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Why don't we ever see the Kardashians' nannies?

Something strange is happening in mothers’ groups all over the country: the phenomena of the disappearing nanny. I’ve been a culprit of it myself.

What is this pernicious-sounding situation, you ask? It’s when a parent wipes any evidence of having any paid help in their lives, from conversation, from social media, from photographs, everything except IRL.

I only came about to this realisation recently at my husband’s work event, when I bumped into an acquaintance. She holds a senior position in government, her husband is a partner at a major firm, travels extensively, AND they have four kids. Neither of them are Australian. They don’t have family here.

I’m processing all this information and I’m thinking… how are you still standing? 

“Oh, we have a little help,” she says sheepishly.

Natalie Bassingthwaighte talks to Mamamia about she doesn’t actually want a nanny. (Post continues after audio.)

“What? You mean a nanny? I have one of those too!” I replied, a response which provoked an instant look of relief.

“Oh good! Because I don’t feel like I’m really meant to say that these days.”

Ladies (and gentlemen), we need to put a stop to this right now. We need to free the nanny. We need to stop pretending we can do it all single-handedly.

You know why? Because it takes a village to raise a child, and sometimes you need to pay those villagers.

Demoting the position of nanny to babysitter.

Babysitters look after your children a few hours a week, not a few days a week. Also, babysitters are normally of the high school student, neighbourhood kid variety.

If your caretaker has a working with children check and a St John’s ambulance certificate she’s a bona-fide, qualified nanny.

Check out some of the most famous on-screen nannies. (Post continues after gallery.)

Invisible nannies (on social media or otherwise)

Kim, along with other members of the Kardashian clan (namely Kourtney) are notoriously secretive about the help they receive around the house. Because despite having a round-the-clock reality show charting every minute detail of their lives, the nannies are NOWHERE to be seen.

This was pointed out by New York Magazine‘s The Cut:

“Why, in a show that is pretty often groundbreaking and transparent and ‘real,’ are they invisible? I know the Kardashians have nannies because, even though I am not a Kardashian, nor am I wealthy, I am a working mother and my daughter has had a nanny.”

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Kim and other members of the clan publicise who their hairdressers, stylists, and makeup people are. Why not the nanny? Why is she the headless person in all the photos?

North & Mase ????❤ #northwest #masondisick

A photo posted by North West Source (@itsbabynori) on

Unlike Kim, PR maven Roxy Jacenko has made it abundantly clear she has help. Help that she couldn’t live without.

She even mentioned it in her three-page character statement tended to court at her husband Oliver Curtis’ trial.

Roxy Jacenko's letter to the court. 

She's even posted images of her nanny on Instagram.

And far from looking uppity about it, she comes across to me as grateful. A grateful employer, whose career wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the extra hired help.

@huntercurtis14 and his fav person nanny fine aka @camillesweenz practicing for the Olympic diving team ????????

A video posted by Roxy Jacenko (@roxyjacenko) on

This aversion to posting pictures of nannies on social media goes beyond celebrities.

When I scroll through my feed, I see tonnes of photos of cute, giggley kids. Occasionally, I'll spy what I like to call the "nanny hand." It's the hand that obviously doesn't belong to the parent (who is not the person coincidentally taking the photo) but the DRUMROLL... you got it, the nanny.

Now, I'm not 100 per cent it's the nanny's hand, but I'm pretty convinced. The hand makes rare but telling appearances. It's seen propping up the six-month-old, or holding a spoon to the baby's mouth, or stopping that toddler from running onto the road in a fit of joy. It's like the hand from the Addams Family.

Could this be the hand of the nanny? Edited image via instagram/kimkardashian 

The nanny as the "rich person's domain."

As Laura June points out on The Cut, not all of us are Kim Kardashian... or Roxy Jacenko, for that matter. But a lot of us have nannies. We need to stop viewing the idea of hired help as a luxury for the few. A nanny is not a luxury. Sometimes, it's the only way to preserve a career. Sometimes it's to create a sense of extended family, where there is none. Sometimes they work as a substitute parent.

In this modern life, where grandparents are getting older, families are more mobile, and mothers are working, nannies have become a critical part of the familial operation. They give us our sanity and freedom back. And what could be more important than that?

Vive la nanny.

H/T The Cut

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