Every au pair has a different schedule. It all depends on how old your host kids are, whether or not they go to school, if you have a parttime job to make some extra money or what chores your host family gives you. There are even some people that have to be at home all day in case there’s a delivery. This is what a typical weekday in my life looks like. My host kids both go to school and I work as a freelance translator during the day.
My host dad leaves for work around 6 am and usually wakes me up (my room is on the ground floor). I squint at my phone screen, drop it back down and turn around, falling back asleep. Thirty minutes later, my alarm goes off and I get up. If I’m lucky, I get thirty minutes of silence in the kitchen. I clear of the kitchen counter while I make coffee and then sit down with a book.
Around 7 am, my host mum comes downstairs and we have a quick chat before she leaves for work. Usually, I can hear the kids getting ready by then. If they are still asleep, I go upstairs to wake them up at 7:15. Luckily, the kids are very independent and they everything themselves. Once they have showered and dressed, I watch them eat breakfast and clear off the table when they’re done.
If there’s enough time, the kids go back upstairs to play until I call them at eight o’clock. This is the most frustrating part of my morning: they never have their stuff ready to go. Whether it’s socks, homework or something for Show-and-Tell, there’s always something that they can’t find. I drop them off at school at half past eight.
Once the kids are at school, I get a couple of hours on my own. I try to go to the gym every day so that’s where I go (without stopping by the house). At the gym, I usually run a couple of miles and do a bit of weightlifting. Sometimes, I go to a yoga class, but those run quite late. I get back home around 10 and drink more coffee while I watch YouTube videos.
When I finish my coffee, it’s time to get to work. This work varies from writing my thesis to doing chores around the house, translation work or working on this blog. If I really don’t want to do work, I call my mum because that’s one of the best ways to procrastinate.
I leave the house at 3 pm to pick the kids up from school and we usually get back around half past three. If it’s warm enough for me to not freeze to death, I take the kids to the park. They can run around and get rid of some of that excess energy and I can sit and read my book. If I don’t feel like going to the park, however, they just go upstairs and do their homework or play games.
Fortunately, my host mum is a teacher. Most days, she gets back from work between half past four and give. On the days that she’s home late, I cook a simple dinner for everyone. If she’s early, she makes the most delicious (very spicy) meals that will never be made again because she forgets what she put in them.
Dinner takes anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on whether or not the kids like the food. Once the table is cleared, I’m back in my room. Sometimes I do some more work, but I usually try to relax and read a book or watch reruns of my favourite shows.
And that’s what my days usually look like. To sum it all up: I spend a lot of time in my room drinking coffee and staring at a screen.
What does your daily schedule look like?