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What the CEO Mother’s Viral Ad for a Nanny Says About Our Notion of Motherhood (Vogue)

Mary Poppins nanny - Motherhood

A CEO and a single parent from Silicon Valley recently had everybody’s attention with her advert for a nanny for her twin children. The now-deleted ad states that she already has a housekeeper, a gardener, an au pair and a property manager. Her expectations of this super nanny are that along with having a high IQ, being kind and efficient, she must also be a good strategist, know how to cook organic foods, plan camps, vacation and after-school activities. So far so good, but then it gets more specific. The ad asks that she must be able to read articles about eating beef and increases in breast cancer and can understand this information at a summary, correspond politely with parents of other children. Should be able to swim in a river, no less, body surf, ski and drive internationally and also know calisthenics.

I am filled with awe and admiration for this punctilious CEO mother because it must take a very clear-thinking mind to be able to articulate all these demands of a human being in the first place. I didn’t have this coherence even when looking for a husband, to say nothing of how vague I was when hiring my children’s nannies. All I managed to ask was, “Do you know baby’s/children’s work”, “Can you iron clothes?” and “Do you have a husband or a boyfriend who rings you all day?”. The last question was only asked to mentally brace myself for the number of hours that would be devoted to phone conversations. It was the boyfriends one lived in dread of, because married women, as we know, are least interested in speaking with their husbands.

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