This week I realised that I had never in my life experienced homesickness. I’ve never been away from home on my own before. I never went on the school trip to Germany and I very rarely went to sleepovers, at least not until I was a teenager. At which time, you don’t miss your mum because you’re a teenager and teenagers just have a laugh with their friends without a second thought for their mum or their big sister because they know they’re going to see them again tomorrow.
But I have experieced homesickness now and I tell you what, it’s not a good fee
ling. If you haven’t experienced it yourself, this is the only way I can explain it. Remember that boyfriend you had who you were totally besotted with? You were madly in love with him and convinced yourself that you were going to spend the rest of your lives together. Remember what it was like when he broke up with you? That pain in your chest that won’t go away. The feeling where you just want someone to chop off your arms or legs instead because it can’t be worse than this. Well, times that by a million and that’s what homesickness feels like. It’s just like heartbreak but, in my opinion, incredibly worse.
I cried almost all day on Tuesday – my first full day in London – and it felt uncontrolable. My Host Family were lovely to me and the kids are great but there’s no denying that it’s awkward to live in another families home. This has been my main struggle this week. There’s a lot of duties when Au Pairing and there’s a lot of information to take in, but for me the hardest challenge was trying to keep my family and any thoughts of home out of my head in order to get through the day without a breakdown.
As the week went on, I was introduced to some of the Nannies that look after the friends of my host kids. They were so lovely and I soon realised that being a Nanny is an enjoyable job. Seeing these ladies in action and listening to their stories about families they have worked for in the past soon put my mind at ease from any worries I had. I have always been the kind of person to learn from observation, so knowing that there are people I can take note from put my mind at rest.
This week felt like it was endless and I just wanted it to end in order to take a step back and think about all the information that had been given to me over the last 4 and a half days. How could I have time to process anthing that I had been told when I was constantly having to move onto the next task? I knew I had time from 6pm(ish) to go out or go to my room and have ‘me time’ but I struggled to think about the job at hand when all I wanted to do was cry and see my mum. My mum and sister were my end goal for the week. The only reason I kept getting up in the morning and carrying on was because I knew I would get to see them on the Saturday when they drove down to see me.
The Wirral may be in the same country as London and I am lucky enough to have my family so close to me, unlike other Au Pairs, but it is still such a long drive and they still came to see me and I automatically felt better after talking everything through with them (and Brittany). Family and friends who know you and ‘get’ you always have a way of making any situation seem brighter. It’s all well and good having these people you just met tell you that things will get better, but you only really believe it will get better when you hear it from the people you love. Spending time with friends today who are already here in London, made me realise that I’m not alone here and there is always a little bit of home around the corner (or Crouch End).
It has only been in the last couple of days that I have come to terms with the responsibility I have taken on and the life I am going to be living for the next year and I am hoping that my Au Pair experience will continue to get better and that I will come away with some great memories. I’m also so lucky to have the chance to look up at Big Ben whenever I’m having an off day and remind myself why I’m really here in this amazing city.