Hi everyone! We are excited to present our next nominated Nanny of the Month! For those who have been following along, we take some time each month to nominate a nanny within our agency in order to showcase their talents, skills and personalities. We took some time to connect with Amanda C. recently to hear about her experience as a Chicago nanny! As you read along, you will discover how she has developed into the nanny she is today as well as some valuable lessons she has learned about herself and her role in this industry. She has continued to represent CCN so well through her drive, determination and hard work! Be sure to take a few moments to read about Amanda and hear her story. Congratulations to our July Nanny of the Month, Amanda!
CCN: What is your favorite thing about being a nanny?
Amanda C.: I would say that my favorite thing would be that it never feels like a job. It’s always me going to someone’s home, their safe space, their environment, and I have always enjoyed it throughout all the positions I’ve held. I have a lot of friends who are [excited to end their work day], but I don’t see it like that. When the day ends, I just go home. Experiencing things through kids’ eyes makes you see that things are so much better than what adults sometimes make them out to be. It’s always exciting and a new adventure.
CCN: Can you tell us your story about how you decided to become a nanny?
Amanda C.: I had a niece and a nephew when I was in middle school and I have two older siblings, so I’ve always been around children at a younger age. At that point, I was helping a little, but I had neighbors I would babysit and when I went to college I was an after school care [employee] at a Christian school. So it progressively developed and I took the next step. I would do babysitting on the side whenever I was in school, and whenever I realized that it could be both a side job and a career, I pursued it and it really worked out. I had a short term position and I tried it out and dabbled in it and eventually I tried it [with many families] and the positions continued to become more serious. And the more serious it became, I enjoyed it more and enjoyed the challenge...With my last position, I was there for three years and it was wonderful. But when it stopped being a challenge, I had to push myself more. So, it’s definitely a career option where you there is always going to be another job where you can push yourself. You’re never going to have to settle because there are going to be people everywhere who need help with running their house and raising their kids.
CCN: What do you think has been the most rewarding thing you have learned throughout your current placement?
Amanda C.: Since the children I’ve been working with are older, it’s been [rewarding] to see them warming up to me more and trusting me. I’m typically used to babies and in this position, I realized these kids were older and I had to gain their trust and gain their friendship...so for me, them wanting me around is very rewarding.
CCN: What do you think has been beneficial about working with an agency like Chicago Collegiate Nannies?
Amanda C.: It has been absolutely amazing. It’s been so amazing. The process from sending my information to getting a job was about a week. But the things that happened in that week were so comforting to me and then after that, going to the Savvy Sitter class, I initially wasn’t looking forward to it. But I’m so glad I went to that because I got to meet Lydia and it really showed me that I have someone and a team behind me, helping me. When I needed someone to talk to, Lydia was there...I had a friend who I referred and they helped her and she’s so grateful. I’m so grateful and I can’t say enough good things. So now [my friend] is in this position where she loves the family she’s with. We are just in shock. I’ve had such a great experience and she just got placed within the past month. I hope to work with you all forever!
CCN: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become a professional nanny?
Amanda C.: It can be a nerve wracking thing (going into someone’s safe space) and figuring out where you belong, and where you can and can’t go. So, I would say that you should be yourself as much as you can be and find the comfortability because I do think families want you to be comfortable...Get as comfortable as you can and in your true talents. It really shines through when you’re comfortable and confident. You can connect better with the kids, families, schedule. I guess just believe in yourself.
CCN: Do you have any plans and goals for yourself personally and professionally in the next five years?
Amanda C.: I’m currently still enrolled in school, so to finish my degree. And then I do want to still be a career nanny...I hope to maybe one day move up to something [a little more challenging] because I really do like change, so a change in pace, but not a change in career.
CCN: What is the biggest lesson you have learned as a nanny?
Amanda C.: Nothing is ever going to be perfect. That is a hard one for me. Sometimes you’ve just got to let go. The behavior isn’t going to be perfect, the house isn’t going to be perfect, schedules aren’t perfect, things run late, etc. It’s not good to tear yourself down when things aren’t going the way they should because that’s just life.
CCN: Are there any other tips and tricks you would like to share?
Amanda C.: In my particular situation, my [nanny] kids are very scheduled. But, these last two weeks they have been able to do whatever they want. I don’t have a lot of room for that typically. My tip or trick now, is to ask the kids what they want to do through child based play and listening to them. They have a lot of great suggestions and if [what they suggest] is not something you would do during the school year or during the day, try putting them in charge because they don’t always get that [ablity] with school structure, activities, etc.