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Perfect parenting: Brad, Angelina and the N-word

In much the same way I love trashy pop music, Mrs Bigmouth loves trashy magazines – particularly the ones with soft-focus shots of impossibly good-looking celebrities and their impossibly perfect offspring. She particularly enjoys looking for the N-word, which occasionally sneaks into the article and depth-charges the portrayal of perfect parenting.

The N-word is “nanny”.

There was a good one last week (sorry, I forget the magazine) where it talked – after a few pages going on and on about what great parents Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were – about how the couple were having to manage with “just one nanny”.

Just one!

At least the article actually mentioned the nanny (or nannies, in the case of Hollywood royalty. Apparently three nannies per child is normal – one for daytime, one for nighttime and one for the weekends). Most don’t, so you’re left with a few thousand words about how brilliant parenthood is. It’s not tiring, you always look perfect, you can resume your career in a matter of days, and the whole thing is a big happy adventure.

It’d be funny if it weren’t such a fuck-you to real parents who can’t just do a baby dump and bugger off to the gym whenever the little ‘un gets annoying, and who can’t just leave the baby in a separate wing of the mansion when they fancy a nap.

I know that actors are in the business of acting and that magazines – particularly ones aimed at women – are in the business of distorting reality, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a bit of truth for once? “God, early parenthood sucks,” said Famous Lady. “Even with a nanny to help out, I felt like punching Chrysanthemum Space Cakes through a hedge loads of times. But you know what? That stage doesn’t last long, and when it’s over it’s a hoot”.