Au pair life: how coronavirus changed my plans (part 5)
Now I´m happily telling everyone that I actually did it on purpose…
I´m writing these lines on March 31st and it has been exactly a week since I´m in a quarantine. I spent my first three days trying to get over the jetlag then the time changed what confused my body again and today was the first day when I finally got some energy to write down few lines about my last moments in the US. My friends were asking me – what are you doing all days? And my answer was simple – nothing and I´m enjoying that. I watch movies, TV shows, sometimes I read books and watch the news. I learn how to cook (I swear three days ago I food poisoned myself) and read recipes for baking. After one and a half years during which I almost didn´t stop at all because I became something like a second mom, I can finally have a break and enjoy the silence and calm in the household. I read how au pairs are sad these days, exhausted, tired physically and mentally everyday and how it´s difficult for them to deal with this new situation. How their dreams about life in the US are fading away. I had three months left until the end of the program and a travel month which is a month during which you travel. I don´t think something like a travel month would happen. I was supposed to go on a vacation. I think I´d enjoy that in my 13×13 ft big room. Two weeks before this pandemic outbreak in the US my host kid was sick. I spent the whole week inside the house with him. During the weekend I got some energy but the kid went to school on Tuesday and starting Friday he was back home again because of the quarantine. His parents were working from home too so they could have seen me all the time and so I was thinking twice what was I going to do with my kid… Luckily I was taking care of one kid only but honestly at the beginning of the third week I was extremely tired. If my last three months in the US were just like this, I´d come home completely exhausted. I´m not saying I came in the best condition but you know what I mean. I read that a lot of girls stay with their host families because they know that they need them. And some of the families treat their au pairs nicely. But a lot of families consider the au pair as something granted and those girls believe that the situation will change to a better one after a few months. Full of expectations they came here to make their dreams come true, to experience the real America´s life and travel around. I am very grateful for what I have experienced here (more than I thought I would) and my leaving back home wasn´t painful at all. Actually, I was excited to come home. And that leads me to a conclusion…
What can I say about my US experience
My friend asked me yesterday: “You didn´t enjoy it over there? I thought you lived an American dream, all your trips and Insta stories…” And so I thought about my past eighteen months. I came to a conclusion that I have to divide my American experience into two parts: a life I had while I was working and a I life I had in my free time. My free time life I enjoyed more than enough. I met new amazing people, made a lifelong friendships (I hope), traveled more than ever. I have discovered a new culture and mentality, my life was crazier than during my high school rebel times but I also taught responsibility – towards me and the others as well – I was taking care of some people´s kids! I improved my English, drove thousands miles, I enjoyed a completely different life than back home. I lived in a place where no one knew me and I didn´t know anyone. I lived in a place where no one cares if you wear pyjamas during your grocery shopping in the middle of a beautiful sunny day. But there are two sides of everything and my 18 months wasn´t a bed of roses overall. You might already know from my blogs to be continued How I became an au pair in the US… and how I survived it all and Au pair life: it was just an ordinary day… that there were so many days when I told myself that I was done and I was leaving back home (and I had plenty of such days). My friends were texting me that if they were in my shoes, they would have left a long time ago. It is different to live with your mom and with some strange family and take care of their kids. You don´t know those people and you can´t tell if they are a nice people in advance. I was in three families and I will tell you one thing: no one will ever convince me to live with my employer again.
Finally, let me tell you one last thing. If I have learnt something in the US then it is to think twice before you decide to have kids. A kid cost you a time, energy and effort. I was taking care of two kids, then four kids and at the end of one kid. What I´m trying to say is following: if you want to have a baby because the society expects you to do so, don´t do that. If you want to have a baby because you think it will save your relationship, it won´t. If you want something to enrich your life, get a dog. And if you agree with all above mentioned and you have money, get an au pair.