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 about them. Below is our interview with Katie C.! We were able to connect with Katie recently about her experience as a seasoned Chicago nanny and a CCN veteran. Take a moment to read up a little about Katie's experience as a Chicago nanny and how she enjoys incorporating art into her work! Congratulations, Katie, and thank you so much for how well you represent Chicago Collegiate Nannies!
CCN: What is your favorite thing about being a nanny?
Katie C.: I would say creating the bond with the family. I’ve been with some families for years and you get to watch them grow and you get to watch them change. One of the little boys that I sit for, [when] I met him, he was hiding behind his mom at the park every day. And [later on, I noticed on] other days watching him walk around, not even looking, playing with his friends. I was really able to see him grow and see that he’s not shy anymore. You get to also watch them find their passions and you feel a part of the family. And when you find a great family, that’s what happens and I love it.
CCN: Can you tell us your story about how you decided to become a nanny?
Katie C.: I guess it was a mistake, kind of. I always loved babysitting and I always wanted a little brother or sister, I always played with dolls and I wanted to play with little kids whenever I saw them. When I was in college, my friend asked me (who was actually nannying too) [about nannying, and I had mentioned] “I love babysitting, so why not?” So, I got set up with a great family and I still talk to them to this day. They’ve gotten so big and it was just really one of the best choices I’ve made because I love working with kids and I really realized that.
CCN: What do you think has been the most rewarding thing you have learned throughout your current placement?
Katie C.: About how they really care about what you think. Because I’m there for their dance performances [for example] even if I’m not working. It’s [about seeing] that they care and they appreciate you. You’re not their mom or their dad, but one of the moms describes me as “*Johnny’s second mom” just because we have such a close bond. You do have a big effect on their life because they’re growing up and you have a great influence on them. It’s bigger than that because you’re influencing a child’s life.
CCN: What do you think has been beneficial about working with an agency like Chicago Collegiate Nannies?
Katie C.: It’s been wonderful. I was looking for a family and I guess Chicago Collegiate Nannies found me! After that, I realized there were other people that think like me and understand the importance of being a nanny. And also that I have utilized [the resource of support] whenever I have any questions or problems, [I have talked] with Katelyn and Lydia and it has been great. I know that when there’s support and there’s other people that understand what being a nanny is, it’s been great to have that support behind me.
CCN: What advice would you give to somebody who is looking to become a professional nanny?
Katie C.: I would say that it’s never going to be a retail job [because] the kids change your life and that’s amazing. In a wonderful, great way you get to be a role model for the kids. You’re not just an employee, because if you worked somewhere [else], they could just train another person. But, the kids are going to remember you for the rest of their lives. So, you’re a huge part of their families and their lives. In a fun way, take it seriously because it’s very important.
CCN: What plans and goals do you have for yourself personally and professionally in the next five years?
Katie C.: I would love to keep nannying and expand my art (I do art on the side) and I’d love to do that more. With my schedule, I’m able to do that. I’m always going to incorporate art with the things I do with the kids and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that all the kids I sit for always love art. So, if I’m not a nanny forever, I always want to do something with art and kids.
CCN: What would you say has been the biggest lesson you have learned as a nanny?
Katie C.: I guess, to not take some things personally. Because even though you’re such a part of their family, I always understand that sometimes kids want their mom and no matter what you do and how much they love you, you can be there but it’s not a replacement. It’s a different relationship in their lives. Also, I think knowing that even though you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, knowing how to change that around and when you see the kids, it’s so much better for them…I think not bringing any negative energy and really trying to look on the bright side and be positive when you are around the kids.
CCN: Are there any other tips and tricks you would like to share?
Katie C.: I always love to do this for parent’s birthdays or any little occasion to make a project and they make it as a gift to give someone. It really gives them such happiness to give it to their [family member] and I think that’s so special because you can help give them ideas to make something by the kids. I’ve sewn pillows with felt [for example] and they get to learn to use their hands and I feel like that is such a great learning experience. I love to incorporate little projects with little kids, even with tissue paper. So definitely, incorporate art projects so they can learn from them…so it’s important to keep it going.