Going into rematch was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. For some au pairs, it comes easy. For others, it’s a very hard choice to make. If you’ve landed on this blog post, you can probably count yourself towards the latter.
The problem with rematch is that it’s scary. You only have two weeks to find a new host family. You don’t know where that family will be. You don’t know how that family will be. You’ll have to start all over. You’ll have to get to know a new family all over again and you’ll have to make new friends. And: there’s no guarantee that you’ll find a new family. You might just get sent home. Although that’s kind of unlikely, it happens sometimes. Even the most qualified au pairs might not find a family just because of the timing of the rematch. A lot of au pairs arrive in the summer and therefore also rematch in the middle or towards the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Therefore, a lot of families do the same.
And there’s another thing: going into rematch is uncomfortable. Going into rematch isn’t that easy. First you will have to tell your host family that you want to go into rematch and why. Then you’ll have (when you’re with Cultural Care) a so-called support meeting with your LCC and host family where you talk about what is going wrong. Then you and your family have to try and make it work for another two weeks. If after two weeks you still want to leave you will have the exit interview with your host family and LCC. You’ll most likely go into rematch and start talking to new families a few days later. You’ll have two weeks to find a new family. So in all likeliness, once you have decided that you want to go into rematch you’ll still have to be with your host family for another month or so. This situation can be very uncomfortable.
Rematch is also stressful. There is a possibility that you’ll still be working and in rematch at the same time. You don’t want to waste any time in the rematch process, so you’ll probably want to look at your connection requests as soon as you get them. But sometimes you’ll be working when you get them and won’t have any chance to do so. So you’ll spend all of your free time talking to potential host families via email, WhatsApp and video-chatting and reviewing families’ profiles to decide whether or not you want to accept the request.
Going into rematch is a big decision and should be thought trough, because it will literally change your life. But sometimes it is very well worth going through all this hassle that is rematch. Sometimes the situation is just not bearable and you’re miserable. Sometimes the only thing that will succeed in you having a good year is leaving your host family and finding a new one.
So when should you go into rematch?
There’s no optimal answer to this question. The important thing is that you have tried – truly tried and put in effort – to make things work with your current host family. If there are things bothering you, you need to sit down with them and have a talk. You need to speak up and stand up for yourself, no matter how hard it might be. That is something you learn as an au pair. If you’re just bitching about your family to your friends but not actually saying anything to them, nothing will ever change. They can’t read your mind, so they won’t know if there’s something or what’s bothering you.
Only once you’ve truly tried to make it work you should consider going into rematch. Sometimes there are also things that you can’t change that might be a reason for you to want to rematch. Say your family has four kids for example and no matter what you do, you just feel like you can’t handle them because it’s too much for you.
There are many reasons someone might want to go into rematch. It’s important that you have tried to make it work with your host family before you change host families, because there’s a lot of stress that comes with it. With that said, don’t be scared to go into rematch if you’re really, truly unhappy. Don’t spend a year being miserable because you’re afraid to go. If you go into rematch for the right reasons, it will most likely pay off.
Be aware that you’re risking a lot when you go into rematch, but then again, isn’t true happiness worth the risk?