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, Nina B. We got a chance to connect with Nina over the Thanksgiving holiday and she is so excited to share about her experience as a Chicago nanny who had an opportunity fall into her lap because of the family Chicago Collegiate Nannies was able to connect her to. Congratulations, Nina, and thank you so much for all that you do for Chicago Collegiate Nannies!
CCN: What is your favorite thing about being a nanny?
Nina B.: My favorite thing is when they're happy to see me and when they're sad to see me go. Because I'm happy when they appreciate [seeing] me. There are two kids [in the family I work for] that are two twins [each] six years old, a boy and a girl. And [what's great] is that they said they loved me right away! When I met them, they were like, "I love you!" after one week, which I think was a good sign.
CCN: Can you tell us your story about how you decided to become a nanny?
Nina B.: To be honest, it wasn't something I was really searching for, but it kind of landed on my lap. So, it's kind of a blessing in disguise, it happened last minute. I was like, "Why not?" and I tried it and did it. And I've been around kids my whole life. I'm forty-three now, so I have cousins and four nieces that are around me all the time. [So], I've always been around kids...And I have [been a nanny] in the past for a very short time that was a long time in a professional manner. I'm glad I took the opportunity and I love Chicago Collegiate Nannies, so I'm happy for the opportunity and that I've stuck with it!
CCN: What do you think has been the most rewarding thing that you have learned throughout your current placement?
Nina B.: To see the kids happy and to progress. I think they've changed because I've been both fun and stern with them, because I think they do listen to me a lot more now. So, I'm glad they've changed into even better kids [because] I don't even have to repeat myself a million times. They know the expectations better. When we get to the house, they know the drill. [When I say] ok, let's unpack our bags, take a shower, etc., they know now.
CCN: What have you found has been beneficial about working with an agency like Chicago Collegiate Nannies?
Nina B.: Well, I love the fact that I can always go to one of you guys and ask for advice or opinions or even side jobs. Lydia will call me up every once in a while and give me a last minute weekend job and I do actually like that a lot. So you guys are always there for me. And I've also recommended [Chicago Collegiate Nannies] to other people which is great too!
CCN: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become a professional nanny?
Nina B.: Be open to the opportunities and you never know what family you'll end up with. I'm lucky because I appreciate the people I work for and am with and [I think] they appreciate me a lot as well. So, be open to the opportunities and try it out. Maybe it's difficult in the beginning, but it might change and get better for both ends, on their end and your end.
CCN: What plans and goals do you have for yourself personally and professionally in the next five years?
Nina B.: I do love the family I'm working with now, so I'd love to stick with them! And personally, I'm at an age that I do want to get married and I don't, so I don't have anything personally at the moment. I have no kids, I'm single, I do have a big family I spend time with 24/7, I have four nieces in my life with an other on the way, so I'm usually busy with family and friends on the weekends. I like having get-togethers with friends so, [my goals] are to be happy and healthy [personally].
CCN: How has being a nanny helped you in your own personal growth and development?
Nina B.: It's helped me be a little bit more patient because I've noticed when other people see me with the kids I care for or my nieces, they've said, "Oh, you have a lot of patience for this, you can tolerate them." And I just say that everyone has to breathe and not get too stressed out about things. They are kids so we can't always be too overwhelming or hard on them. And so I step back [and remind myself] "they're only six years old." Even with my nieces, I have to step backs and remember they are only children. They aren't adults working in a corporate environment. These children have a little excuse and they need to grow and learn.
CCN: What would you say has been the biggest lesson you have learned as a nanny?
Nina B.: So, because I work with twins and they are a boy and a girl, they are different in their own ways. And since they're brother and sister, I can't expect that they're the same exact personality. They're so different, so I deal with them in different ways sometimes so I don't expect anything the same [from each of them].
CCN: Are there any other tips and tricks that you would like to share?
Nina B.: So, I think that since the kids are different, if one is more hyper than the other one, I've realized I can't keep saying, "no, don't" or "stop", I think [I've learned] if you talk to them and they're doing something they shouldn't, [I try to distract them}, I'll start talking to them about how the sky's looks different or about geography or NASA or their favorite subject, to help tone it down and they really listen. So [I've found] sometimes kids like to do things on purpose [to get attention], and by going to their favorite subjects or things that they like, they start calming down, listening and not doing the thing they weren't supposed to do.