I’ve just come home from working as an au pair in Spain for two and a half months as part of my compulsory year abroad of my languages degree and before I went I was really curious about what working as au pair looks like on a day to day basis. So I thought I share with you guys what my life looked like!
I had mornings all to myself since it wasn’t my job to drop the kids off at school and I didn’t start work until I picked them up at 2:00pm.
This meant my mornings looked a bit different each day and we’re all up to what I fancied doing! I signed up for free Spanish classes in a local adult education centre so I attended them from 11-1 every Monday and Thursday but other than that I had no commitments. This meant mornings usually involved either going for breakfast with my au pair friends, exploring the local museums and churches or having a lie in and relaxing in my room.
My “work day” then started at 2pm when I picked up the kids. Due to changes because of COVID, the youngest got out at 2:00 and then the second two got out at 2:10 so I’d wait while the youngest played and then once they’d all got out I’d walk home with the younger two whilst the oldest walked home with her friends.
When we got home it would pretty much be time for lunch – so the kids had to put their shoes and bags away and wash their hands and then we’d sit down at the table. The parents would join us and we’d all have lunch together which was a lovely chance to all chat about our mornings.
After lunch it was my job to tidy up, wash up and load the dishwasher while the kids hung with their parents for a little bit before getting started on their homework. Then dependant on what clubs were happening, the parents would go back to work, the older kids would do their homework and I would play with the youngest.
When it was time for clubs either one of the parents or Grandma would take the child or children who had the club out and I’d be left with whoever didn’t have a club. When homework was done we’d do a whole variety of different things from playing with the playmobil or Lego, bouncing on the trampoline or playing ball sports in the garden, playing board games and doing art or drawing. At some point Mum would usually come up and do homework with the youngest child who still needed support and encouraging to get her homework done.
Then at around 7:30 it was about time to start sending the kids to have their showers before dinner. This was often a bit of a struggle because no one ever wanted to the first one in but once I’ve managed to convince/bribe the first one in there’s no problems from there. Then Mum would come up and she would start cooking dinner. Dinner was usually much more of a casual affair and just me and the kids would eat together. We’d have something like fried/scrambled eggs, quiche, quesadillas or pizza. After dinner it’s pretty much time for the kids to head to bed and for me to head down to my room. I’d say goodnight at that point and head down to my room, often with a cup off tea in hand.
I had online Spanish classes three nights a week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) from 9-10pm so I’d attend those and then just crash and chill afterwards, watching a bit of Netflix or reading a book. On days I didn’t have class, sometimes I’d go out for a glass or two of white wine with my au pair friends, call a friend or my family or stay and hang out with my host family for a while longer – especially on Friday which was movie night.
So that’s what a normal week day looked like when I was working as an au pair in Spain. Obviously each day is different but this is approximately what a day might look like for me. At the weekend, I didn’t work at all so I was free to do whatever I liked, including day trips to nearby cities, hanging out with friends, a weekend in Barcelona or drinking in the square.
Have you ever worked as an au pair?
Would you consider it?
Let me know in the comments!