Chicago Collegiate Nannies is happy to present this month's “Nanny of the Month!" Each month, we feature one of our very own CCN nannies and tell you a little bit about them. Below is our interview with another one of our favorite nannies, Hannah B. We got a chance to connect with Hannah this past weekend. It was wonderful to hear her experience of how she dropped what she was doing to become a nanny and how she has found great joy in that decision! Congratulations, Hannah, and thank you so much for all that you do for Chicago Collegiate Nannies!
CCN: What is your favorite thing about being a nanny?
Hannah B.: I think it’s just working with kids. I’ve worked with kids my entire life when I was younger. I had a moment where I was like “I need a fun adult job!” and then I did retail for a couple of years and I was walking into work one day and I said, “You know, I really miss working with kids.” And actually that’s how I became connected to you guys (Chicago Collegiate Nannies). Working with kids again and being able to spend time with them and see them grow is always more rewarding for me. I’ve done teaching before, but this is one-on-one which is fun for me.
CCN: Can you tell us your story about how you decided to become a nanny?
Hannah B.: Yeah! So similar to the same thing, I was working in retail for a couple of years and I remember stopping and being like “You know what I’m not happy anymore. I’m not happy where I’m working.” So I decided I needed to figure something else out. And a friend of mine has been a nanny for years. So I talked to her and asked her how she got started. She got me connected with a friend of hers who was a part of CCN, and that’s how I got CCN’s contact number. I was on the phone with her (Lydia) and told her “I’m looking for another job right now” and I was talking with her which was fun. I just fell into it and had an “a-ha moment” and I knew that this is not what I was supposed to be doing and I’m exactly where I should be (with nannying)!
CCN: What do you think has been the most rewarding thing you have learned throughout your current placement?
Hannah B.: So much! I’ve learned so much from these boys and hopefully they’ve learned from me too. It’s just seeing the world through younger eyes. I’m still pretty young, I’m still 22, it’s still so much younger. They’re going through so many different things than I did and it’s such a different perspective from such a young age. And it’s fascinating to see what their circles are, what their rewards are and it’s interesting. It’s also so cool to see because you get to re-experience life through their eyes. And especially with these boys, they are so in awe of things. One time I took them to 7Eleven for the first time and it wasn’t a fancy one, I just had to get gas. But let’s all get slushes while we are here! And they though it was the coolest thing. It was really fun because it wasn’t something I would think of as interesting (just stopping at a 7Eleven getting a slushy while getting gas), but for them it was the entire world. And also just learning from them. I get to see the shows they show me, their video games, and I get to see what’s important to them. I like to help them figure out what’s important in life, but I also get to learn what’s important in life through them.
CCN: What have you found has been beneficial about working with an agency like Chicago Collegiate Nannies?
Hannah B.: I think the connection. I get to ask questions. I just talked to Lydia about the test issue and I wouldn’t have known how to do that beforehand. I love having someone to talk to and I can say, “Hey! Do you know about this?” and I just like being able to check in with people. It’s kind of like having co-workers without having co-workers which is kind of cool. And it’s great that you guys are there. It’s fun, but sometimes when I need to talk about someone, everyone else is like “But you’re a nanny isn’t that easy?” and it isn’t always! It’s nice to talk to someone so I can not just vent but to have someone to talk about your perspective and to share what you’re learning with them. It’s a push and pull relationship with CCN which is great!
CCN: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become a professional nanny?
Hannah B.: My first advice is that you have to like kids. Some people say things like “oh the hours are really nice (being a nanny)!” and I often ask them, “But do you enjoy working with kids?” and they’re like, “oh no” and I tell them, “Then don’t become a nanny.” It’s not about the hours, it’s not about the money, it’s about your care for kids. You have to care about them. It’s kind of heavy because you are raising the next generation and it’s a huge responsibility. I also think that a lot of people don’t take that into account when they think about nannying, but that would be my biggest advice: to remember your responsibility that you are raising these kids. And not just these kids, but raising the next generation. And hopefully, they will remember the good stuff which is also scary. You just have to make sure you like kids and that you are having fun. Once it’s not fun, you’re not benefiting anyone. Especially when it’s one-on-one like this. If you don’t enjoy it, you’re not going to be beneficial to the family. It’s heavy to have the responsibility but it’s also a lot of fun. And if you’re willing to have fun, and you can accept the fun that the kids have, you can have a lot of fun.
CCN: What plans and goals do you have for yourself personally and professionally in the next five years?
Hannah B.: I’m actually an actress and a model on the side. I want to get into acting again. This year, with the other job I had before my nannying job, it was hard to do acting because you have to do rehearsals and all that stuff. So I took a step back, especially because I wanted to focus on working with my family. So this year and the next couple of years, I want to focus more on acting, getting back on stage, and in front of the camera. I want to get back into the arts I started with. Modeling is fun, and I’m in a band and singing is fun, but acting has been a passion of mine since I was roughly 10 years old. I’d like to also continue nannying…
CCN: What would you say has been the biggest lesson you have learned as a nanny?
Hannah B.: Oh, patience. Lots and lots of patience. Again, it’s a giving and taking. You have to learn how to accept their thoughts because they’re kids. They have small amounts of patience and I know a lot of adults who don’t have that kind of patience. It’s definitely taught me a level of patience that I didn’t have before which is saying a lot because I came from retail. So I’ve definitely learned a lot of patience through this job which it also has been a blast. These boys have a lot of personal challenges going on, which always breaks my heart. As a second-hand person seeing it, it’s difficult to handle sometimes. And I’ll talk to my family about it and it’s hard to see someone so young going through so much. But I think I had to up my resolve with these boys.
CCN: Are there any other tips and tricks you would like to share?
Hannah B.: There’s so much you can learn. I would say, listen to your family and see what they need. But my biggest thing is keeping to a schedule and making sure there are times and places for fun. My boys have a lot of stuff going on, they’ve got soccer and appointments and classes to go to, but once in while we have to remember they are still kids. And my biggest advice is to make sure you are having fun. One time we had a week full of crazy appointments so the next day, I told them “Hey, we are going to have Hot Lava” and they were like “What?” and all the furniture and pillows were moved. And I told them the floor was lava and we played a game and we did that all day. Their mother came home and she was like “What?” and I said “Yep, this was our day today!” Just make sure you have fun and as important as it is to raise them, you have to remember they are still kids and to make sure you spend good time with them.