fighting when you are around.  


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You may be sharing a small flat and not have very much privacy.  Kids might open doors without knocking, wake you up in the morning and not respect your privacy.  

Most people here don’t have driers, so if you get nervous about the thought of your underwear and bras hanging out for everyone to see, you might face some problems. 

[cml_media_alt id='530']no privacy[/cml_media_alt] 10. Good-bye, guys.

 I have not heard of many cases where a guy is allowed to come over to the house, much less spend the night, where you are working.

 Considering that most guys in Spain live with their family until over the age of 30, you might run into some problems on the dating scene.


Don’t forget to also check out: 


  • Have you ever had an experience working as an au pair?
  • How was your experience?
  • Share below! 


Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.comLiving Abroad, Au pair Style: Top 10 Cons