I met a group of other au pairs who were also in Florence when I was there and they all seemed to agree that I was the luckiest of them all as I seemed to have zero duties to complete. So here is a typical schedule of my week as an au pair:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
6.40am: Wake up and get myself prepared.
7am: Wake Chiara up (my 7 year-old host girl).
7am-8am: Eat breakfast with the girls and one of my host parents (the other one would be working already). Make sure Chiara is dressed, has brushed her teeth and is ready for school. My only non-making-sure job is to tie Chiara’s hair. All this while the parent is making sure Camilla (the 2 year-old) is doing the same.
8am: Leave with the host parent for the girls’ 8.30am start at school (luckily at the same place). I don’t actually have to go with them, but I usually like to do it anyway, just so I can say goodbye to them at school. Plus, their school is a quick walk to Florence’s historic centre, but my host family’s place isn’t.
8.30am-5.30pm: Free time. Yep, that’s basically a whole day, which is why I was able to do a lot of day trips outside of Florence. I do try to come up with a plan at least the night before, just so I’m keeping myself busy.
5.30pm: Meet the girls at school (again, I don’t have to do this as I’m not the one driving, but I’m usually in the historic centre anyway)
6pm: Meet the girls at home (one of my host parent picks them up)
6pm-8pm: Play with the girls in Chiara’s room, or just basically to keep them both occupied. I sometimes taught Chiara some piano (lucky they have a keyboard at home!). We played Monopoly quite often. Chiara sometimes showed me gymnastics.
8pm: Dinner time!
Post-dinner – 9pm: Watch some YouTube with Chiara and Camilla, or play with them.
9pm-9.30pm: Make sure Chiara gets changed and brushes her teeth.
9.30pm: Put Chiara to bed and then read to her.
Around 9.45pm: Return to my own room, and then usually to end up being on a computer…
Everything is all the same, except my free time goes from 8.30am-6pm. Yep, more free time, which means I plan for trips that are further away from Florence.
8.30am: Wake up and get myself prepared.
9am: Have breakfast with one host parent and the kids.
Post-breakfast – 10am: Make sure Chiara brings everything she needs for swimming.
10am: The girls leave for swimming with dad (usually). I don’t normally go because I absolutely cannot stand the smell of chlorine, but when I do, I help Chiara out with changing into her swimmers, and then after swimming I help her change back and blow-dry her hair.
Then… I’m free for the rest of the weekend! I did manage to have a weekend-getaway every week.
While this schedule seems like it’s very easy, I have to admit, the bits where I WAS working were actually quite energy-draining and quite difficult as the kids were hard to manage.