The "manny" revolution


What's a "manny"? you might ask. Remember nannies? Now it's mannies. Celebrity mom Britney Spears is making headlines with her new male nanny, Perry Taylor. But she's not alone.

The New York Daily News reports New York moms have been hiring male nannies for years. Yes, New York moms, like New Yorkers generally, are ahead of every curve. But the rest of us are stilling asking, are mannies as good at child care as nannies?

Britney hired her manny, a Naval Academy graduate, as a savvy PR move because her female nanny let Britney's son fall on his head from a highchair. (Britney herself almost fell carrying him out of a store.)

Nanny-agency insiders say not only are more men applying for nanny jobs, but there's more demand for them, too. Single moms want strong male role models for their children and maybe a little help lifting heavy objects around the house. Some parents seek "mannies" believing they'll inspire kids to become more active, especially during the summer. And in New York, there's a plethora of out-of-work actors looking for day jobs.

Still, negative stereotypes persist. Men who take care of children suffer stereotypes as either gay or pedophiles. Even Spears and Taylor's own mother insist he's more of a bodyguard than a nanny. And despite the growing number of mannies, 91 percent of respondents to a poll from In Touch magazine said they would prefer a female nanny, while 9 percent preferred a man.