We at Au Pair Extraordinaire believe that it takes a village to raise a child, and what better part of that community than a dedicated, experienced, and loving member such as an au pair. Born and raised Joburger and au pair for four years, Roo Kruger, 22, tells all about the adventures of helping raise tiny humans.
I am a UNISA student studying a BA in English and History with big dreams of one day being a qualified teacher.
I grew up in a loving home in Rooderport with lots of dogs, love and adventure. I’m extremely grateful for the parents that I have. My mom is my biggest inspiration; she has gone through a lot in life but continues to be the kindest, loving and giving person I have ever met. From the time I was young I have always wanted to be like her.
I am a second year UNISA student studying a BA in English and History with big dreams of one day being a qualified teacher. I dream of becoming an understanding and kind teacher. I want to create a safe space for my students and au pairing is helping me learn that.
I started Au Pairing the year after I graduated high school in 2015. I pursued au pairing because I want to be a teacher and au pairing gives me great experience, and also because I have always wanted to work with children.
To me, being an Au pairing is stepping in and being the second mom, and ultimately helping to raise tiny humans. It’s not just a job where I fetch kids from school and take them home, I’m helping mold who they are going to be and how they are going to handle things in the future.
I am currently an Au Pair to 5 years old twins (1 boy, 1 girl) and this is probably my favourite age to work with, they’re adventurous and have a whole different understanding of life and it’s a beautiful thing to see them learning from you and applying those things to their daily lives.
I have discovered that a simple thing like colouring in or doing animal walks is extremely important for the development of children. My favourite thing to do with ‘my kids’ is to go out for ice cream at Paul’s – cookies and cream is our favourite flavor.
My proudest moment was when the little girl I worked with ate broccoli. And every time when they say “yes please” instead of just “yes”. I’m very big on manners and I’ll always say that they have to use the magic word and when they finally do after not being reminded I do a happy dance on the inside.
Working with children has made me view life differently, and has made me learn how to be present and live in the moment. Kids live in the moment and are constantly aware of what is going on around them, with glee and enthusiasm, and that’s what they teach me every day.
I have also learnt to be a more patient, kind and loving person. I have to think about how I react to certain situations and how that reaction will affect your tiny human. If it wasn’t for this job I would still be a highly strung person with zero patience.
Au Pairing has made me value family time more, whether it’s sitting down for a cup of tea or sharing your day over dinner. I have become closer with them and more understanding, and more present.
Balancing au pairing, studying, social life and family life is all about making time for the things that matter, if it really matters, you’ll make time. When I’m not with my kiddies or studying I’m sleeping lol I’m sure anyone
who works with kids can understand that. I also thoroughly enjoy reading and hiking.
What I like most is the constant supply of hugs. What I like the least about Au pairing is the tantrums.
I would encourage other students to au pair, because it’s an awesome opportunity for you to grow as a person and to play a role as a big brother or sister to a child, to them, the time you dedicate to them means the world. Also another reason is because I firmly believe that it take an army to raise tiny humans.
By Percy Matshoba