Hello readers! We have started a new special within our agency called the “Nanny of the Month!” Every other month, we will feature on of our very own nannies here at CCN and tell you a little bit about them. Below is our interview we completed with one of our favorite nannies, Monica S., and she’s got so much to tell you! Congratulations, Monica, and thank you for all that you do for Chicago Collegiate Nannies!
CCN: What's your favorite thing about being a nanny?
Monica S.: Oh man, I really love kids. I love working with kids, I've always loved working with kids. And I feel like I learn a lot from the kids that I babysit. They're just so creative and so funny and they just think about things differently than I would. Every time I have a conversation with them, it's always a little eye opening and it brightens my day in a way. It's nice, it's a nice perspective. I like the interaction with the kids.
CCN: Can you tell us your story about how you decided to become a nanny?
Monica S.: When I was maybe 16, I had done small babysitting [jobs] around my neighborhood. And then I just really enjoyed doing that. And then I began to do regular summertime sitting for families pretty normally. So, that started with me nannying for a regular family, really becoming a part of that family, helping out a lot, etc. And it made me want to do it in college because it was what I knew I was pretty decent at the time, you know? I had done this before and I [figured I'd] keep doing it. So I've been doing it since I was young and having a younger sister, I kind of have always been babysitting with watching her, taking care of her and being an older influence for her.
CCN: What has been the most rewarding thing you have learned throughout your current placement?
Monica S.: That every kid is really so different, even in the same family. And that is something is sometimes, I feel, really hard to get to know over a short period of time. Even the twins [that I work with]...it is just night and day sometimes. I had to really learn how to interact with two kids from the same family very differently in different situations. It's been really beneficial because it does make it easier to deal with different situations when it comes to each child because now I understand. Ok, "so and so" reacts differently than his brother and I need to figure out how I'm going to tackle that situation with them compared to how I would with the sister, or what not. And it just puts in perspective [that] everyone has a different place that they're coming from and how they deal with things. It's just been really eye opening to that.
CCN: What has been most beneficial about working with an agency like CCN?
Monica S.: I've always kind of been an independent nanny and doing and assigning families myself and only having that connection. It's been great having the ability to go [someone] if I have any issues, talk to someone else that's not in the family. Because it can get a little personal...you're part of the family after a while and you really get to know them and you don't want to jeopardize what you have going on for some small misunderstanding. So, to have someone else to go and talk to about these issues is just so nice and a big relief. Because if I know something is wrong or not ok, I can take it up with someone who's probably going to have my back on the situation.
CCN: What advice would you give to someone who’s looking to work with a professional nanny agency?
Monica S.: It's a big commitment. I feel like a lot of people underestimate nannying and babysitting as a job because they think it's easy. And it's not. It's hard work all the time and it's always new every day. No two days have ever been the same with the kids. And you form emotional bonds with them and it's more than just a job you leave and not think about. You have think about how you affect the kids and they also affect you. It's definitely more emotional and mentally trying than people think it would. So just be prepared for that.
CCN: What plans and goals do you have for yourself personally and professionally in the next five years?
Monica S.: I'm an industrial/organizational psychology student right now so within five years I would definitely be getting my Bachelor's Degree (hopefully in five years!), maybe start working in that field a little bit more and hopefully get into a Master’s program of my choice. It's always difficult trying to think about that because it’s a very daunting idea. But those are some goals that I have: Master’s degree in I/O Psychology and hopefully maybe working in human resources or as a consultant of some sort or within a company doing training or development. So those are a few short term goals that I have.
CCN: How has being a nanny helped you in your own personal growth and development?
Monica S.: I think that I wouldn’t be as patient as I am now. Dealing with kids, you have to take a step back and be a little more patient when things come up. I also don’t think I would be so flexible when it comes to dealing with situations that are just thrown at you. Like “Oh man, someone just got sick, how am I going to deal with that?” and even in my own life, “Well, that thing didn’t work out for me. What am I going to do now?” And I think if I wouldn’t have done a job like this, I wouldn’t know how to deal with these ever-changing things in our lives as easily, you know? Everything’s always not set in stone so it’s really hard to predict so this helps a lot.
CCN: What is the biggest lesson that you have learned as a nanny?
Monica S.: I think that what you’re doing really does matter. And even though it might not always seem like it does, there’s moments that occur where you’re just like, “Wow, it’s really [great] that I’m here and that I’m doing what someone needs me to do.” Because, the woman I nanny for is a single mom, and she doesn’t have many family members around. And I’m the only one that she can call to help with this stuff. So, just realizing that what you’re doing is really important and these connections you make are going to last a long time. You’re shaping them and molding them as well and it’s very rewarding thinking about all of that.
CCN: Are there any other helpful tips and tricks you would want to share with nannies and/or families?
Monica S.: I think I would definitely say that…I’ve had friends who are nannies or babysitters and they run into situations where things between them and the families where what they agreed upon were either unclear or unsure in the beginning and they threw something totally different at them when they came showing up to babysit. Like, “I said I was going to be home at 10pm but I’m actually going to be home at midnight.” Having the conversation that you need things to be clear and you need to have the right set of instructions or whatever’s going on through the time you’re with them very clear to you. Because, it’s nothing worse than when you think you’re going to do something and then they throw something totally different at you and it’s not what you agreed upon.