“You have a nanny over. She’s over all the time. I don’t understand why Ysabel can’t come over and hang out. She’s devastated,” Christine tells Kody in a preview for next week’s Sister Wives. In interview, Christine pointedly asks “What does the nanny do?”
Robyn has help from a live-in nanny for years which is kind of odd because one of the perks of polygamy is supposed to help with childcare. Meri has long expressed her desire to help out with Robyn’s kids including the two youngest children she had with Kody. On tonight’s episode, Meri even broke down in tears thinking about how much she misses Solomon (10) and Arielle (6.)
At the beginning of Meri’s relationship with Robyn, Meri and Robyn were fairly close, and there seemed to be hope that Meri could have the close bond with a sister wife she always dreamed of. Immediately after Robyn gave birth to Solomon, she called Meri into the room to ask her (in front of cameras) if she would want her to be a surrogate for Meri and Kody. Meri declined, but it was a huge gesture for sure.
All this closeness changed after Meri divorced Kody so he could marry Robyn. The reason why Kody wanted to legally marry Robyn was so he could adopt her three children from a previous marriage: Dayton (21,) Aurora (19), Breanna (16). They all said at the time that the legal marriage didn’t matter and nothing would change between them, but things did change.
Around the same time as the legal marriage and divorce, Meri began an emotional affair with a catfish who exposed her and humiliated her. This led to the utter breakdown of her relationship with Kody, although he seemed willing to work on it for several years. For the past few years, Kody has made it clear that he is done with Meri, but she continues to “stay” in the plural marriage which means she can get a house on Coyote Pass if they ever build and shows up for family meetings. Otherwise, she seems to have no contact with Kody or the other wives or children. COVID-19 has made her isolation from the family even more extreme.
Before Robyn came into the family, and before the Browns moved to Las Vegas, they shared a house together in Lehi, Utah, comprised of three apartments. During this time Kody, Janelle, and Meri worked to support the family while Christine was in charge of childcare and homeschooling. Meri had one child, Mariah, but Janelle Brown had six. Mariah was an older child as well, so Meri needed less help with her as time went on and the family grew in size. For 16 years Christine did most of the care for not only her children, but Janelle’s as well.
This sort of “plyg perk” did not carry over when the family got TV famous and moved to Las Vegas to reside in separate houses. They eventually built four houses on a cul-de-sac, but for a while, they lived spread out in Las Vegas. It’s while they were still living in Las Vegas that Robyn hired her niece Mindy to help her out as a live-in nanny. At the time, Robyn was trying to launch My Sister Wives Closet, a jewelry line that took up a lot of her time.
Mindy reportedly didn’t move with the family to Flagstaff, but she has continued to hire a nanny for childcare. It’s unclear if the current nanny lives in the home, but from what Christine is saying in next week’s episode, it appears that they might not be a live-in nanny.
— Starcasm (@starcasm) December 20, 2021
Regardless of if the nanny lives in Robyn’s home, the presence of a nanny adds complexity to the Browns’ family dynamic, especially with the strict COVID-19 rules that Kody and Robyn are following and giving as a reason to not see the rest of the family.
On top of it, Robyn doesn’t appear to be employed or own a business outside of her work as a TLC reality star. Kody used to have a gun business, but it’s unclear how much responsibility they have outside of childcare day-to-day that would require the services of a nanny, especially since Kody completely stopped making the rounds at the other wives’ houses after COVID-19 hit.
Back in Vegas, he was still on a rotating schedule with his wives. Meri was the first to get out of his rotation during her Catfish era. Because she erroneously thought she had found love and attention outside of the marriage, she asked Kody not to come over anymore. That was in 2015, and he hasn’t really stayed with her since.
UPDATE: In a new preview clip Kody reveals that the nanny not only helps with childcare but also with schooling.