LIZ HARROD

Posts Tagged ‘Au Pair’

An Unexpected Visit from an Old Pastime

In Au Pair, France on September 21, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Ah – wednesday….

For most of the working world, Wednesday means hump day – halfway through the week, over the hump, and well on your way to the weekend.  Though it most certainly still means that for me, Wednesday has another important significance to au pairs in france, especially those with kids in primary school.  Wednesday is their day off.

Now, I love kids, but a full day of activity can be daunting – especially with a language barrier involved.  Even if I could explain some of the games I know how to play, many of them don’t make sense in French.

So it was with a little reservation this morning, that I started my day.  We did a bit of homework, which finally seems to be moving along swimmingly (Thanks google translate for teaching me geography in French) and had a bit of reading time.

Then came the lull.

One of my main obstacles at this point is getting them off the Wii.  I mean, I love Mario Kart as much as the next 90s child, but spending an entire day in front of the Wii is simply not acceptable.  So I set out in search of alternatives.

First of all, lunch was a smash hit with what was, apparently, the debut of grilled cheese sandwiches.  Seriously, you’d think a country so obsessed with cheese would be all over this, but no, it was their first, and they had me make them seconds. So I’m taking that as a good sign.

After lunch we had a little review of homework, and then came the moment of truth.  I was prepared for protests.  I was prepared for arguments.  So I said it carefully.  “No Wii until 3:30pm.” Read the rest of this entry »

Moving Along

In Au Pair, France on September 17, 2011 at 8:59 pm

So I’ve realized, as I’ve tried to think about how to start writing about my life here, that there are basically three important categories that I deal with each day:

1. the family I’m living with

2. my personal life – friends, dating, personal projects

3. the french language

So, there you go.  It seems as though I’m keeping it pretty simple as far as balls in the air, or at least trying to.

These first couple weeks have been a bit, interesting.  There have been ups and downs and kinks to work out, but I’m happy to say that with each day, overall, I’m feeling a bit more settled in and comfortable in my new environment.

The first thing I have to keep in mind is that this is my life.  Having moved around quite a bit since graduating Boston University, I’ve found comfort in the revelation that the things I am doing are my choices.  In fact, that was probably the biggest lesson that I practiced continuously while at Tao’s in Greece, and it’s something I continue to remind myself each day.

When I find myself in a situation that is trying my patience or throwing me for a loop, I try to remember to breathe and recall the fact that it is my choice to be in that situation.  If it is too much for me, I can decide to leave, but as long as I’m facing it, I’m choosing to be there.

This idea, by itself, is liberating.  Remember that you are in charge of your life, the things you choose to experience, and the things you choose to walk away from is empowering, not to mention a powerful aid when starting a new kind of life in a new kinds of place.

So here we go, my situations and how I’m choosing to face them: Read the rest of this entry »

A Return to Paris and a Return to the Blog

In Au Pair, France on September 2, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Oi – well I guess it’s time to get back in the blog. Obviously, I slacked a bit while home in Indiana. Time just went a bit quickly, and there was lots to be done.

I’ll cover it all eventually, as some of it is a bit interesting – thanks to immigration – but for now, I’ll jump into the present day.

So, after just over a month of time in the states, I was back on a plane – willingly of course – to Paris. For those who have forgotten, when I was in Paris a few months ago, I simply fell in love with the city all over again and started to look for opportunities to move here for the next year.

After some fairly desperate research, I found one, and, with a little effort and speedy paperwork, I was able to get everything together in time to accept a position as an au pair.

Long story short: a friend of mine, one of the infamous tripod members, was an au pair last year. She had an overall positive experience, and seeing as I like working with kids, I figured it could be a good fit for me. Read the rest of this entry »