Wednesdays (aka the day of hell for au pairs)

For some reason the French think its a good idea to put kids in school from 8:30am to 4:30pm. When I say kids, I mean they start at age 3. Edgar is turning 4 on Saturday and this is his second year in school. Ridiculous, right? At the age of 4, I am pretty sure my mommy dropped me off at pretend pre-school twice a week for half a day. Anyways, I guess to balance this madness the French have decided the kids get every Wednesday off. And every 6 weeks they have school, they get two weeks off. Pretty sweet I guess. However, the people in charge really did not think of all the poor souls who decided to sign up to be au pairs.

Being an au pair is really not that bad. I have to say we are all pretty good at complaining. Yes, basically it is slave labor. But hey, you get to live in a foreign country. During the week, work is bearable…

  • Wake up at 7am– get the kids ready, fed, and take them to school
  • Back home by 830am
  • Usually it is in this period of time I take a nap…
  • 11:30am– get ready for class and have lunch
  • 12:30pm– out the door to catch a bus that is, lets face it, 9 times out of 10 late.
  • 1:40pm-3:40pm– French class
  • 4:20pm– bus home.
  • 5:10pm– get home and drink tea before insanity starts
  • 6:00pm– get the boys then craziness sets in… goûter, baths, playing, fighting, cartoons, scooby, dinner, the list goes on.
  • 8:30pm– parents and i eat dinner
  • 9:30-10ish– lock myself in my room and spend ridiculous hours on the internet.

But on Wednesday, this all changes. You have to think of 13 hours of entertainment for ninos. Yes, they have sports for an hour a day each but that really doesnt help much. Even taking them to the park and killing a few hours doesnt help. The day lasts forever…..

However yesterday, as I sat in the sun “watching” my kids play in the park, (but really reading my book), I decided that life is not all that bad. I think the reason why all au pairs complain is because of the whole weirdness of the situation. What is being an au pair? You are basically this young girl hired to raise someone else’s children, (yes, I say raise because I strongly believe I am doing more than watching a few kids), and live in your boss’s house. I went from recent college grad without a care  to full-time mother. I cook, clean, and basically my whole life revolves around these two little kids. Add this with trying to be 20-something, have a social life, and see the world. This is where things get off balanced and we see the constant feeling of dissatisfaction with au pairs. All of us moved to a foreign country to get an experience. Little did we know that the major experience would be growing up because of the job aspect of it. Dont get me wrong, I am still so happy that I made this decision. I also highly recommend au pairing if you can find the right family and situation for you. Just know, you will never be ready for what you actually signed up for.

I always tell my mom that the one requirement of being an au pair is a sense of humor. I realize that I have a ridiculous life and no where in a traditional scheme of things does it make sense. But it is mine. I am doing what I wanted and what many people are too afraid to do. I took the leap. Sometimes I want to kill the kids or dream about living in the middle of Paris, but I have to say this was the best decision of my life. I have grown more in the past few months than I ever could have imagined.

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An Unemployed Graduate

So here I am. Last day of work. I am going to miss everyone I work with. I was really excited for this day to come but now it just feels weird. Slowly but surely everything is setting in. For one, a bought my plane ticket. July 12. I will start my new life in my new home on July 13. Thats 47 days until my butt is on that long flight.

I cannot believe I am doing this. There are days I am so sad and scared that I don’t think I am going to be able to do it. But then there are days like this. Days that I am so excited that I could burst. I am going to be living in France… in FRANCE!

So for now I am just living it up. Being homeless to be correct. I wanted to spend as much time before I left in San Diego and for the most part it is working out. Still kinda weird to live out of my car. San Diego has finally decided to be sunny for the last couple of days though so my beach bum routine is going well. Just cant wait to get out of this cubicle and on to the sand. I am trying to spend as much time with my friends as I can. I don’t know what I am going to do without them. That is by far the hardest thing I am going to have to overcome. My best friends are my family and not seeing or talking to them everyday is going to kill me. I know I can do it but its going to be weird. Luckily when I arrive in Paris, Callie will be by my side for the next few months. I think it will make the transition a lot easier for me.

Right now, Callie and I are in the process of planning out summer adventures. Looks like its gonna be Paris for a few days to get over my jet lag and have Callie show me the ropes; then off to Biarritz to spend some time with my new family; then in to Spain for a few days. I think I am going to leave the big cities in Spain for another adventure. Callie and I will probably just hit up San Sebastián and Bilbao. I cannot wait to see Spain!!!

All in all, I would say being an unemployed graduate with an incredible experience in front of me is pretty awesome. Bring it on, world.

15 more minutes of my last day at work. 47 more days till I move.

My World Turned Upside Down

The Complete Disaster aka my room while I was trying to move out

It has been a while since I have posted but it may be because my life has been thrown into a complete whirlwind. For one… I have made my decision. I am moving to France. In July, I will start my year long journey abroad. I am still kind of in shock. I absolutely love my life in San Diego. I have the most amazing friends I can ask for and to be honest, this last semester has been the greatest memories in my life. A perfect end to college. But also something that is making it so hard to leave.

I have always loved school. I love learning. I love the schedule. I love everything. But now its done. My mom thinks it weird that the thought of graduation makes me burst into tears rather than jump for joy. But really? Who wouldn’t cry about leaving the last four incredible years behind them? Looking back on everything, there is really little to nothing I would change. I mean, yes, I did have some hard times but I realize without those I wouldn’t be who I am today.

I quit my job. Probably one of the hardest things I have had to do. I was freaking out. But I am happy now and excited for what is to come. I hope I have the courage to experience everything I should. Closing out a chapter in my life is so terrifying.

4 days till graduation. 54 days till I move to France.

Two HUGE Opportunities

So here I was worried about what I was going to do when I graduate. And now I actually have the able to decide between two incredible opportunities.

I absolutely love where I work. It has been the best experience and I really could not ask of much more in a job. It is in my field and it is such a reputable corporation. Well  I am currently just doing an internship and due to their budget, they were not hiring… or so I thought. Come to find out, one of the division assistants may be resigning and my boss want to know if I as interested in the position!!! Now it is not for sure, but wow! They are interested in keeping me on. SO AMAZING.

But wait… wasn’t I supposed to move to France? Yeah…. yeah, I was. So what do I do now? Have a opportunity to live in a new country that I will probably never get to do. Or the opportunity to work for the corporation I have worked towards all of college.

I just don’t know.

So what now?

As I sit here it seems that May is coming much faster than I would have hoped. We just spiraled into 2010, not even knowing where 2009 had gone.  I just can’t believe it. I mean I feel like I just started college. Where did the 4 years go?

I have always been someone who knew where I was going. I declared my major as a freshman and never looked back. I loved what I was doing and didn’t think I needed to look any further. I have always been involved in school and I can honestly say college has been the best four years of my life…. so far.

That being said… I will not stand to dwell on those four years once I graduate. Therefore, I need a change. Something new. Exciting. Spontaneous. If there is one thing that I regret not doing in college, it is studying abroad. I have traveled and been to Europe but I have always wanted the experience of living somewhere new. I am extremely close to family and friends and cannot imagine not having them in my daily life– but I think I am ready. Ready for my quest for my new chapter.

I have always loved San Diego. I strongly believe that I will end up here. I just believe there are going to be some stops along the way before I declare my permanent residency.

So what now? I ask.

Well my current path is on the idea of au pairing. A good friend of mine from high school has been in France the past year. How fabulous, right? Well I decided to talk to her about her experience au pairing and she has been more than helpful. What an experience it sounds like! I know it isn’t all rainbows and butterflies caring for someone else’s kids for a year… but living in France! Can you imagine? I want the chance to be a part of something new and exciting. I want to live abroad. I want to travel.

I am just trying to muster the courage to leave my surrounding and the people I love. I don’t want to be scared but it is tough to wrap my head around the whole thing. It is seriously all I can think about. I research au pair stuff 24/7. Hoping to find something the springs me forward to a definite yes.

So here I sit. MacBook in hand. Researching my future. And hoping that May will bring something new.