Ultimate au pair blog vacation

Life on ‘Vacation’ – Part 1

By Rachel Haynes

As many au pairs past and present know French kids get a lot of holidays

Now I do not know if this is a European thing but personally as a kid I wouldn’t have minded having two weeks off in October, December, February, April and more in summer! This is of course great news for the children in France, but in the eyes of the parents not so great news. This essentially means extra money and organisation needed to ensure that the kids get looked after over these holidays. Now in the au pair world this means that we, the au pairs, are the ones to take on this extra responsibility which often means, for myself specifically, 12 hour days trying to keep the kids happy and content. Go au pair vacation time. This responsibility is not easily welcomed as the freedom you had before drifts away in front of your eyes, making even the simplest of task such as heading to the shop to buy something become a loud and long event.

I am now one week in or, as I like to think of it, halfway to the finish line! How do I feel after this week? Tired, oh my I am tired. I don’t know about you but I tell you the energy needed to do 12 hours with a 6 and 10-year-old is hard. Not only do I have to keep them happy but I have to make the breakfast, lunch, dinner and do my chores for the week also (throw back to a piece I posted before stating how amazing mums are, this is another example!). I also want to state that as I am writing this the little one is jumping up and down whilst screaming on the sofa!! It is 9am…please, stop.

It is 9am…please, stop.

One of the most difficult things I have experienced is how to manage screen obsessed children with ‘no screen’ demanding parents. I have to say when I have spare time I often come onto my iPad and watch Netflix (God bless) or flick on my phone and talk to my friends, but I think I am better than these kids when it comes to screen time. They would happily have an all day TV marathon if I let them! I am 21 and during these holidays I have become so bored that I am begging them to get out of the house, and go to the park with me! This, I am sure, is not how things should really be!!

However, I have successfully got them out on the bikes twice, both of which lasted only 15 minutes and once in the house they literally sprinted up the stairs to get back on Fifa and the iPad. Not to sound like an old granny but my childhood holidays were spent outside the house, rollerblading, calling for my next door neighbours and falling over and cutting my knees. Times have changed, and technology is a great blessing for society but at the same time to watch the kids think of TV over anything outdoors is hard to adjust to. In general I am a pretty active girl who likes to be out and doing things so having holidays plus TV kids means that I feel the affect much more by having my freedom reduced.

Double the noise, double the mess, double mouths to feed…

One thing I actually don’t mind so much is when my host mum organises for the boys’ friends to come over, I refer to these as ‘mate dates’. This means that I have someone else’s kid to look after for the day taking my child total from 2 to 3 and like on Friday, 4! This of course means that I have double the noise, double the mess, double mouths to feed and so on. However, it also means that the kids keep themselves occupied for the whole day without having to watch TV or use the iPad. Which for me is great as I just have to keep checking up on them now and again to make sure they haven’t broken anything, or stolen any sweets from the sweetie jar behind my back.

Overall the first week hasn’t been too bad, however I am very much looking forward to getting back to school, seeing my friends, and having that little bit more freedom back to enjoy whilst the boys are in school. First though I have next week to go through, as we go on vacation, which will be my first with the family! Intrigued to see how the working on vacation thing works out but also excited to see another part of Paris. Until then…

Ultimate au pair blog vacation

See part two here!

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