Day in the Life of an Au Pair

Every au pair has a different schedule. It all depends on how old your host kids are, whether or not they go to school, if you have a parttime job to make some extra money or what chores your host family gives you. There are even some people that have to be at home all day in case there’s a delivery. This is what a typical weekday in my life looks like. My host kids both go to school and I work as a freelance translator during the day.

Morning

My host dad leaves for work around 6 am and usually wakes me up (my room is on the ground floor). I squint at my phone screen, drop it back down and turn around, falling back asleep. Thirty minutes later, my alarm goes off and I get up. If I’m lucky, I get thirty minutes of silence in the kitchen. I clear of the kitchen counter while I make coffee and then sit down with a book.

Around 7 am, my host mum comes downstairs and we have a quick chat before she leaves for work. Usually, I can hear the kids getting ready by then. If they are still asleep, I go upstairs to wake them up at 7:15. Luckily, the kids are very independent and they everything themselves. Once they have showered and dressed, I watch them eat breakfast and clear off the table when they’re done.

If there’s enough time, the kids go back upstairs to play until I call them at eight o’clock. This is the most frustrating part of my morning: they never have their stuff ready to go. Whether it’s socks, homework or something for Show-and-Tell, there’s always something that they can’t find. I drop them off at school at half past eight.

Free time

Once the kids are at school, I get a couple of hours on my own. I try to go to the gym every day so that’s where I go (without stopping by the house). At the gym, I usually run a couple of miles and do a bit of weightlifting. Sometimes, I go to a yoga class, but those run quite late. I get back home around 10 and drink more coffee while I watch YouTube videos.

When I finish my coffee, it’s time to get to work. This work varies from writing my thesis to doing chores around the house, translation work or working on this blog. If I really don’t want to do work, I call my mum because that’s one of the best ways to procrastinate.

Afternoon

I leave the house at 3 pm to pick the kids up from school and we usually get back around half past three. If it’s warm enough for me to not freeze to death, I take the kids to the park. They can run around and get rid of some of that excess energy and I can sit and read my book. If I don’t feel like going to the park, however, they just go upstairs and do their homework or play games.

Fortunately, my host mum is a teacher. Most days, she gets back from work between half past four and give. On the days that she’s home late, I cook a simple dinner for everyone. If she’s early, she makes the most delicious (very spicy) meals that will never be made again because she forgets what she put in them.

Evening

Dinner takes anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on whether or not the kids like the food. Once the table is cleared, I’m back in my room. Sometimes I do some more work, but I usually try to relax and read a book or watch reruns of my favourite shows.

And that’s what my days usually look like. To sum it all up: I spend a lot of time in my room drinking coffee and staring at a screen.

What does your daily schedule look like?

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68 Comments

  1. Charli B
    24 September 2018 / 5:12 pm

    Thanks for sharing your day with us. I’ve always wondered what Au Pairs get up to during the day when children they look after are at school.

  2. 24 September 2018 / 12:07 am

    I think your day is one to be envied by many – including me! My days are typically busy with me trying to catch up with deadlines and other tasks!

  3. Katrina Ellen
    22 September 2018 / 7:39 pm

    Being an au pair would probably be such a great experience.Thank you for sharing it with us

  4. Olivia
    22 September 2018 / 10:11 am

    This is seriously so insightful. I had a friend that was an au pair and didn’t have a great experience so I never knew what It was like! It’s awesome to read about your experience!

  5. 22 September 2018 / 5:32 am

    I thought about being an au pair when I was younger. I think you have a good position. Sounds like you aren’t changing any diapers or even teaching them French. I hope you enjoy and get what you want out of your stay there.

  6. 22 September 2018 / 2:09 am

    Very interesting – thanks for sharing! I’ve actually always wanted to live in another country with a host family for a while, but never got around to actually doing it.

    May from http://www.lavieenmay.com

  7. 21 September 2018 / 9:28 pm

    So cool you find time to share your au pair journey! Your kids sounds cool πŸ™‚

  8. 21 September 2018 / 6:46 pm

    interesting thanks for a glimpse into your life. always curious of how others live thanks for sharing

  9. Emily
    21 September 2018 / 12:11 pm

    Mt friend does this for a traveling company and loves it!!! She works in Australia currently! Awesome insight!

  10. 21 September 2018 / 4:02 am

    Can I say I would enjoy your schedule for a month. I am a tad more busy than that, but do get time in for running or a workout. That is as good as my coffee in the morning.

    • maartjevansandwijk
      Author
      21 September 2018 / 7:45 am

      I can definitely do that in a different post! πŸ™‚

  11. Aditi
    21 September 2018 / 3:47 am

    I read your posts a while back and I came across this ‘au pai’ concept and was baffled but soon after, I met an acquaintance who was one!

  12. 21 September 2018 / 3:25 am

    Such a wonderful post. I will definitely take inspiration from your tidy schedule and use it for my untidy life. Thanks for sharing!

  13. mjndiaye
    21 September 2018 / 1:51 am

    I’m up by 6am and getting lunches, my coffee and myself ready for work. Kids get up about 630-645 and it’s a blur until we’re out the door by 715. I drop them off at my mom’s, go to work, pick them back up around 5 and then it’s home for dinner, family time and maybe some blog work if it’s a chill night. I usually end up staying up way too late, then back at it the next morning!

  14. 21 September 2018 / 1:37 am

    Right now I am doing a temporary freelance assignment at a visitors’ information center. I’m working 40 hours a week. That will be finished in a few weeks, and I’ll go back to my regular freelance writing and editing work. I do all of that from home.

  15. swathiiyer
    21 September 2018 / 1:24 am

    My daily routine is also crazy in the ,morning, once kids gone to school I sit and read recipes for my blog and make them and take pictures, videos, I need to cook the meal also. in between after kids will come back from school and hubby from work.

  16. 20 September 2018 / 9:22 pm

    Wow what a busy life you have as an ai pair. At least you get a few hours free to go to the gym etc x

  17. happilyeverdeb
    20 September 2018 / 8:27 pm

    My days are normally is a disarray because of the mountain of work I have to do. Ever since having my daughter I haven’t had much time for writings, especially being back in school and trying to maintain a household. The best times I can put my creative mind to work is literally at approximately 3 in the morning. If only there was more time in a day.

  18. 20 September 2018 / 4:25 pm

    Your day doesn’t sound too bad. Sounds like the kids are pretty independent and not too much trouble. Thank you for sharing your day with us.

    • maartjevansandwijk
      Author
      20 September 2018 / 7:58 pm

      They are very independent! And really polite as well πŸ™‚

  19. 20 September 2018 / 3:58 pm

    That sounds like an amazing busy day but great that you also have time complete your daily routine.

  20. 20 September 2018 / 3:58 pm

    I’ve never heard of an au pair before, From what I gather its a cross between a foreign echange student and a nanny? or am I way off base.

  21. Megan
    20 September 2018 / 1:40 pm

    I’ve never heard of an au pair before this, but thank you so much for enlightening! This seems fascinating.

  22. 20 September 2018 / 11:25 am

    The life of a Au Pair seem interesting. The most fun part is where you can experience diffderent places and culture and people, this will help you tremendously on your knowledge, world perspective and life in general. Thx for sharing!

    • maartjevansandwijk
      Author
      20 September 2018 / 7:57 pm

      Yeah, I’ve really enjoyed learning more about English culture and of course meeting all these lovely new people!

  23. 20 September 2018 / 4:02 am

    I’ve never known an Au Pair or knew what they did. I do remember to movie though lol. Very interesting.

    • maartjevansandwijk
      Author
      20 September 2018 / 7:56 pm

      Is there a movie about au pairs? Definitely need to see that one…

  24. 20 September 2018 / 2:01 am

    So interesting! I had a friend who was an au pair and had the chance to live in a few exotic locations. It’s a great opportunity to see the world! My day is mostly studying for the social work state exam, teaching yoga and blogging. It’s a constant juggle but I love everyday!

    • maartjevansandwijk
      Author
      20 September 2018 / 7:56 pm

      Yes, it’s a wonderful experience! I just started doing yoga a couple of weeks ago – it’s a great way to relax a bit πŸ™‚

  25. Devyani Ray
    20 September 2018 / 12:35 am

    I have heard great reviews about Au Pairs, but have never tried one. May be for my next one πŸ™‚

    • maartjevansandwijk
      Author
      20 September 2018 / 7:55 pm

      Me and my host family definitely recommend it! πŸ™‚

  26. 20 September 2018 / 12:25 am

    Interesting life as an au-pair. You are so lucky! The only downside is that you may not have a lot of time for yourself.

    • maartjevansandwijk
      Author
      20 September 2018 / 7:54 pm

      I think this is a problem with really small children! So happy I went for the older ones πŸ™‚

  27. Amber
    19 September 2018 / 9:19 pm

    Whew, you sound busy. I wake up around the same time and it’s not easy for me since I’m not a morning person. Instead of coffee, I drink a lot of Diet Coke to keep me going.

  28. 19 September 2018 / 8:40 pm

    This is so great. You seem to have a really good routine down. I love that the Mom will never be able to make the same thing twice because she does her own thing.

    • maartjevansandwijk
      Author
      20 September 2018 / 7:54 pm

      Yeah, she’s a great cook! πŸ™‚

  29. 19 September 2018 / 8:27 pm

    There are some jobs that are under appreciated. This is one of them IMO. To care for someone else’s children all day long knowing that one day you will no longer be involved seems like a tough job.

    • maartjevansandwijk
      Author
      20 September 2018 / 7:53 pm

      Aw, thanks πŸ™‚ There are people that seem to think that it isn’t a real job… I’m definitely still going to be involved with these kids even after I’m done being their au pair but it will be very different since I won’t see them every day…

  30. tizzysays
    19 September 2018 / 8:01 pm

    It sounds like you are lucky enough to not be stuck in the house all day with babies or toddlers. You are one lucky au pair.

    • maartjevansandwijk
      Author
      20 September 2018 / 7:52 pm

      Yes, I am! πŸ™‚

  31. 19 September 2018 / 6:42 pm

    My friend moved to NZ to be an au pair when she realized she didn’t want to live in the states anymore. That was about 11 or 12 years ago, clearly she likes it in NZ, ah!

    • maartjevansandwijk
      Author
      20 September 2018 / 7:52 pm

      I’m the same! As soon as I came to England, I knew I wanted to stay here forever πŸ™‚

  32. acraftymix
    19 September 2018 / 4:49 pm

    It sounds like a day I would love, but I think I’m probably not seeing the whole picture. It can’t be easy being away from home and trying to fit in around other people’s schedules. And even just trying to fit into the host family for those first few days/weeks must be quite rough. My day starts just like yours, only I wake myself up and then take the kids to school, go to work, fetch them from school, take them to after school activities, go back to work……. πŸ˜€ Please come au pair for me πŸ™‚

    • 19 September 2018 / 5:33 pm

      Honestly, the being away from home part has never really bothered me πŸ™‚ The first few weeks I was here were harder because you’re still trying to figure everything out. But I’ve been with them for over a year now so I know what everyone’s routines are. Picking up the kids from school always breaks up my day because you can’t really do anything else once they’re home… ;(

      • 19 September 2018 / 6:39 pm

        This is every stay at home moms problem too. I can never get anything done around the house because of the 2 year old, and when the 5 year old is home it’s even worse. They take turns needing me for something, so I never get a chance to do my own things.

  33. 19 September 2018 / 4:07 pm

    My daily schedule almost remains same yet I never get bored. I wake up at 6am make my self a hard black coffee, go through news. My maid comes between 6:45am to 7:00am. Once shes in i go for shower. After shower i start getting ready for work. My maid gets my breakfast and coffee again and leave for work at 9am(my maid has extra keys). I sometimes get time for lunch sometimes not. I take my second coffee at 4pm. I leave work and go for my own factory house at 7 pm. Check out and leave from there at 8:30pm. Reach home at 9:45pm. Take a shower and relax and after that have my dinner at around 11pm and then sit with blogging stuff till 1:30-1:45 after that I sleep off while reading book.

    That’s my daily routine. Weird I know.

    • 19 September 2018 / 4:08 pm

      P.S I’m a 25 yo psychologist and I also have my own business.

      • 19 September 2018 / 5:31 pm

        Sounds like an incredibly busy day! I don’t think I would survive on only a few hours of sleep…

        • 20 September 2018 / 1:30 pm

          I’m accustomed to it. Perks of being a lonely person.

  34. 19 September 2018 / 1:59 pm

    What a fab job! I really enjoyed reading about your day. It sounds as if you have a lovely host family and that you have settled in well. πŸ™‚

    • 19 September 2018 / 5:30 pm

      Yeah, I’m really happy with my host family. Have been here for a little over a year now – it did take me some time to get into a routine when I first got here (and that was a completely different one)…

  35. Geraline Batarra
    19 September 2018 / 8:52 am

    Such a nice post and you give me an idea on how to manage my time and do some activities aside from working.

  36. Alexis
    19 September 2018 / 5:15 am

    Sounds like you have a great host family. I know some au pairs have a much more hectic schedule.

    • 19 September 2018 / 5:29 pm

      Yeah, I really lucked out with my host family πŸ™‚ It also helps that I looked for families with kids that went to school all day. Couldn’t imagine looking after a baby all day long…

  37. 18 September 2018 / 7:37 pm

    I’ve never been an au pair so super curious. Great post and fun to read

  38. 18 September 2018 / 6:54 pm

    This sounds like a great day and a nice job. It is amazing that you have so much time for books.

  39. 18 September 2018 / 5:56 pm

    Sounds like a great day of yours. I normally wake up very early 4:30-5:00. I do some chores at home depending on day, than go for a walk with my dogs and after leave for gym. After I come back and have coffee with husband. After I go to my computer and work traditionally or on my blog. After lunch (which I always eat with my husband) I come back to work again or leave home for work outside depending on a day. In the evening I normally read a book/watch movies/play nintendo before going to sleep at around 23:30.

    • 18 September 2018 / 9:12 pm

      Wow, you do wake up really early! Sounds like a great routine you have down! Do you change things up regularly or has this been your routine for a while?

  40. aisasami
    18 September 2018 / 2:39 pm

    I used to work with a girl who was an au pair in Italy. She enjoyed it!

  41. 18 September 2018 / 1:07 pm

    Are you able to get out and experience the culture of your host country? I have always thought being an au pair would be a great way to experience life in another country – I hope you are enjoying your time!

    • 18 September 2018 / 9:08 pm

      Yes, definitely! I usually go out to visit other cities on the weekends / school holidays. But there is time during the day to do that as well. πŸ™‚

  42. Rachael Eberhardt
    18 September 2018 / 11:19 am

    I am glad that you are able to manage your time and have time to do your routine. I hope I can also do mine as I have a busy schedules everyday but you definitely give me an idea of what I need to do.

    • 18 September 2018 / 9:10 pm

      Glad this post sort of helps! Every day is different and my routine is definitely not perfect… I also like to write everything I have to do down on paper so I can check them off… πŸ™‚

  43. 18 September 2018 / 10:21 am

    My daily routine would be working out in the morning, work then work again. That’s when I am not traveling. When I travel, the whole routine is totally different and busy photoshooting and exploring the new place.

    • 18 September 2018 / 9:16 pm

      What kind of work do you do? And do you travel a lot? πŸ™‚

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