Our Home: Guidelines

by cv harquail on May 15, 2008

Principle: Our home is for you to enjoy as a member of the family, and we expect that you will treat it with respect and consideration.

  1. You should clean up after yourself (put your dishes and clothes away) and do your own laundry, but we do not expect you to clean the whole house or do our laundry. Please do your own laundry during the week since we tend to do laundry on the weekend; avoid doing laundry on Wednesdays when the housekeepers are here. Clean the dryer lint trap.
  2. To the extent possible, try to minimize the amount of noise you make in the normal course of your routine—doors slamming, heavy walking with shoes, conversations – and especially phone ringers, etc. Keep your bathroom door closed when you’re using it.
  3. Please turn the power off on the computer in your room when you are not using the computer. Unplug the computer in a thunderstorm. In general, do not download items and never open email from anyone you don’t know. Do your best to avoid getting computer viruses.
  4. Do not use the TV or media system in the family room. No visitors should go into our bedroom under any circumstances.
  5. Please be careful with special things and never take household items outside the house without permission. Never set beverage glasses or hot plates on bare wood.
  6. You may borrow CD’s temporarily from upstairs to play downstairs or in your room.
  7. Keep your bathroom neat, and clean it once a week (floor, toilet, tub, and sink); be prepared to put items away when we have company, in case other people need to use the bathroom too. Change the rug as needed.
  8. We will provide normal food, household, and bathroom supplies for you to use as needed. When there is something you want or need, please add it to the grocery list on the bulletin board.
  9. You are welcome to cook and bake, and we’d welcome your cooking a simple family meal once a week or occasionally making a favorite dish from home.
  10. You should pitch in with cleaning up after family meals, clearing the table, and putting dishes in the dishwasher. Your family chore is to empty the dishwashers & drying rack and put away dishes, throughout the week (not necessarily just when you are on duty).


Emma October 10, 2010 at 3:18 am

Why would you not let your au pair use the TV system in the family room? Wouldn’t this encourage a feeling of separation between au pair and family, or encourage the feeling that she is only an ’employee’, minimising the amount of time she can spend with the rest of the family?

VVC October 10, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Oh no! Please look at ours!!!

October 15, 2007

Dear Au Pair,

We would like to welcome you to our family! We have always included au pairs as part of the family and are so excited to have you live with us and be with XXX and XXX. This letter is an overview of the job description. We love you and think you will be a great addition to our family!

We are happy to provide the following:
• $____.00 per week
• Full use of the car
• We will fill the gas tank up once every-other-week
• Full use of a cell phone: 123-456-7890
• Full use of a computer with email and Skype in your room. Also a TV with DVD player in your room.

Job Duties:
• Watch the children Monday-Friday 8am-6pm with some occasional weekends or evenings (maybe 1x/month?)
• Do the children’s laundry, and put their clothes away. Help with the family laundry.
• Change the children’s bed sheets once per week.
• Monitor and help the children to clean the family room and their bedroom every day.
• Do the dishes when you join the family for dinner.
• Help keep the kitchen clean.
• Be a participant in the family, as we will consider you a part of the family!

Williams Family Expectations:
• We prefer to keep the kids “screen time” (TV, computers) to a minimum. If it is needed to calm them down or to give them a break, no problem as long as it is PBS.
• We encourage you to take the kids on outings, classes and playdates!
• Communication is very important to us so PLEASE feel free to talk to us about anything!!!

Typical schedule:
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun
8:00-9:00am: Get kids ready for school and drive to bus stop & school x x x x x
11:30am Pick up XXX from school x x x x x
3:00-4:00 XXXX for XXXX x
4:00-5:00 XXXXX x x
4:00 Meet XXXXat bus stop x
2:00 Usually off x
12:30-4:30pm sometimes need to work x x
Evenings sometimes need to work x x

CV Harquail October 12, 2010 at 11:38 am

Hi Emma-
There is a reason behind this– the ‘family room’ is what we call the little room with the big TV that is attached to our (parental) bedroom. We call it the ‘family room’ becuase I can’t bear to admit that we have a room just for watching tv. I refuse to call it a TV room.

The TV is attached to an old and incredibly complicated ‘custom’ system from 1998 that I can’t figure out. One wrong button pressed and it won’t work. My husband likes to watch TV before bed, in his pajamas, in some privacy, so our au pair doesn’t use this room for watching TV ‘herself’. If there is some big event (World Cup, Project Runway Finale) we will watch TV here, all together as a family and of course then she’s welcome. That said, we aren’t a big ‘hey let’s watch TV’ kind of family… it’s not really what we do together, so she isn’t missing anything.

We have a TV in the playroom, where we watch kids movies and casual (not big-event) collective TV watching. And our AP has a very nice television/cable in her room.


Indiana February 14, 2011 at 4:15 am

I was once told “we are not going to have a daughter-mother relationship, I have enough with 3, so our relationship will be employer-employee” although I didnt expect an adoptive mom and Im pretty sure the host mom didnt want to become a mom again or whatever, that is not the way to address it. She also told me she wouldnt let me use the car although I am a strong driver, just because she only had one and wouldnt trust me the car, she doesnt trust me the car but trusts me her kids lol!…didnt provide a schedule. Oh yeah and said: “Dont make any noise try to be as quiet as possible, the less I notice you the better”. There are ways to say the meanest things but make them sound good.

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