Working as a live in nanny

Last updated 09:44 12/04/2014
Lina Stroh

Lina Stroh

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While live-in-nanny Lina Stroh loves her free time, she loves her charges just that little bit more.

Lina is an au pair from Germany who feels right at home with the Johnson family living in Witherlea.

She looks after two children, Reuben Johnson, 1 and brother Connor, 4, who she loves as if they are her own.

"I feel very strongly connected. I'm really proud of them and love them."

Her morning starts at 7.30am when she walks out of her room and into the kitchen, where the children are eating breakfast.

From that point on, it's just Lina and the children.

"We have different activities during the week. We go to music group twice a week and tumble tots [gym class].

"We have good days and not so good days. It all depends on how the children feel."

Lina says she enjoys taking the kids to classes because she gets to help them learn.

She works Monday to Thursday until 4.30pm though her work never really ends, she says.

If she goes out after work and comes back they are always waiting for her.

"It's nice to see they are missing me especially when they run to the door to give me cuddles.

"It's kind of my home."

She still plays with the kids after she officially finishes her day.

"You see the smaller things and that makes you happy."

She also does the grocery shopping, folds the washing, cooks and cleans.

To become an au pair, Lina had to have previous experience in caring for children.

"In Germany I did babysitting jobs, I started when I was 13 and was with one family for 8 years."

She would look after the three children for two days a week in Germany, she said.

"I was thinking about what I could do after school and I didn't know what I wanted to study but I wanted to see the world.

"I think it was good [to come here]. It's a challenge to go on and not be motivated [but] you keep on trying."

Being an au pair is not always easy:

"The hardest job as an au pair is being an au pair.

"Staying as a young girl in another country without your friends and family and being in a smaller town is hard."

But it's not all bad, the love the family has for her is one of the best parts of her job, Lina says.

Lina arrived in Blenheim in February and plans to stay until July.

Nine au pairs, mainly from Germany, are currently living and working in Blenheim and Picton.

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- Marlborough

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