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house rules for au pairs

16 replies

redheadmum · 09/07/2006 10:18


I'm considering getting an au pair ...but am wondering how to sort out house rules. My DH is v concerned about losing personal space, but thinks it will be hard to have house rules. I think we can set some rules, but be flexible.

What do other mums with au pairs do?????

OP posts:

Bugsy2 · 09/07/2006 11:16

well, it is really about what you want.
So for example most people would probably have a basic list (no smoking, no hitting/smacking kids, no houseguests without asking) and then you tailor it to your specific needs. So some people would say no answering the front door if alone in the house, please don't eat all the food in the fridge in one day, if using a shared bathroom - guidelines on times that not good for them to be in there, & so on.
If you recruit through an agency then most of them will give you an outline of basic houserules & also an expectation of help you can expect to receive.


Ladymuck · 09/07/2006 11:27

I guess that the hard thing is that this is one fo those areas that you only learn by experience. It is down to a mix of "house rules", the personality of the au pair and your own state of mind.

If their room is an appealing refuge then she won't be under your feet all the time. If security is a big issue for you then make sure that she knows how you feel about locking windows/doors etc. My personal peeve was for them not to get up too erly (as my ds's tend to wake early anyway and once awake are up for the day!).


dizzydo · 10/07/2006 12:42

Ladymuck, respect. I am impressed!! I have never in seven years of having au-pairs had one who gets up early . One AP I had came back from two weeks in Turkey with us went straight upstairs at 4am on the morning we returned, (it was a Saturday)and slept right around until Sunday at 11.00am!

I have houserules much along the lines as suggested but to be honest as already mentioned you have to make most of them up with each new one because they all have their funny little ways! But deffo no smoking, no smacking, no swearing in front of the children, never allow callers into the house without me there, do not allow the children to play outside alone, no boyfriends to stay, cant think of anything else off the top of my head.


MrsRecycle · 10/07/2006 12:58

Dizzydo - sorry to hear that you may now need an AP - but it looks like things might turn for the best.

Completely agree about the early starts. This is my first week without an AP and we are managing quite well by getting up earlier. This morning, I thought back to our old AP and how flexible we were in changing our schedule to accommodate her plans but not once did she think to get up early so she could meet us halfway.

I've never had house rules but with each AP that you have, you learn to approach things differently.


dizzydo · 10/07/2006 13:28

Hi Mrs R. Thanks for the post. It does look as if it may work out well anyway and it will be until September and then I will be going it alone. Totally agree with what you say about getting up earlier in the morning to do stuff, it's amazing how much you can get through in the house in an hour or so. I have being do that since our AP left and I have managed to stay largely on top of things, it's just the days I work and the school holidays looming that was causing me concern.

Sorry for the hijack readhead


Uwila · 10/07/2006 13:48

House Rules Thread

And for a goof laugh, read this link{\oldie but goodie}


Uwila · 10/07/2006 13:48

House Rules Thread

And for a good laugh, read this link{\oldie but goodie}


Uwila · 10/07/2006 13:49

And for a good laugh, read this oldie but goodie


redheadmum · 10/07/2006 14:14

I guess i was also hoping people would post the pitfalls too....

what I mean is...what about using the phone to call home? what do you do about boyfriends/people over? these are only things I've picked up by reading other threads (it made me afraid...v afraid!! iyswim

any thoughts?

OP posts:

MrsRecycle · 10/07/2006 14:29

Again I was very generous and using (really quick and easy to register with) they could chat away whenever they wanted - well at 0.5p a minute it's cheaper than calling my dh in the next street!

But next time around, I'd definitely give them a set time for them to use the phone as they always seemed to have their long conversations when I wanted to chat - this despite the fact they had all day at home to do what they wanted. I always felt so rude asking to use MY phone and even then the old AP wouldn't finish the call and I would have to ask again.


tenalady · 10/07/2006 14:52

quick hi jack got an au pair in August and wondered how you get around the insurance situation with letting them use our car. It seems that our Insurance company wants nearly £90 for her to be added that is a lot of money for the occasional trip up the road to a club or swimming. Any experiences


tenalady · 10/07/2006 15:02



redheadmum · 10/07/2006 16:10

just read those threads maybe I'll think some more on the AP!!!

anyone want to add positives about h ow much they love their AP?!!!!

OP posts:

MrsRecycle · 10/07/2006 16:23

Redheadmum - to restore your faith a bit, my wonderful AP from last year who was with us for the full year, and is loved to pieces by my 2 dds, is so wonderful that she is going to be helping me out 1 day a week (live-out) for the foreseeable future. At this moment in time I love her to bits


jura · 10/07/2006 17:14

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

celtic66 · 10/07/2006 19:27

redheadmum - I have had 2 wonderful Au pairs, one dreadful and others just average with ups and downs...i find the houserules make like easier for both us and the Au pair,everyone knows where they stand from the begining.
mine are pretty much along the same lines as others.

My list gets longer ever new Au pair
whole new points concerning boyfriends...Not to snogg them on the drive way unless they don't mind being viewed on CCTV

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