Extreme Scheduling: When you use all your 45 ‘on duty’ hours in one fell swoop
- I’ve heard from au pairs who are scheduled for three days in a row when no parents are otherwise present, even at ‘off duty’ times (such as when a mom is a pilot and works in 3 day shifts).
- I’ve heard from au pairs who are scheduled for 15 hour days, three days in a row, and
- I’ve heard from au pairs who have six days of 90 hours total, then six days completely off.
Most of these extreme schedules fail to fit the formal guidelines, much less the spirit behind them.
And let’s face it, not all of us have reasonable work schedules or have control over our work schedules.
Doctors, pilots, truck drivers, manufacturing employees, consultants, and more work ‘extreme’ hours themselves. And we live in a nation with inadequate options. (How nice would it be to live in a country where overnight hours at a childcare center aren’t 2 times the price of daytime hours!)
From au pair’s perspective, can these extreme schedules feel fair. Or even desirable? How can you make this kind of schedule reasonable?
Have you ever asked an au pair to work an Extreme Schedule — not just for a rare weekend, but consistently?
How do you manage this? How does your au pair respond? What makes it work?
Image: “Dangle” by Sarah Horrigan, Some rights reserved