Grannies do it better, especially au pair !

When I first met Steffy, I had to ask her twice about her job. Although her English is perfect, I thought she couldn’t pronounce “nanny” correctly as she kept on saying “No, it is GRAN-NY. I am a granny au pair”.

To my knowledge, au pair were only young students, sometimes hardly older than the kids they were supposed to look after. Seems that I had been living under a rock for years, as I had missed the new Granny au Pair trend. I had to come all the way to Hanoi to meet one in the flesh!

Meet Steffy, Granny au Pair newbie

Retirement to me is only the end of the working life. But the beginning of many new experiences”, states the young German granny.
I remember watching this ad on TV about Grannies au Pair and telling my husband “ this is for me!”

He first couldn’t believe I could spend months far from home, let alone in a country I never lived in. But hey, here I am, working for a wonderful family in Hanoi. I am so grateful for the experience, it is the best move I’ve done in a long time!” she says in a big smile.

Listen to your elder’s advices, not because they are always right (but because they have more experience of being wrong)

Steffy Mary Poppins
Same requirements as Mary Poppins ..

 Steffy’s energy is contagious and I can totally understand why her foster family chose her. The Dad is working abroad and spends weeks away from his family. The Mum’s work takes her to frequent trips in the neighbouring countries and they obviously needed someone they could really trust to live with her and take care of their 12 years old son.

I can totally see why they settled for a granny (and this one!). She has raised 2 big boys and knows more than a thing or two about parenting! Icing on the cake, she comes from the same country as the Mum, so the son can practice his German also with her. How reassuring when you spend lots of time away from your husband to live with  a granny who actually sounds more like a caring Aunt.

How about the cultural clash?

I visited Hanoi a few years ago with my husband so I had a first glimpse of the place. Yes, it is super hot and humid, very polluted too, acknowledges Steffy

But I chose to focus on other things: I am so privileged for the chance to discover another culture for months, not just like the short term tourist I have always been!

I am making a point of exploring something new every day. Would it be food, a place, meeting up like minded people, exercising .. I spend every weekend with the family but I have free time to explore on weekdays. The family has an helper, a super sweet young Vietnamese girl who is turning me into a Street Food expert”.

Steffy is cycling her way in Tay Ho district and she rides the bus like a local. While I am still frantically learning how to navigate the overcrowded roads of the city, she shows me the apps she has installed on her phone “It tells me exactly where I am”.

– But what if you get lost in the crowd?

– What if I call Uber then?” she laughs.

Spot on! I too want to recruit her !!! Talk about adaptability skills …

Home sick maybe? A little bit?

Those few months au pair are harder to endure for my husband” she admits.

We’ve been so used to do everything together. But I know this parenthesis is making our couple stronger. We become more independent, and challenge ourselves out of our comfort zone. It’s healthy, at any stage of a relationship but especially when you are both retired.

Is he planning to visit ? There is a big sparkle in her eyes when she answers “Yes! Next month! And we will travel around together when my foster family will travel out of the country. And when they are back, he’ll explore more of the country on his own”.
I guess you can’t retire from being an explorer at heart!

How about the kids?

My boys are grown up and don’t live with us any more. Since I have landed in Hanoi, they have upgraded my status to “Cool Mum”. You bet!


Care for more info?

Like all the other grannies recruited via the site, Steffy does not receive any salary nor per diem. Her foster family paid for her plane ticket, she is provided with accomodation and meals are free of charge.

More about Grannies au pair, click here. There website is collecting applications of families and grannies. Fill the forms, scroll the profiles, get in contact, and .. See you around!


23 thoughts on “Grannies do it better, especially au pair !

    1. And the cool thing is that you can only do it for a few weeks, during holidays for instance. Steffy signed for 3 months. But she said that most of them go for 6 months. No worries though, I got a job for you here even for a week 😉

      1. Ja auch ich war in Hanoi als Granny. Bei der gleichen Familie wie Stefanie jetzt ist. War auch 3 Mal in Californien. Ist wirklich eine tolle Erfahrung. Ich hatte auch Glück mit den beiden Familien. Leider ist es nicht immer so. Kenne auch Grannys welche wieder nach Hause geflogen sind, weil man diese als Reinigungsfrau ausgenutzt hat.
        Liege Grüsse aus der Schweiz

      2. I guess some people will always try to cheat and abuse 😦 Happy to read that your experience as a granny au pair has been a great one too! Sprachen Zie Bahn Deutsch? Where are you in Switzerland? See you around soon 🙂

    1. What a way to travel, isn’t it? Long life to your blog dear, I ll read your first hand experience on being a Granny au Pair …in 40 years 😀

  1. How interesting. It’s surprising, though, they work for free. Don’t au pairs get a salary?
    It may fit their need to travel but working for free, if not for social purposes, sounds not ok to me.
    What’s your experience?

    1. I guess both find it good enough, and it is not a job per se and au pair are not supposed to get a salary, whatever the age. But only pocket money. When I was a student, most of my internships were unpaid. The Embassies never paid anything, I only wished they would participate to the accomodation at least .. I guess they see it as a win/win situation in terms of learning and exchanging?

      Then in Asia, most of the families have already a helper and a cook. As Marietta explains, there are cases of abuses, but they are rare ..

    2. It depents on the agreement with the family. In my case, they payed for the flight. That’s a lot of money. And I don’t have to cook, or to clean. In most families Granny Aupairs have to help not only with the kids, but with housekeeping. Then it’s usual to give some Salery, like pocket Money.

    1. Coucou! Pas facile de se connecter a WP dans ce pays qui doit le trouver un peu trop subversif ?.. Tout va bien malgre la pollution! Tu penses bien que les enfants adorent, c est NYC par rapport a Cebu, quel upgrade culturel, intellectuel et social! Y a de quoi faire .. Maintenant que j’ai decouvert comment me reconnecter, on va pouvoir se “voir” plus souvent! Comment vas tu? Bises!

      1. Super que tu aies trouvé le moyen. Hanoï City? Intéressant. Mais les enfants sont tellement adaptables… Ici ça va. On prépare notre voyage en Asie d’arrache-pied. Nous allons tous rejoindre notre fille cadette qui est en Indonésie pour… se “ressourcer”. Bz

      2. Je n’ai plus le dos pour barouder. 🙂 En fait on vient rejoindre notre fille cadette. Qui… se “ressource”. Et on vient avec l’aînée, son mari et le petit-fils. Singapour. Penang. Koh Lanta. Bangkok. Angkor. Pas Hanoï ce coup-ci mais le programme est bon je crois. 🙂

      3. Waou quel programme ! Et ca se dit non baroudeur … ; elle a interet a etre bien ressourcee pour vous recevoir tous et suivre le programme 🙂

      4. 🙂 Baroudeur… Oui. Le problème depuis quelques années c’est un mal de dos chronique. Vertèbres lombaires. Donc les déplacements, surtout en voiture, sont un peu durs. Mais quand y faut y faut. Et je n’ai pas de souci pour qu’elle suive. Juste un détail, là elle est à Bali (Ubud) et l’aéroport est fermé…) 🙂

      5. et quel detail 😀 ca me rappelle quand j attendais d etre evacuee d Inde, bloquee a Delhi a cause d un volcan nordique asthmatique …

      6. Un volcan à Delhi? Je n’aurais pas pensé. Mais l’Himalaya n’est pas loin…
        Aux dernières nouvelles elle va louer un van avec des connaissances pour aller à Surabaya. Une petite trotte de 12 h.
        Bonne fin de semaine ma grande.

      7. Non pas un volcan a Delhi 🙂 c etait celui de je ne sais plus quel pays nordique qui empechait les avions d atterrir en Europe .. Ta fille semble s’amuser au moins! C est la docteur?

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