What Sex Should The Nanny Be?

Reader: We’re thinking of hiring a nanny to assist with taking care of the kids.  We just had our fourth and our third is still under two, so an extra pair of hands around the house will be helpful.  The other two are six and five.  Both are excellently behaved, but still need attention, but in manageable amounts. Oh, and two of our kids (hopefully not three) have severe food allergies, and the wife and I don’t trust anybody to take care of them except us and my parents, i.e. not a nanny and not her parents.
I was wondering what you would say as to the sex of the nanny we should hire?  I stay at home to take care of the kids and do some writing on the side.  The reason the kids are so well behaved is, in part, because of my personal care and my intervention when they misbehave.  I also have a couple of extra tricks that are helping my older kids very much, so the wife is very happy with how I’m managing them and can easily see the value I add to the family by taking care of them full time. 
My wife is not nearly as good at taking care of the kids.  Not even close.  Luckily, she’s good at making money, so the tasks in our house are divided fairly well in terms of them being assigned to who could best accomplish them.
Anyway, we figured we’d have a nanny come by in the afternoons to help out.  I’d be home most or all of that time.  So, male nanny or female nanny?
I figure that the advantage of the male nanny is that nobody would suspect me of wanting to sleep with the nanny.  I’m not sure if an old/ugly nanny would help in that regard seeing as how it didn’t stop Arnold Schwarzenegger. 
The advantage of the female nanny is that women do really seem to be better at that sort of thing.  Also, I don’t want the WIFE home with another man if I have to go out and she’s at home.  I’m probably a lot more jealous than she is.  I am a trustworthy kind of guy in that regard, and I’m confident that I would behave completely appropriately.  I always do.  I always have.
I would not be at home alone with kids and nanny for all that long, maybe an hour or two a day.
Athol:  From a Game perspective, female nanny for the win. You + two females = good. You + competing male = silly.
From a more pragmatic point of view, rather than going the nanny route, why not the cleaning lady / household help route? If the nanny is any good they will bond with the kids directly and it will always get complicated in some way emotionally. But cleaning lady is just there to clean and be doing clearly defined tasks. Kids will probably like her being around, but it’s not going to turn into cuddles on the couch and reading a story with Mrs Lysol.
Some days you can stay home while cleaning is going on, some days you can just haul all the kids out and go to the park (or whatever).
Child care is a “what you make of it” task. The bar for failure on child care is set quite low, plenty of people just give the kids a food source and turn the TV on, for example. Cleaning a house though is a clearly defined task and has objectively measurable quality. You’ll be able to tell a good cleaning lady from a bad one way faster than a good nanny from a bad one.
Nanny’s probably cost more too. I think they probably do anyway.
Besides, you said you don’t actually trust a nanny to watch the children unsupervised… which is the entire point of having a nanny. Well… apart from having a completely legitimate way of having a 19 year old girl in your house following your orders.
Also you told me three or four times that you were above reproach and could be trusted with a hottie swanning around in tight shorts and low cut tops… bending over to pick up the children and stuff. So good with the children and her giggle. Pretty sure she flicked her hair purposely just then too….
…sorry I wandered off there for a second. Anyway, you probably are basically trustworthy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to take mental energy to keep shoving your Rationalization Hamster back in its cage to keep you well behaved.
I mean what’s the worst that could happen?
…yeaaaaaaaahhhhh… advise giving Mrs Lysol a call.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I have nothing to say on the cheating / jealousy / temptation / husband-wife-issues part of this that was the main point of asking here, but a completely practical aside:

    Having been through several nannies, the answer is young, female, hot (as it implies fit), bubbly, happy, cheerful nannies. And not for any naughty reason involving dad. Girls like that bounce up and down with enthusiasm and drag them off to the park or to the lake, or chase them around the house, or sit cross-legged on the floor in their play-room doing puzzles with them. That old broad you interviewed will probably straighten up your kitchen and idly keep an eye on them and make sure they don't stab themselves or each other. I don't know what the guy would do because that was just so obviously wrong I never even dug into it.

    On another front, the 18-year-old (or whatever minimum age you're comfortable with responsibility-wise) girl might be someone you can really respect and want to expose your kids to. There are all sorts of reasons an 18-year-old chick wants the job even if she's brilliant and going on to great things. The 35-year-old? The 35-year-old guy? Granted, it starts to become plausible again when considering a 65-year-old woman who might be a retiree or empty-nester who finds this distraction her speed, but again, she's napping and not teaching the kids to download fart apps on their ipods and squirting a hose at them.

    That happened to us last week. 5-year-old son told 3-year-old daughter to hold the hose to her heart and it would give her super-powers. She did as he went over to turn it on full blast. 3-year-old cries until Nanny responded with a thorough hosing down of son and all were happy.

    Athol does have a point though… this can be a bad idea if you *really* can't handle finding out about this escapade from her showing up dripping wet to find out if she can borrow a dry t-shirt from you.

    For my own part I knew she was the one for us when during the interview, with my wife there, I asked her, "What does that bracelet say that starts out, "I (heart) Boo…" and she turned her wrist and confidently said, "I heart boobies!" I said, "Nice." or some such and she paused a moment and said, "I just got it. It's for breast cancer." I responded, "If anyone ever asks again, don't explain that." and she laughed, bounced in her seat and said, "I love boobies! They're so awesome!"

  2. Anonymous says:

    If it's just for a few hours, the person should consider a "mommy/daddy's" helper. Middle/high schooler who can play with the kids and keep them out of his hair for a bit. They come after school, they leave in about 2 hours, and their a good resource for future babysitting.Can often be found in your own neighborhood!

    regarding food allergies, Dad can prepare appropriate snacks ahead of time. The helper is perfectly capeable of learning what is/is not okay to give children.

    Mommy/daddy helpers are usually a lot cheaper than a nanny or maid.

  3. Anonymous says:

    From a Game perspective, female nanny for the win. You + two females = good. You + competing male = silly.


    OTOH, childcare is a boondoggle. Your wife's (or failing that, your own) labor is better and cheaper than paying someone else. The second income needs to be pretty high to cover child care AND leave $ on the table after the taxman has his way with you (and that not counting extra car, gas, clothes, etc for the 2nd income). Better to watch you own kids….everybody benefits. The extra money is over-rated.

  4. New to the blog, wanted to make a comment on this one.

    To me this is a no brainer. But I can only make that comment based on the context of my own marriage.

    You get the female nanny if that is what you truly need. If you need a cleaning person, then get a cleaning person and not sweat the decision.

    I have always told my wife, when we discuss cheating, that should she make the choice to cheat on me I would consider it her loss and likely move on. I have also said that I would never cheat on her, unless there was something missing in our marriage like sex or emotional connection etc… And in that scenario, I would talk to her first and let her know what was missing for me and where I was leaning to see if there is something either of us could do to solve the problem.

    A female nanny in our house would honestly likely mean that my wife and I would acknowledge the potential for attraction on my part, but it would certainly reaffirm the fact that I am 100% committed to my wife, which she would likely dig and get turned on by.

    We have been married for only 5 years, but together for about 14 inclusive.

    My two cents.

  5. Yeah, I'm going to second the recommendation to hire a young female, preferably one that's as hot as possible. As a bonus, I'm getting seriously turned on just thinking about it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Cleaning lady FTW. She shows up once or twice a week to clean up all your messes. And then she leaves. Bonus points if she's butt ugly.

    That's how it worked in my family when I was growing up. The cleaning lady took the cleaning off my mother's back so she could focus on being a mother without going crazy over the cleanliness she needed.

  7. Stephenie Rowling says:

    I vote for cleaning lady too. No matter how awesome a nanny is, all the things you learned get trespassed to your kids by spending time with them. Nothing is better than that, IMO.

    Also shouldn't be what gender the nanny is?
    Just asking I'm ESL so I'm curious about the words that I can use or not.

  8. Anonymous says:

    "Sex" is the proper term. "Gender" is the term foisted upon us by feminists.

  9. "That's how it worked in my family when I was growing up. The cleaning lady took the cleaning off my mother's back so she could focus on being a mother without going crazy over the cleanliness she needed."

    I agree. If you are happily married don't go for the hot nanny, not unless you want to visit your kids every other weekend.

  10. I vote for the middle school child minder. Too young to hit on but old enough to cope. Not my daughter though; she could use the money but she *always* has her nose in a book.

    OTOH, when the little ones get a bit older it's good to leave them at loose ends. They can practice entertaining themselves without getting into trouble.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This has to be the most stupid letter ever sent in? A male nanny? Who the hell has ever had a male nanny? Is there such a thing?

    Male or female component is irrelevant. Common sense is just hire a nanny that's older and not attractive to the husband. Period.

    No offense, but this has to be the lamest letter ever sent in. Is your audience getting stupider?

  12. Athol Kay says:

    Anon 7:37 – Google "Male Nanny" Or perhaps read this…


    Speaking as a male nurse, you are the stupid one.

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