One great treat of the internet age is ordering groceries on line to have them delivered to home at your convenience. We’ve been doing this for several years now, and it’s been worth every extra penny. I just log on whenever I find the time, and I schedule the delivery for when our au pair is on duty but not super busy with kid activities.
Because my au pairs have never been asked to go grocery shopping for the kids, and since they have never done all that much cooking, I’ve swapped in putting away groceries as an au pair task in place of those other two. I think that this is a pretty fair trade, because of these potential benefits:
1. Your au pair knows what food you have on hand for cooking for herself or making kids’ lunches.
2. Your au pair learns where things go.
3. Your au pair may be more motivated to keep the pantry organized if she’s the one having to fit everything in there.
4. Unloading groceries is one of those concrete tasks with an end. It is satisfying to get it done, and then it’s done until next week.
5. This is a chore that the au pair can do with the kids, so that the kids have the experience of helping out with family responsibilities.
6. Groceries can be unloaded while the kids are doing things (like napping) that don’t need your au pair’s direct attention.
So let’s find out what everyone else does:
Here’s the question, as posed by D:
I would like to know if having groceries delivered to my home once a month (very large amount) is OK to have my au pair put them away? Is this reasonable?? Of course I can’t be home…. The delivery person brings them all in & puts the pop & milk in the correct spots. But all the frig, freezer & dry goods would need put away. $350 worth of groceries as we have 6 people in our home to feed. We are trying to find ways of making all our lives easier. As you know a working family….with 3 children & an au pair. We have to eat & we all don’t want to go them & grocery shop if we don’t have to. So this was a solution for the entire family.
Anna: I think it is reasonable to ask her to put away perishables (things that have to be refrigerated or put in the freezer right away), but let the rest of the groceries wait for you to come home…If your au pair is NICE, she will probably put away the rest anyway… But you shouldn’t ask her IMHO. $350 of groceries is a lot.
Franzi: @ D, ask your AP nicely to put away the food, at least the perishables. cans/boxes that you would store in the garage/basement/further away from the kitchen can be put away with the kids if they are old enough.
If you have asked your au pair to put away groceries, what have you done to make this task work well for you both?