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.”