March 21, 2012

Are you surprised to learn that the best nannies make more money than the average pediatrician?

I'm not. Why should anyone be surprised by the comparison between the best of one thing and the average of another?
[T]here just aren’t enough “good” nannies, always on call, to go around. Especially since a wealthy family’s demands can be pretty specific. According to Pavillion’s vice president, Seth Norman Greenberg, a nanny increases her market value if she speaks fluent French (or, increasingly, Mandarin); can cook a four-course meal (and, occasionally, macrobiotic dishes); and ride, wash and groom a horse. Greenberg has also known families to prize nannies who can steer a 32-foot boat, help manage an art collection or, in one case, drive a Zamboni to clean a private ice rink.
Well, what if you — you, being a wealthy person — needed all sorts of services and you found one person who was great at all of them? Why would you even call that person a "nanny"?
And then there’s social climbing. “A lot of families, especially new money, are really concerned about their children getting close to other very affluent children,” Greenhouse says. “How do they do that? They find a superstar nanny who already has lots of contacts, lots of other nanny friends who work with other high profile families.” There are the intangibles too. “I’m working with a phenomenal Caribbean nanny right now,” Greenhouse says. “She is drop-dead beautiful. Her presentation is such that you’re proud to have her by your children’s side at the most high-profile events.”
This person is much more than a nanny. The real question is what would you pay for an individual utterly devoted to your family with an array of skills? And the answer is another question: How rich are  you? You'd pay anything!

Of course, it's even better to be in a family where people are doing these things for each other, motivated by mutual self-interest and good old-fashioned love. And when you have these things, do you ever stop and think about the economic value, or do you just take them for granted and only notice the economic value of a family member who's bringing in income? If the latter, you are a fool!

27 comments:

john said...

I rode a Zamboni once as a kid. IMS, I got motion sick on the turns around the goals.

edutcher said...

Keep in mind, you're talking about the person who will do more to raise the kid(s) in many cases than the so-called parents.

The people who feel the need for a nanny will probably be the ones with the designer child(ren), the same as they have a trophy wife.

WV "titzat" What some men say when the padded bra comes off as, "Where the titzat?".

Bob said...

Not surprised at all. Just look at the nanny ads on Craigslist in any major (wealthy) city. Expectations are always things like an honors degree from a top university or liberal arts college, fluent in a second language, strong swimmer, excellent cook, experience and availability for international travel for weeks at a time, teaching experience, etc.

Alex said...

Bob - you sound bitter.

thule222 said...

Why not eliminate the middle woman and just marry the supernanny?

Michael Haz said...

It's a challenge to arrange a good, ongoing threesome with an educated, hot woman. Finding one that the kids like and who can adapt to the 'nanny' role is a big plus.

Me, I worry that folks think the golden retriever is smarter than I am when we're in public.

Dante said...

There are the intangibles too. “I’m working with a phenomenal Caribbean nanny right now,” Greenhouse says. “She is drop-dead beautiful. . .

Is Beauty a plus or a minus? I guess it depends on your sex and sexual orientation.

ricpic said...

A phenomenal drop dead beautiful Caribbean nanny. Whose probably into voodoo bigtime. Yeah, perfect for the kids.

ricpic said...

I'll bet these great meals the supernannies cook are undersalted.

Freeman Hunt said...

I couldn’t think of any other field in which people with such disparate educational backgrounds could make the same amount.

LOL

Freeman Hunt said...

Obviously people would pay that much. I'd expect the fabulously wealthy to pay a lot more. If I were fabulously wealthy and going to hand over care of my children to someone else, not that I would do that, I'd pay an incredible amount of money. I'd pay crazy money. I'd pay nanny's whole family just entered the upper class money.

But I probably wouldn't get a nanny in any case.

More likely, if we suddenly started making millions, I'd be online the next day finding someone to move here to tutor my kids in Latin, Greek, and French. And I'd pay enough to make the move enticing.

David said...

My father, as he got a little older, was a dead ringer for Bob Hope.

But we lived in Pittsburgh, so no one was ever fooled.

David said...

"Is Beauty a plus or a minus? I guess it depends on your sex and sexual orientation."

It depends on your husband. I've known two guys whose nannies became their spouses.

shirley elizabeth said...

Working as a nanny got me through college (and got to travel, keep up a nice wardrobe...it's good money). The family introduced me to the mother-in-law as a "friend." Otherwise, I was told, she would just consider and look past me as "the help." A great family.

Franklin said...

There needs to be a quota system to encourage males to enter the lucrative nanny profession. Diversity, diversity, diversity ├╝ber alles!

traditionalguy said...

Today the social life of most educated and wealthy folks is not so often around the Church, or even the golf course.

It is around your kids and their kid friends' activities. So having your kids are in the hands of an impressive consiglieri is para materii to sending them to the most exclusive private school to create the parent's social group at school activities. And those schools have constant activities for parents to be a part of or just watch.

And driving a Mercedes level or better car to those events is expected.

The tuitions at the elite Academies have gone up 500% over the last 20 years, and there is a waiting list to get in. The good part of that is that these schools will expel kids for the slightest reasons, thus making the kids appreciate what they get and behave well.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

"The people who feel the need for a nanny will probably be the ones with the designer child(ren), the same as they have a trophy wife.
"


Sounds great! I got get started on this.

bagoh20 said...

I can't believe you would risk talking about this on a public blog. A huge value held by the 1% that is as yet untapped for it's tax value. Now it's gonna be ruined in pursuit of the quixotic balancing of the budget, like all good things before it. How long before the regulations start. Loose lips sink ships... and nannies. Thanks a lot!

Henry said...

Well, what if you — you, being a wealthy person — needed all sorts of services and you found one person who was great at all of them? Why would you even call that person a "nanny"?

So you can condescend? That's my bet.

There's clearly a toxic gender/class combination going on. The wife can't have the supernanny graduate to higher status and the man had better keep his mouth shut.

Someone asked one of the authors of The Nanny Diaries if the husbands ever hit on them and the response was not at all: "I'm the girl with baby barf on my sweatshirt."

The nanny, even the powerboat-driving kind, must stay barfed-on. The nanny must never become a right-hand man.

K.M. Peyton wrote a wonderful historical novel by that title. The psychological key to the story is that the male employer would rather hang out with his right hand man than spend a minute with his wife.

DCS said...

If a nanny makes a mistake, your kid sits in a wet diaper. If a pediatrician makes a mistake, your kid is dead. Any questions?

bagoh20 said...

I would think that a nanny that supervises your children for many hours at a stretch and often is much more important than the pediatrician that see them for 5 minutes on rare occasions. I would expect that nannies have killed and probably saved the lives of more children than pediatricians. Every time they grab their hand at an intersection, or pull them away from the edge of the pool, or take the bottle of Zanax away from them just in time.

Pediatricians certainly have more advanced and rare training and skills, but who really has to be exceptionally good at their job to keep your child safe.

William said...

Growing up, I knew some kids who had been raised by nannies. It was a different generation, and they were children of the affluent rather than of the super wealthy. Still, they all had horror stories about their nannies. The way poor kids talk about hard knocks, rich kids talk about nanny abuse. I can't remember any of the stories so they couldn't have been too horrible, but the rich kids I knew didn't have fond memories of their nannies.

Lawyer Mom said...

Frequently I file for occupational drivers licenses for clients. My favorites are always the mothers. Their job description goes on for pages. Dietitian, higher educational consultant, ghost writer, chef, organic nutritionist, chauffeur, vendor coordinator, school liaison, and on and on.

But oh to have a personal butler/concierge of my own.

William said...

Also, I don't think nannies are well paid so much as pediatricians are ill paid. Woman are attracted to pediatrics. Something to do with Darwin I think. Pediatric patients are young and attractive and more often than not recover from their illnesses. The job of pediatrician is nowhere near as much of a bummer as, say, cardiology where one's patients frequently croak and it is necessary to be on call at weird hours all the time. So supply and demand. You end up with more pediatricians than sick babies. There's a pediatrician bubble......Young women should be encouraged to go into patholory or opthalmology.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

What are nanny malpractice rates these days?

~N. said...

Those women hiring "drop-dead beautiful" nannies are obviously not watching Lifetime Movie Network. We all know how that ends.