By Nanny Deb
The Eternal Question: Do Moms Want a Qualified Nanny, or a Frumpy Nanny? I recently read "Only ugly, hairy and saggy Nannies need apply" by Denise Cortes at babycenter.com, and started thinking about why moms would feel the need to hire nannies who are…less than attractive by current social standards. Is it basic insecurity? Do they actually believe that a “hot nanny” is going to sweep in and steal their husband? Do they have that little faith in their husbands? Or is it a generic suspicion of any attractive woman they and their spouse come in contact with?
First, the disclaimer – I am a Single Professional Nanny, not a Married Mom, and I am, frankly, fairly frumpy. I have also worked for more than 10 married couples over my 17+ year nanny career, and while I have enjoyed casually friendly relationships with both male and female employers, I have never felt any desire to try to push professional boundaries and develop a more intimate relationship with a “DadBoss”. Never. Ever. In fact, I once left a position after 1 month because I felt the DadBoss was verging on inappropriate behavior. He was a SAHD, and he would hang around me constantly, even when the kids were napping. It’s likely he was just bored or lonely, but it still felt wrong, so I ended the work relationship.
Now, of course, the “hot nanny” stereotype exists because there have been occasions where a husband and father has become sexually involved with his nanny, but frankly, the only example I can think of is Robin Williams, and his former nanny, now ex-wife , Marcia Garces. Of course, attraction is a personal and individual thing, but I don’t find either of them all that attractive.
So what drives the belief that a husband is going to walk away from his wife and kids for the chance to hook up with a hot nanny? It might be that women who have had children are a bit insecure about how they look in comparison to the (often childless) nanny, or it could be simple insecurity in their marriage, for whatever reason. The issue I have with a MomBoss choosing a nanny based on her looks as compared to the way MomBoss sees herself is that the children are the ones who may wind up shortchanged.
Think of it: You’re searching for a nanny for your infant and toddler. You have two top picks. Nanny A has an amazing resume, is involved in the local Nanny community, pursues additional educational options as they arise, has a background in ECE, and hit it off with your kids very quickly. Nanny B has some work gaps in her resume, and doesn’t seem too interested in furthering her childcare knowledge base. She also hit it off with your kids, and has other nanny friends. Who do you hire? If Nanny A is “hot” and Nanny B is frumpy, does that impact your choice? Would you rather have a less than terrific nanny who is going to be absolutely no competition for you in the looks department, or an amazing nanny who is also quite pretty? Do you potentially shortchange your kids to make yourself feel better, or do you go with the best choice for your kids and accept that you need to do some work on your self-esteem and security issues?
The other thing to remember here is that a true professional nanny is going to have appropriate personal boundaries, and that generally speaking, a nanny with good boundaries isn’t going to toss them aside in order to become the evil step-momster who stole daddy away from mommy and destroyed your kid’s lives. Just isn’t going to happen in 99% of the cases.
And when it does happen, I wonder how many of the husband-stealing-nannies are truly “hot” on any level? Maybe that’s fodder for another column…
If you would like to read more from Nanny Deb, please visit her Blog at http://talesfromthenannyhood.blogspot.com/