by Michelle LaRowe
Recently I had the opportunity to catch up with Ariane Bellamar, Playboy Bunny, turned mom, turned reality TV star. From why she chose her real-life nanny to what she thinks a nanny should earn, here’s the scoop from the mom star of ABC Family’s reality docu-series Beverly Hills Nannies.
eNannySource: Ariane, I’ve enjoyed tweeting with you about all things nanny. Thanks for taking the time to answer some of my questions on twitter and now here.
Ariane: It’s been super to connect with you on Twitter also. I admire your dedication and realistic overview of the nanny world!
eNannySource: You mentioned in real life, you have a nanny. What made you choose her as the one?
Ariane: Well, because …. her cute appeal is 9.5! But seriously? She’s dependable, flexible, easy to get along with and most importantly Emma absolutely adores her. A mom can tell by looking into a situation whether the caregiver is simply going through the motions or if they are truly connected with your little one. She/He needs to be able to get down on the child’s level to win their affection and trust.
eNannySource: What do you think is important when choosing a nanny?
Ariane: My main concern as a mother is Emma’s safety. Barry and I travel periodically and I need to be totally comfortable leaving Emma in their care. Being away from your baby is always difficult, but would be impossible if the right caregiver wasn’t in place.
eNannySource: What do you consider the role of a nanny?
Ariane: Our nanny is an extension of our family. As all of America now knows, I am very particular and expect a level of excellence. In our lifestyle there is little room for error (such as having your car repossessed leaving you with no transportation to get to your place of employment). They need to be dependable and have an absolute commitment to our family, as they are a part of our family.
eNannySource: We’ve talked briefly about your current nanny search. Are you really looking? How will you find her? Define you’re the perfect nanny for your family.
Ariane: I am looking! With a (hopeful) second season in the mix it will be interesting to see who can handle the Bellamar family! They need to be everything I’ve mentioned so far and it wouldn’t hurt if they had a sense of style or a certain level of class – it makes for an easier fit into our lifestyle and social circle.
eNannySource: Are Beverly Hills moms as high maintenance as they appear? Would you ask your nanny to rub your feet like Marika asked Justin?
Ariane: I am high maintenance and I know it! Beverly Hills and Malibu are unlike any other place …. This is our reality. If we were any other way, we wouldn’t fit in with everyone else that lives in this altered reality we call SoCal. But no …. I have a masseuse for the foot rubbing!
eNannySource: What about the duck cage? Didn’t Amber have to do that? Do you think that falls within a nanny’s responsibilities?
Ariane: I do expect my nanny to get a little dirty occasionally. I personally put myself through school while supporting my grandmother by waiting tables and have cleaned up my fair share of nastiness for well under $35 an hour. I am not asking her to do anything that I have not had to do in the past – and with a smile.
eNannySource: You inspired my first article on Beverly Hills Nannies entitled 5 Things You Should Really Rate Your Nanny On that was published the day after the first episode aired. You rated Amber on her looks. Do looks really matter?
Ariane: I wouldn’t say that “looks” matter in particular, but appearance is important to me. My nanny needs to be neat, tidy and well put together – they are a reflection of our family.
eNannySource: We’ve gone back and forth about fair compensation for nannies. What do you think is fair? Why do you think Beverly Hills Nannies demand high salaries? Are they worth it?
Ariane: In my personal opinion I feel that $25 per hour is a fair rate for an experienced nanny. I would make exceptions for a nanny who has special qualifications such as a background in healthcare or the ability to speak and teach a second language.
eNannySource: I know we’re watching reality TV, but how real is Beverly Hills Nannies? Are viewers seeing their real you?
Ariane: The viewers are definitely seeing an altered version of me – some of which is very realistic and another part that makes for good TV. Reality TV is all in good fun and shouldn’t be taken in an overly serious way. The show is fun and entertaining – everything that it should be!
eNannySource: You’ve told me the Bellamar family will back for a hopeful Season 2 of Beverly Hills Nannies. What can we expect?
Ariane: I’m ready for a nanny that can give me a challenge! I like to poke fun and would enjoy having someone with a quick wit to match me. As for Em, she just loves to be on the “TV Party” as she calls it!
You can watch Ariane Bellamar and the rest of the cast of ABC Family’s Beverly Hills Nannies on Tuesdays 9/8 central.