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.