I know that there are a few more places I have yet to blog about but as of now I need to rant a bit. So all of you who are interested, read away. Remember, I am very frustrated right now but this doesn’t mean that what I say isn’t true. I often say things and over-exaggerate them – I know this. I will try not to do that much in order for you all to get a better and accurate picture of things.
I have less than 2 months left in Rome. I can’t believe the time has flown this quickly and that soon I will be leaving this city. I remember arriving in September being absolutely miserable. The city didn’t have any charm to me and I was completely alone. Thankfully now I have many friends and Rome is home to me. I love the city and feel as if I’ve explored if completely. I know that if I left now I would be satisfied with the things I’ve done and experienced while here. I am so thankful to God most of all for giving me the strength to start a new life in this ancient city. Without Him I would be completely lost.
But what brings me to writing today is job related. I feel like one of the biggest complainers on earth. I should be thankful for my job and that I’m able to live in Rome essentially for free and that I even have a space to call my own. But the thing is – I am thankful! I acknowledge these things and know that without my job as an au pair my life in Rome would be impossible. If only life as an au pair would be better than it is!
Being an au pair is not an easy job. I just came back from my early morning start in which I help the host mom (HM) get the children ready for school. Sound easy? Well, it isn’t. To be honest, my HM doesn’t need help. The girls scream at me and give me dirty looks when I try to help them and the son pushes me away and talks back to me whenever I ask him a question. This is after 8 months of me being “part of the family”. I am so tired of being treated like dirt. I feel helpless when trying to help, especially in the mornings, and then when I try to help, the children pull faces at me and yell whenever I get near. The thing that is most problematic about this though is that that the HM does nothing to support me or back me up. In fact, she blames me for things that go wrong in the family (like a lost book or sweater – something that I have no influence over). It is like I am the servant or slave and I need to take the abuse – even though it is coming from two 4 year olds and one 8 year old.
I feel so insignificant and little. The attitude I get when I talk to the children, the refusal to do things, the crying, the screaming, the complete ignoring of me (this happened on and off for 3 hours last night as I tried to do homework with the boy – talk about frustrating)…I have never had a job where I feel so unloved, unvalued and unwanted. I does wonder for the moral.
What I’ve learned about Italian families (most Italian families – and maybe I should just specify this to Roman families – I don’t know how families are all over Italy) is that children are royalty. Whatever they do and say is the truth and the parents do everything in their power to not upset the child. If a child doesn’t want to do something they don’t have to because they are boss. If a child screams or cries for something they’ll get it because they are always right and will always get what they want. I don’t know how anybody thinks this is a good tactic for raising children. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Let me end with this: I’m sorry for being so miserable. I have great times with my children too. It is pure joy to see them learn English and I do get hugs and love from them (when they want). So I’m not going to die or anything. I only have 2 months left here but I can handle it.
This being said – something I will take away from this – two things I will take away…
1. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Realize that everyone is equal and they deserve patience and love, regardless of if it is easy or not. People aren’t your puppet and they won’t do exactly as you want but take the time to explain problems and work out kinks. It is the only way to be satisfied in a working relationship – or any relationship for that matter
2. Children need parents and they need discipline. Being strict is not mean, it is necessary. Discipline is love; without it children have no guidance and thus loving them becomes more difficult too because the children act out. Give your children time even if you have none for yourself. You are raising the future leaders of the world – don’t take the responsibility lightly.
Thanks for listening. I hope my next post will be more positive!