Celebs are shouting out the nannies who help them raise their kids. Here's why that's important.

Why being "transparent" helps break stigmas surrounding child care.

Celebrities are shouting out their nannies. Here's why that's important. (Image: Getty; Instagram; illustration by Caroline Brooks for Yahoo)
Celebrities are shouting out their nannies. Here's why that's important. (Image: Getty; Instagram; illustration by Caroline Brooks for Yahoo)

Mother's Day brought with it the usual social media tributes to moms, but there was a notable trend with celebrities this year: thanking their nannies and other child care providers. New mom Kaley Cuoco marked her first Mother's Day by thanking "all the incredible women who are truly helping us raise our sweet Matilda." Chrissy Teigen wrote that she's "grateful for all the people who make it possible for me to be the best mother I can possibly be." And Busy Philipps shared photos of her caregiving team, past and present.

"I wouldn’t have made it this far as a mom and a human without the incredible women who’ve helped me show up for my kids as my best self," the actress and mom of two wrote. "Their love and care for my kids has allowed me to go to work and travel with the knowledge that the two humans most important to me will be taken care of."

But these tributes are limited to Mother's Day. Last week Jennie Garth gave a birthday shout-out to her "chosen life partner" Nina, who has "helped me raise three beautiful daughters." Meanwhile, listeners to Kelly Stafford's The Morning After podcast are very familiar with Tata, who cares for her and NFL star Matthew Stafford's kids. The mom of four has previously shared that she "can't handle" referring to Tata as a "nanny." "She's so much more than that," she said. "So when people ask me, I'm like, 'My wife? I don't know. She's like my better half.'"

Experts say it's important for celebrities to be open and honest about the childcare help they receive.

"We’re overjoyed any time nannies receive the recognition they deserve for the tireless support they give to families, but even more so when mainstream, culture-drivers like celebrities endorse voicing gratitude," Maressa Brown, senior editor at Care.com, tells Yahoo Life. "This public appreciation brings the meaningful impact nannies have, often behind-the-scenes, to center stage."

Nannies often become an extension of the families they join, Brown points out, noting that they're present for the highs and lows, along with major milestones. "Not only does this awareness bolster a profession that’s regularly undervalued, but it also reinforces the message that parenthood is a communal journey," she says.

Amy Bryant, founder of the Suitcase Nanny blog, tells Yahoo Life that it's "wonderful" when child care providers are publicly acknowledged for their hard work. "Acknowledging and thanking nannies on Mother’s Day matters because it’s a way to recognize their significant contributions to a family’s life," she says. "Nannies often provide valuable support, care and love to children, which can be essential to their growth and development."

There has been a stigma surrounding hiring a nanny and that "needs to vanish," Bryant says. "Child care is an essential support for all families, and every family should feel like they can access it when they need it," she says. "They shouldn’t feel ashamed to ask for help with the fear of being accused of being awful parents who just can’t handle it."

Dr. Tamar Gur, a women's health expert and reproductive psychiatrist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells Yahoo Life that seeing these acknowledgments from celebrities about their child care help can influence other moms, too. "It's very normal to compare," she says. "When celebrities are transparent and direct with how they make it work, that can make the average woman take stock and say, 'I need help' or 'It's OK that my nanny, or that my child's grandparents or aunts and uncles, are helping to raise them.'" Gur says that it's "also OK for children to know that many people are helping them."

But Gur says she has a lot of patients who struggle with asking for help when they need it. "It's engrained in us from early on that we should be doing things on our own," she says. "But there are no losers when you get child care help — we're all winners."

Brown agrees. "When all parents, from public figures to the neighbor down the street, open up about and share gratitude for their parenting team, everyone wins," she says.

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