When I left my family at the airport in Stockholm and said goodbye I told my mom that we'll see each other at the same spot a year from that moment. I was one of those au pairs that said beforehand that I would never stay more than a year. 12 months felt like so long and it felt enough to be gone for a year. I had a rough two first weeks, not really because of the au pair-thing but more because I missed my family. All I wanted was to go back and hug my mom and the rest of family.
As a little time passed I started thinking about extending instead. I was worried about the fact that I thought about it so early compared to how other people have been talking about it. During the fall I was very open to my host family about my thoughts regarding extending even though the decision wouldn't be made until January/February.
Then I went home for Christmas and got to spend 8 days with my family. To be honest I spent most of the time on the couch, sleeping haha... But it was really nice to be able to go home and see them all and I'm forever grateful that my host parents made it possible. However, even though I had 8 amazing days in Sweden, the week back was so rough. During my visit home we talked a lot about a possible extension and what that would mean for the family. The first week back in Seattle I just wanted to go back home and not choose to extend.
About two or three weeks into January I spent a weekend all by myself in the house since the rest went to the cabin. it gave me time to think and just relax and take care of myself. The day the family came on, on a Monday, my host mom officially told me that they'd like me to stay and that they'll need an answer in February at the latest. At that time there was no question about it. So on the Friday that week I told my family about my decision and wrote a little story/card to tell them about my decision to stay for them for another year. So when I'm done I will have spent 2 whole years in Seattle.
Some days I wish that I would be going back right now, only because I miss my family sooo much. I am sort of ready to go back to Sweden. But I am not ready at all to leave Seattle behind me. As of right now, I have no idea how I will cope with going back to Sweden, One part of me really wants to stay here instead and do something else but that's not easiest unfortunately, 11 months to go..