What's the Acceptable Level of Housework for an AU PAIR?

 

Hey Au Pairs,

We’ve recently been asked the question: “AM I DOING TOO MUCH HOUSEWORK?” multiple times! So, we thought we’d make a video to address this concern once and for all.

Right now, we’re in the south of France, housesitting for a lovely family, working on our book and filming lots of videos - so make sure to send us your questions in the Au Pair, Oh Paris Open Forum for us to answer!

So, what is the acceptable level of housework? Let’s jump right in…

What does Light Housework Mean?

In your au pair contract, you’re likely to read “light housework”. This is totally true, as an au pair, you should be doing housework. You are supposed to be a member of the family, after all.

But, as this AMOUNT or JOBS aren’t specified, you may find that your host family is cheeky and tries to get away with a deep clean every week. This is not ok.

Light housework as an au pair should be anything that has to do with you or the children. If you’ve made a mess, clean it up! If the kids have left out all of their toys, we personally believe they should be taught to clean up after themselves too, but you may have to do it instead.

Acceptable tasks for an au pair:

  1. Tidying up the kid’s room

  2. Washing dishes or loading and unloading the dishwasher

  3. Occasionally hoovering the house (so long as your host parents also do too!)

  4. Occasionally going out to the shops

  5. Walking the dog, cat sitting, feeding the fish

All of these are completely acceptable for you to be asked to do. Let’s look at some of the things that you shouldn’t be doing:

Unacceptable housework tasks for an au pair

  1. Washing the parent’s bedding or clothing

  2. Cleaning the parent’s bedroom or bathroom

  3. Making the parent’s bed

  4. Cleaning all of the windows

  5. Deep cleaning the carpets or sofas

  6. Deep cleaning the oven or kitchen.

 Window cleaning should not be on your to-do list. But maybe pet sitting should be.

Window cleaning should not be on your to-do list. But maybe pet sitting should be.

Open Communication is KEY

We always, always say this. But, speaking to your host parents about the tasks you’re expected to do is the best way to figure out what’s both of you feel is acceptable.

Preferably, do this before you even arrive in Paris by drawing up an au pair contract. (Au Pair World has a contract to use, here.) By specifying the “light housework” clearly in the contract, there will be no blurred lines on either end when you arrive.

However, is this isn’t possible, the best rule of thumb is that as an au pair, you should be cleaning up after the children and yourself. You’re not the hired cleaner, you’re a member of the family who pitches in like everyone else.

That’s all for this week! If you want to ask us a question, make sure to join the Au Pair, Oh Paris Open Forum.

Quick update: we’re actually launching our book this week! It’s been a long process but we’ve holed ourselves up in the south of France to finish the process. We’ll be posting the link everywhere when it’s finally available!

If you feel that we’ve helped you, we’d also be extremely grateful for your help by supporting us on Patreon. You can donate as little as $1 and it will make a great a huge difference for us. :)

That’s all for now.
Ciao! xo

 Here’s Edwina, sitting on the beach in the South of France, editing our book… well this isn’t really our book. But, our book is coming out this week!

Here’s Edwina, sitting on the beach in the South of France, editing our book… well this isn’t really our book. But, our book is coming out this week!