A typical work day for me here in the Pays de Gex region of France, I have come to understand, is atypical of most au pairs in the region. I must warn you that many au pairs are asked to do much more than I am, including laundry, cooking for the kids, cleaning up after the kids, and even more for young toddlers. I am so fortunate to have found my family here.
They are incredibly kind and supportive. With three kids, currently 10, 14 and 17, it is lots of fun hanging out with them even when I’m not working. My job is to drive the kids to and from school (40 minutes each way) and help the younger two with homework and assignments, walk the dog a couple times a week and sometimes pick up a few groceries or drop something off at the post-office.
Here is a typical Monday or Thursday when I have French class. Tuesdays and Wednesdays I spend the day at the kids’ school working as a teaching assistant, and Fridays I come home after dropping the kids off and have until 330 to myself. Weekends are completely free.
7am – Wake up & eat breakfast
745 – Drive the kids to school for 830am
9am – French class until 11am
11am – Coffee with classmates
12pm – Home for Lunch and walk dog
330pm – Leave to pick up kids from school
5pm – Homework for 1-2hours
7pm – Eat delicous meal prepared by host mom
8pm – Free to do whatever until bed
I have now been here with the family for more than a year. I honestly can’t think of one bad experience. From the very beginning, it was clear that I was a member of the family and that my happiness was just as critical as everyone else’s. From the moment I arrived I fit into the family like a glove. I could have never imagined being this close to a host family, but now I wouldn’t want it any other way. Also, I know that this will be my one and only experience with a host family because there is no possible way it could end up as positive as this experience.
For anyone thinking of becoming an au pair, make sure you find out what a typical day for you will look like before you sign up for anything. I know many au pairs that work long hours or have to spend lunch with the kids every day. You are there to help the family run smoothly, but you are also looking to travel and meet new people, so make sure you have time to do that!