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:
Tidying up the kid’s room
Washing dishes or loading and unloading the dishwasher
Occasionally hoovering the house (so long as your host parents also do too!)
Occasionally going out to the shops
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
Washing the parent’s bedding or clothing
Cleaning the parent’s bedroom or bathroom
Making the parent’s bed
Cleaning all of the windows
Deep cleaning the carpets or sofas
Deep cleaning the oven or kitchen.
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.
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.