When my girls were littler, they had lots of adorable cotton dresses. All of these dresses were wash’n wear, which meant that they were okay to wear if clean but wrinkly. To look fabulous, these dresses didn’t need lots of ironing– just 2 minutes with an iron on the collars, hems, and sashes turned them from wrinkly to wow.
Since our au pairs had enough down time while the girls napped or went to Pre-K, ironing the collars on their dresses was a regular part of doing the girls laundry.
None of our au pairs had any problem with the ironing, until one of them did. One particular au pair simply refused to iron at all– no amount of explaining, putting it on the to-do list, asking point blank, etc. seemed to make a difference. It just never got done.
I thought I’d try to get over it … but frankly, it irked me. Just how hard is it to iron a collar and a sash? When the ironing board is always set up in the laundry room?
It’s not like like I was expecting her to compete in an “extreme ironing” event…. (yes, click this link).
Finally, during a weekly meeting when I brought this up (again) our au pair told me the reason behind her refusal. In her country, only the lowliest people in the household did any ironing. It was beneath the au pair to do any ironing. Ironing was something that our housecleaner should do, not the au pair .
So I turn this question over to you, readers:
– Assuming that an au pair has plenty of time when s/he is on duty but kids don’t need active engagement, and
– Assuming that the ironing is not technically difficult (e.g., lots of ruffles, delicate fabric),