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A Typical Au Pair Day

I've written much of what I've learned (or thought I've learned but found myself heavily corrected many times). I've written about my travels and exotic things.

I've meant to write about my actual days, and to share what it actually looks like to be an Au Pair. But when Alexa asked for me to share about my Au Pair life, it was then that I realized I hadn't done so, as well as not having even given it as much thought as I originally planned.

And so thanks to her, you finally have a look into the "boring" parts of my every day. To be honest, life has never been boring.
Driving girls to kindergarten 

Overall: I considered myself very lucky as the rest of the Au Pairs had to work early, and I had to only work in the afternoons. I had minimal cleaning and only needed to entertain children in the afternoon. The others had piles of ironing and hours of cleaning to do, besides taking care of children. An Au Pair is only supposed to work about thirty hours, but the other girls definitely worked more than their thirty hours, their children were horrid, and their host parents were very rude to them. Whenever we were together, at first, I always spoke of how amazing my Au Pair family was. I truly believed I was lucky. Yes, there was a lot of yelling that really bothered me at first. But from the stories I heard, all the other Au Pairs had it worse than I did. I was at least treated like one of the family.

2:30am for some reason I've woken up at this time nearly every day in Germany. I usually spend an hour talking to friends or networking for my cleaning business back home.

6:30-7:30 The rest of the house got up for breakfast between this time. Sometimes I'd sleep until they left as it was too chaotic in the mornings and I found it too stressful to be apart of it all. If I was awake, I'd stay in my room and study with Duolingo.
Piggy back ride when the walk got too long for her legs ;)
8:00 I usually left my room at this time and found breakfast: bread with meats, cheeses, or jams. Monday mornings were my "domesticate" days. I spent a good portion of them cleaning my room and doing my laundry while listening to an audiobook, and if I did any cooking or baking that week, I often did it on Monday morning.
On other mornings I had a little bit of other cleaning to do. Sometimes I'd spend the rest of the morning writing, working on book proposals mostly. Or, I'd study German. Or I'd go on long walks and listen to audiobooks and explore Germany. At the end of my stay, I'd met people and was getting invited over to houses a lot.

Noon (12-1) Whatever I did, I tried to be home by noon to eat lunch/ be there when everyone else got home and greet them.
Piano playing with baby
3pm I walked two minutes to pick up the youngest boy from nursery/ kindergarten. Sometimes he'd walk with me to pick up his sister from school, sometimes he'd go home and wait with his mother. In the middle, he often went with me and we were starting to become good friends. He was starting to even hold my hand and tell me stories about the trees and sky and bugs and things I couldn't understand but told him were fascinating all the same. I loved those walks with him.

3:30 Picked up the sister, then walked home or went to a park to play. I preferred going to the park as the children loved it, and it kept them out of their mother's hair. She was usually home in the afternoons, and I was supposed to entertain them so she could have a break. But it was nearly impossible as the kids just wanted to be with their mother.
If I was home, which I was too often, I'd try to play games and read books with the children, or play with them in their rooms. It was almost always a miserable time for all of us, and nothing was desirous for them.
I really loved helping the children with their homework. Sometimes I did that in the afternoon or after dinner. Not so often, though.
6:00 Dinner, which was always SO DELICIOUS. My host mother was a fabulous cook and made very tasty, healthy meals.

7:00 Either I had to bike to German classes, or maybe help put the kids to bed. The latter nearly always failed, as the children didn't want me to do it, but their parents. Once or twice the parents were gone and I was able to put them to bed a little smoother. But normally, the kids screamed and fought me the entire time.
In Munich with the baby and his father and friends.
Evenings: If I didn't have German classes, I'd help in the kitchen and visit with my host mother for a bit before heading up to my room to read or study. On Friday nights they had movie nights and made hand foods for the living room. Those were always fun. But my especial favorite nights were the nights we played board games. I really loved a game we played decently often called Carcassonne. Sometimes, after the kids were in bed, the parents would have activities and I'd stay home and "keep" an eye on the sleeping children, staying in the livingroom embroiderings.

Weekends: We never actually agreed on what day was my "day off". I wanted to go to church on Sunday, but also Saturday is my sabbath. And they really wanted me to take kids to their activities on Saturday. I would've done it, but I made it clear I didn't want to. Later, as I stayed longer in Germany I realized Sunday was actually a bad day to have for a day off anyway as everything is closed in Germany. Meaning, there was nothing I could do ;p
I went to a very lovely international nondenominational church most Sundays.
Ready for bed (or maybe he'd just got up? Can't remember).  
Overall: Again, from the start, I considered myself very lucky, first because there was no more yelling and the children were jumping on me from the very start. On the first day the younger ones were holding my hands and asking me to do their hair, things I was supposed to do with the other children, but never fully managed. Then when I met other Au Pairs, I further considered myself lucky, because my Au Pair parents respected my own schedule and weren't always asking me to do more. Most of the others were again working way over their six hours and their Au Pair parents were stingy with letting the Au Pairs have time off. Most of the families in this area (mine included) have the Au Pairs working large chunks of time with the weekends "free". Though my family was the only one that actually let me have the weekend free regularly. The others barely had free time for their German classes, it seemed. And when they were supposed to take care of children, the parents also left long lists of chores. My family asked only that I help the children clean up their rooms. Often I will do more cleaning, but it's never been required of me.
Snow tubing with my Au Pair family and friends 

3:30am I usually wake up around this time, or 1am. But I try to force myself to go back to sleep immediately, maybe checking for cleaning messages, first. But I try not to stay up too long because I've been noticing that I really need sleep.

6:30 I wake up around this time naturally, dress, and try to be downstairs before 7am.

7:00 A take over the baby and feed him his breakfast. Some mornings, but not very often, I drive the girls to their kindergarten only ten minutes away. On those days I also need to help them get ready for kindergarten. If the parents drive the girls, I might help get the girls ready if they want, but normally they prefer one of the parents helping them. 

8:00 I make myself breakfast of eggs and vegetables.
Morning: I have the baby until noon. I play with him or hold him or let him play along depending on his mood. If he's able to play on his own, I clean, sometimes just a little straightening up, sometimes a deeper cleaning with floors and bathrooms. I often study and read with him or work on hand projects. Late morning he usually gets a bit clingy, so I hold him and dance with the radio until he falls asleep. Then I might do some writing or more cleaning.    

Noon: I feed the baby, then eat something, too. Once the mother is home, I go to my room and do a dance workout and stretching for an hour or more, then I shower.    

Afternoon: The girls often come in and out of my room as I dance, or later write and read. Sometimes I go on walks and they come with me. Or sometimes I go to town, or hang out with friends, or do my German homework. Or I work on some projects, or hang out with kids, or help them clean their rooms. 
Sharing a snow tube
4:30 On Mondays and Wednesdays I drive to my German course, then to my Wing Chun classes. 

7-8:00 We have dinner, and it's usually very doughy and/ or sweet. Many different German dishes. I've enjoyed learning about the new foods, and can't wait to make some of them when I go home. After dinner, I often help clean up.    

Evening: If I'm not at my classes, we might play cards. Or the older ones will watch a movie on Friday night. Usually, I'll go to my room and write/ work/ call home.    

Weekends: Usually free, and I usually go to a Catholic church service with my Au Pair family. On Saturdays I usually relax, hang out, or do something with friends, or go on long walks.
Reading to kids before their bedtime 
Of course, life is never as sweet and unique as a written routine makes it look like. Often it's better ;) Some days it's a struggle to find time (or energy) to dance, or to study, or to get out of my bubble and do stuff.

At first I felt I was always comparing the two families. But now I feel I've had two very unique, fulfilling experiences, and both better than many Au Pairs have. With both families, I've had much free time to pursue interests of my own, and in both places I've met many interesting people.

Overall, I feel I've had a very blessed Au Pair experience and have loved my typical day-to-day.


  1. Snow tube sledding looks fun! I know sometimes I don't have a lot of energy for my workouts, but the more I do it, the more I want to do it, and look forward to it. I like to do barre workouts. :)

    1. Have you never snow tubes? We do it all the time with our youth group with old tractor tubes. And same! More I dance the less I wish to not do it. So much energy ;) you should email me some of your favorite barre workouts to check out.

  2. This was so interesting!!! Au Pair life is a lot different than I thought: I'm not entirely sure where I got the idea, lol, but I thought an Au Pair was with the kids pretty much whenever they weren't at school and that housecleaning was actually part of the job. Kind of like a housekeeper, a nanny, and a governess mixed together, haha. But yeah, this was super interesting to read! Thanks for posting it!


    1. I mean, when I'm lazy I do tell people it's basically like being a nanny, you just arent paid as well and it's solely set up as a culture exchange program.

      That being said, most Au Pairs I know have it as you imagined. And technically speaking, they have the kids most of the time when they are out of school, as did I with my first Au Pair family. And many other Au Pairs do a lot of, if not most of the cleaning and laundry, too. Both of my families were good at the culture exchange part of the deal, but I've seen many be treated basically as cheap help.

    2. Ah, okay. So I guess it just kind of varies by the family you get. And I actually didn't know that it was a culture exchange program either; that's really cool!

    3. Definitely varies from family to family! And yes, that's supposed to the idea of it, to live with another family in ankther country; one can't be an Au Pair in their own country.


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