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 Mackenzie K. recently to hear about her experience as a Chicago nanny! As you read along, you will discover some of the things she has learned in her current placement that have stretched her and helped her grow in her skillset. She is also a great representation of a CCN nanny that has been with our agency through a variety of placements! Be sure to take a few moments to read about Mackenzie and hear her story. Congratulations to our September Nanny of the Month, Mackenzie!
CCN: What is your favorite thing about being a nanny?
Mackenzie K.: My favorite thing is that there’s something different every day. Of course there’s a sense of routine especially when you’re working with the same family...but, it’s never the same thing because with kids, you never know walking in what you’re going to get. Sometimes my kids will sleep til 7:15a and today my youngest [I’m caring for] has been up since 5:30a. It’s always changing. I don’t think I could sit and do the same thing every day. So, that’s probably my favorite part about it.
CCN: Can you tell us your story about how you decided to become a nanny?
Mackenzie K.: Honestly, it was something I fell into. I started doing it occasionally for families and then I started doing it part time with the agency originally. And then after doing two part time placements and working abroad in Europe (I worked as an aupair in Italy), I came back to the states and decided I wanted something full time. I fell in love with being with the kids and realized I didn’t want to be in a desk from 9a-5p every day. So, originally, it was more of the fact that I needed a job and didn’t know what else to do...but it worked out perfectly when I realized it was something I could do full time and I loved it.
CCN: What do you think has been the most rewarding thing you have learned throughout your current placement?
Mackenzie K.: That’s hard because I just started in August so it’s still a new placement. So it’s hard to go from adjusting to working with little kids because I’ve previously worked a lot with preteens and teenagers. Watching them grow and adapt and change and things like that [is great to be a part of]. The youngest child I care for is 2 yr old and one of the things I’ve been working with her on on asking her a question and making it into a sentence. It’s been really rewarding to watch [that growth]. From watching her go from piecing words together to making them into sentences has been very rewarding...By saying things like, “How do we ask?” with her.
CCN: What do you think has been beneficial about working with an agency like Chicago Collegiate Nannies?
Mackenzie K.: I think it’s super helpful to have a group of people where it’s someone to turn to who absolutely gets it. Because you can go to your friends when you have a problem at work, but 9 times out of 10, your friends don’t totally understand what it’s like unless they’re also a nanny full time. So, having someone to talk to when you need advice. It’s been super beneficial to me in all of my previous placements because it’s someone to turn to or speak up for me. For example, I have a hard time saying yes (too much). And Lydia is great about helping me learn how to [navigate that] and remind you of that is so helpful. And connecting us with great families. I’ve had so many great experiences with the families I’ve worked with and I wouldn’t have been able to do that without you guys.
CCN: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become a professional nanny?
Mackenzie K.: Be yourself especially with the parents and with the kids. By meeting families and things like that, you don’t want to go into something acting like you’re going to be one way with the kids and being completely different with the parents. Because the kids really learn from you and will feed off of what you do. Be very confident in what you do because of that. It’s really important to be an example for kids in that way.
CCN: Do you have any plans and goals for yourself personally and professionally in the next five years?
Mackenzie K.: Right now, I’m not entirely sure. I graduate from college in December, but right now I love nannying and working with kids, so that’s most likely something I’m going to continue to do. Eventually my plan was to go to law school and pursue that field, but obviously, that plan has changed. I guess for now, I’m seeing where nannying takes me!
CCN: What is the biggest lesson you have learned as a nanny?
Mackenzie K.: Like I said before, to learn how to say now and know when it’s ok to take care of your time and energy because nannying is something that takes so much out of you. It is really important to realize that I can’t say yes all of the time...Probably the biggest lesson is to take time for yourself and it’s ok to say no sometimes. I’m still working on it, but it’s a lesson in progress.
CCN: Are there any other tips and tricks you would like to share?
Mackenzie K.: Because I’ve worked with such a wide range of kids (and ages), it’s different. For older kids, I say try to stick to schedule as much as possible but still try to make it fun in the process. So whether it’s a sport, it always meant the world to watch the last fifteen minutes of practice and to compliment them. And being there for them because when they are at their age if mom or dad can’t be there. With my little kids, structuring the day. If we have to do something that isn’t so much fun, first let’s work on the things we have to do and then do fun things after. I always give them a note to look forward to. When they know what’s going on, it flows a little more smoothly.