The Eternal Question...

By Nanny Deb
guest 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, 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


Anonymous said...

This happened right on my street. Mom hired a nanny, maybe an au pair, I'm not 100% sure. Young, like 20, tiny, thin, Asian, pretty, you get the idea. Mom was 30-something and looked good, but looked her age, etc. Dad was the same, nothing special but not ugly.

And she'd be out on the street, watching the kids play in a short little miniskirt, but whatever, right?

Dad most certainly did leave the Mom for Hot Little Nanny. Left her and his two children, went off with Hot Little Nanny and now has a new baby with her.

~ Annie

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, I forgot, we used to see him coming home in the middle of the day all of the time when he supposed to be at work (and his wife was at work 30 miles away).

~ Annie

aaagh! said...

i'm a normal looking nanny and i think thats been a huge part of my success, not a fat slob and not a threat, the emaciated women i work for love it.

Cutenanny;) said...

I'm an Asian, tiny, slim nanny too, but I love my job and I won't steal my dadboss to my momboss. I'm just here to work and take care of their kids. I know my limitations and I'm a trustworthy person. Although I had a bad experience with the kids grandfather trying to hit on me, I right away talk to his face that I'm not comfortable of his actions and I don't want him doing that again.

Cutenanny;) said...

And oh I actually had an experience with my ladyboss in manhattan and she fired me because she doesn't like my perfume and she always looks at me from head to toe like she's reminding me that I'm a lesser person than her WTH! I hate insecure women!

TinyDancer said...

I am a married nanny, I wonder if me being married would get rid of that fear even if MB thinks I'm prettier than her? I guess I kind of understand where those mom's are coming from, especially with a stay at home dad. BUT How many people go searching to have an affair?? Not many, the relationships just grow. I do, however think that the attractiveness of the nanny has nothing to do with it. The parents need to work on their own relationship. Spend time together, communicate, meet each others needs. If the parents have a good strong relationship an affair shouldn't happen. When I'm a mother though I wouldn't have a problem hiring a "hot" nanny however I would have a problem hiring a slutty one.

TC said...

I went on an interview once and the mom left the room to go get the baby out of her crib. while she was gone the man asked me if I had a boyfriend and startled I said yes (I didn't at the time) and that's when he told me he was glad I had a boyfriend because he's heard stories about the nanny hitting on the father and since he was going to be home sleeping while I was there he just wanted to make sure. I didn't buy it and thankfully they called to tell me they were going with someone older lady who also happened to be a grandmother.

I think for the most part most nannies just do their job, The dad boss that I work for is home often and sure he may be cute but I don't have any desire to sleep with him. I see him in his 'natural environment' I see a man who is too lazy to play with his kids, take the Christmas tree down, pick up his nasty dirty underwear, to lazy to clean up after himself and I certainly wouldn't want to sleep with someone so lazy.

nycmom said...

It makes zero difference to me. I've had supermodel-looking au pairs, gorgeous midwestern part-time nannies, average nannies, and frumpy older married women.

I feel confident in my relationship with my husband and am not worried he would be tempted. Of course, cheating happens even when spouses are confident. However, I think if my husband is going to cheat, he's going to do it regardless of whether there is a PYT available or he has to seek her out.

I do care a bit about someone's work attire in that I wouldn't want a caregiver who dressed up for work and was not comfortable getting down on the floor to play with kids, but that's about it.

sharon said...

trivia - Prince John of Gaunt (son of King Edward III in the 14th century) married the nanny - Katherine Swynford. The British Royals are descended from her - and many other european houses.

another nanny said...

I think for some moms it's not just about "hot" nanny being more likely to sleep with their husbands. Incredibly attractive nannies can sometimes (true or not) come across as "high maintenance," which may be a turn off. Also, moms might be concerned about the attention the nanny will get when out with the children...people can be really crude at times.

Not saying I agree with those reasons, because looks don't really influence how well you can care for children.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Two other examples of men who hooked up with their nannies. Jude Law cheated on Sienna Miller with Daisy Wright his children's nanny and Ethan Hawke actually married his nanny, though he didn't actually cheat on anyone in the process.
Anyway, I am an attractive nanny and find that it can be a good thing or a bad thing. For example, I went to an interview with a couple last year. The father would be working from home and the mother would be working outside of the home. Well, they got me through a referral from a previous employer and the wife had told me she heard GREAT things about me and was anxious to meet me. Well during our interview, me and her hubby hit it off real well. He was outgoing like me and she was kinda reserved. (For the record, I would never in a million years ever ever cheat with a married man..much less my Dadboss...gross!!) Anyway, guess the mom saw it too and I never heard from her again which was the feeling I got at the interview. ;(
When I work, I intentionally dress down. I do not dress skimpy or wear too much make-up. I once worked for a couple where the Momboss was twice my size and used to run on the treadmill for 1/2 hr daily. She had to eat all healthy food and only wore black because she thought it made her look thinner. Well whenever I would show up in shorts (not daisy dukes by the way) and eat my potato chips during should have seen the way she would glare at me!!!
It usually bothers only the women since they have such issues anyway. The husbands have never done or said anything inappropriate to me. The only thing I notice about them is that is seems they try to go out of their way NOT to look at me too long or say anything that might be taken out of context. I also try to mention their wives as much as I can in the conversation too!
Last year when I was wondering why I was being interviewed by many interested families but not being hired by any, a guy friend of mine from school bluntly told me that it could possibly be because the wives might be jealous some of the husbands would like me. He told me to tone it down and see what happened. I did and it worked.
I disagree that a nanny should look frumpy though. A frumpy person in general is someone who doesn't care about their appearance. I think a person who grooms herself and makes a conscious effort to look as good as she can shows that she is willing to make an effort with many other things and that is a good example for the children she cares for.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Tiny Dancer it is funny that you bring the "married" thing up. I just realized that it is always the wife who asks me if I am married or not. When I say no, they then (always) ask me if I have a boyfriend. I usually wonder why they ask me that and why it matters, but you may have a point. Maybe a married nanny is safer.
Another Nanny it is true about other people. This summer I took my charge to a carousel. The guy who worked on it was such a flirt. When me and my charge were riding the carousel, he stood by us the whole time and made flirty comments to me about how cute I was and how my charge was so lucky to spend the day with me, etc. I almost fell when I got off from dizziness and he grabbed my arm and said, "Whoa..did I cast a spell on you or what???!" Thankfully, my charge was only 22 months and could not tell his parents what happened.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I encourage all of you guys to read the article and comment from the above poster. I love the honesty of the writer and the honesty of the 51+ comments below.
Nannies, this article provides great insight. I will post this on my Facebook page.

CuriousDad said...

Katherine Swynford, was not a nanny, she was a governess. She did not have an affair with him till after his first wife had died of the plague.

Though there are indications that the ailing Duchess Blanche was already planning that Katherine would stand in her stead once she was gone. To insure her man would be taken care of by someone she trusted.

They consummated their affair sometime after his wifes death in 1369.
However, he had to marry Infanta Constance of Castile do to political considerations in 1371. This is when Katherine bore him four children.

Not until two years after his second wifes death was he able to wed the Katherine, in 1396.

Fancy VS Frumpy said...

I believe many families do not hire super models because they see them as high maintenance and stereotypically unintelligent.

I believe many families do not hire frumpy nannies because the family does have an image to maintain (whatever that image may be). The family may think to themselves, "If my nanny cannot adequately care for herself (looks, health, weight etc) - how can I can trust that she will be a positive role model in my child's life in regards to these areas?"

I think I fall in the happy medium. I am average (maybe average plus) but definitely no super model. I am in good shape and can actively keep up with children all day. I do not require naps and I work 18 hours most days. I wear clothing to work that is appropriate and conducive to playing with and caring for children. Often, I wear a nice pair of jeans with a tank top and cardigan. If we are going to the zoo or hiking, I will wear a matching Nike outfit or something of the sort. I wear light make-up. Obviously, if I am attending a school function or dinner I dress up a bit more.


Men are very visual and always like to look at a pretty girl! I had an affair with a daddy boss who lives in Bedford NY. He was not happy with his ugly bitch of a wife and I am the proud owner of a beach front condo in Jamacia! Its my reward for being discreet! The only sad part is I fell in love with him!

I imagine if his wife or any of his/her friends/family read this they could easily connect the dots! Oh Well that is what you get for cheating on your wife!

I probally won't be hanging out here much anymore because my story is getting old But maybe if there is a juicy story about a nanny fooling with her boss I might reappear!

Men cheat all the time even if they have a pretty wife like Tiger Woods! They like variety.

Elin Woods #1 Fan said...

MonkeyShines..interesting you mention Tiger Wood's wife. She was a nanny before she married him.:)

Stop the Madness said...

Is it just me or does anyone else COMPLETELY skip over anything Monkeyshines says? NEXT! I swear...I'd rather listen to my kids whine ALL day than listen to Monkeyshine's ridiculous drivel. Blahhh blahhhh blahhh BLAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

world's best nanny said...

I am happy with what I have at home. I had nicknames for some of my DadBosses i.e.

Goofy ( he laughed like Tigger!)

Gorgeous George (his head was so big it's a wonder there was room in the house for the kids)

Mr. Know It All, Mommas Boy, Shoulda been a girl daddy (Ick!)

Never got a shiver, a daydream or anything ever close.

Rocket Scientist said...

Fancy vs Frumpy,
you work 18 hours most days?? That doesn't even leave you enough time to get home and get a decent amount of sleep, let alone free time. How many days per week do you work?

Boston Suburbs said...

Michael Kennedy, one of Robert Kennedy's sons, had a long-term relationship with the babysitter. He slept with her and gave her booze on Kennedy-family camping trips, and no one spoke up even though she was clearly underage.
He and his wife had a very public divorce. The wife is Frank Gifford's daughter, and Kathy Lee Gifford's stepdaughter.

Michael Kennedy later died when he went skiing and hit a tree. His blood alcohol was very high. That happened during another Kennedy family vacation.

The babysitter showed up in the news a few years later, her mother tried to commit suicide. Altogether a very sad story. The families were very wealthy, even the babysitter drove a Range Rover while still in high school (a present from her parents).

another blonde nanny said...

Well I have a different opinion. I am now 27 but still as hot and desirable as I was when I was 22 and first a nanny. The difference is I have grown accustom to the lifestyle working as a nanny affords me and men I would never have considered indulging, I would. In fact I honestly feel myself tingling when my male boss is anywhere near. And worse, I'm hoping he feels it and starts having sexual thoughts about me. That's how it starts.

April said...

Another Blonde Nanny...ooohhh sounds like a juicy story just waiting to happen!!!

Vanessa said...

I guess I'm a cute girl, not sexy or anything. I dress super casual at work because there is no reason to wear skimpy outfits. You're not there to look good for anyone. But yeah I've had a couple of DBs who have become attracted to me, for some reason. One of them went as far as to confess it. The other never did anything but it was rather obvious, especially when he would come home from work in the middle of the day and spend a lot of time talking to me while the kids were asleep. We were friends and he never crossed any lines so I didn't say anything. But to the one who confessed it, I just set him straight from the get go and he never did anything like that again. The wives are both great people, and I guess the reason why the husbands go for those things is because of some silly fantasy they might have or a wish to get their youth back, or a way to still feel attractive. I don't know... but sometimes the nanny doesn't have to be a knockout. She just has to be there and be relatively attractive.

Fancy Vs Frumpy said...

Rocket Scientist,

I work 5-6 days a week. I work full time for a family and full time for a corporation. I do not need a lot of sleep and I love being able to use different skills in different places.

I also am taking a graduate level course in the late evening one night a week.

It's almost like being a single, working mom! :) But I enjoy it and am treated like a Queen!

Candi said...

You are walking in the mall, and you see two women walking near you. One woman is dressed in tattered gray sweat pants, grayish-white tennis shoes, and a black halter top. The other woman is dressed in a freshly pressed gray business suit and black high heels. What assumptions do you make about these two women, they lifestyles they lead, and how they relate to others?

First impressions are important to many families. Many families will not hire a babysitter without a picture. Truly, a picture can say a thousand words. But people are so much more than what meets the eye.

Interviews are opportunities for families to get to know prospective babysitters. Thorough knowledge cannot be gleaned from just one interview, but basic knowledge can. The goal of interviewers and interviewees is the same: to provide as much information as practical to ensure that the job is a good fit for the interviewee and the interviewee is a good fit for the job. After all, neither the interviewer nor the interviewee wants a failed employment relationship. Sometimes, however, a prospective babysitter may answer an interview question in a way that seems inconsistent with the way that she presents herself. When balancing what an interviewee says with what an interviewee projects (i.e., her appearance, etc.), most interviewers will favor the latter over the former because of the fear of obscured or misrepresented information.

For these reasons, how you present yourself is important. Your clothing, hair style, jewelry, and...

Rocket Scientist said...

Wow, Fancy vs Frumpy, I'm impressed! I need my downtime, so your schedule would kill me, haha! I'm glad it works for you, though :)