Since I’ve arrived in France I’m yet to have one day the same as the one before. I work with my French family on an ‘as-and-when’ basis so I’m only needed when the parents aren’t around. I’ve put together a few examples of what I do though, just so you can get an insight into what it is an au-pair really does with their days…
Example 1 – The School Routine
7.30am Wake up, get ready at top speed and go downstairs to watch over the kids eat breakfast. Have a coffee and try to understand what they’re all shouting about.
8.15am Make sure the kids have brushed their teeth and tell them to get ready for school. Hats, scarves, gloves, coats, tennis racquets, school bags, trainers, snacks cannot be forgotten. And neither can a child.
8.30am Walk the kids to school down the road, taking the 3 year old on his bike to hurry him along a bit. Try not to lose one of them along the way.
8.45am Return home with the 3 year old and either bundle him in the car (with his day bag and his toys) or get him back on his bike to go to the creche.
9.00am The school run is finished and I’m free to do what I want during the day. If I have lessons then I drive to the station and get the train into Paris.
4.00pm Make sure I’m home and not still sauntering around the Champs-Elysees.
4.30pm Go and collect the 3 year old from the creche.
4.45pm Collect the other 2 boys from school with the youngest on his bike. Try and remember which of them has a tennis lesson and who has to be where at what time.
5.00pm Give the kids their after school snack and help with their homework.
6.30pm Mum returns from work and I can relax. No children have gone missing.
Example 2 – Wednesdays
8.00am Wake up and ensure I’m around when the parents have to leave for work.
8.30am The day alone with the children begins. French school kids don’t go to school on a Wednesday so be expected to babysit for an entire day.
9.00am Find some sort of fun activity – watching TV, going to the park, colouring, baking… or just leave them to entertain themselves.
1.00pm Serve lunch.
1.30pm Put the 3 year old down for his nap and entertain the other 2 until he wakes up (colouring, baking, painting)
3.00pm 3 year old wakes up and also needs entertaining (see previous suggestions)
6.30pm Mum returns from work and I can relax. We’ve survived a whole day without killing each other.
Example 3 – School Holidays/Weekends
Like Wednesdays, but more intense – school holidays and weekends are like several Wednesdays put together. Everyday you spend with the children will be completely different so there’s no set ‘routine’ to write here. They take a lot of hard work, a lot of spontaneous ideas and a lot of thinking on your feet! If you’ve got a half term week coming up my best advice is to plan ahead. Fill a bag with craft/baking/game ideas and have it on hand for when the kids start to get restless!