Hi everyone! Here we have another round of Nanny of the Month recognitions! 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 Reyna C. recently to hear about her experience as a Chicago nanny! As you read along, you will discover how she handles working with twins and what motivates her as a nanny. She has continued to represent CCN well throughout her placement and has found such enjoyment in her position! Be sure to take a few moments to read about Reyna and hear her story. Congratulations to our June Nanny of the Month, Reyna!
CCN: Can you tell us your story about how you decided to become a nanny?
Reyna C.: I decided to become a nanny because of my niece. Right now, I have a 13 yr old niece, but when she was born I was a senior in high school...I was always with her and it kind of reminded me that I do love kids and I do enjoy it. Throughout college, I was looking for something that was more flexible because I had worked a few jobs that I didn’t like and it was really hard to schedule school around it. And around that time [my niece] was 4 or 5 yr old and I realized that that inspired me to try doing this professionally and I started nannying for a few years after that.
CCN: What is your favorite thing about being a nanny?
Reyna C.: It’s that no matter how much structure there is, there’s always something new. The kids are learning something new or you learn a new part of their personality...and that’s what I really enjoy.
CCN: What do you think has been the most rewarding thing you have learned throughout your current placement?
Reyna C.: I’ve learned a lot about parenting for the family that I work for. And about the value and importance that your [nanny] kids know they have a safe space with you to be who they are or say what they want. Just knowing that no matter what, that at home they have a safe space; not just physically, but mentally and emotionally they have a safe space to be.
CCN: What do you think has been beneficial about working with an agency like Chicago Collegiate Nannies?
Reyna C.: I think the benefits of it is knowing they have your back. They care about you as a sitter not just you as an employee. I’ve worked for other agencies and it was like “do your job and do your job well and if there’s an issue, we don’t want to deal with it.” And “if the family has an issue, we are just going to replace you.” This agency has felt a lot more like “we want to work with you” and “we want to help you” even if you’re doing a great job. If you need advice or have questions, I’ve felt safe to reach out and ask questions and if I have a problem, I can check in with the agency [and ask for advice]. I think that’s really helpful.
CCN: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become a professional nanny?
Reyna C.: I would say that if you’re going to be a professional nanny, you’re going to meet and work with all kinds of different parents, kids and families with their own parenting philosophies. And as a nanny, you have to be supportive of that and adapt to it. It’s not about bringing your ideas of parenting or what should or should not be happening, you are an extension of the parents.
CCN: Do you have any plans and goals for yourself personally and professionally in the next five years?
Reyna C.: I mean, I’m in school, so one of my goals is to finish school. I think when I was working at other jobs, I felt like I had to figure out what I was doing after school and do that right away. And doing this job, I don’t feel so rushed and I feel like I have a place that I can continue to do this after school until I decide what it is that I want to do...Right now my one goal is to finish school, finish school, finish school.
CCN: What would you say has been the biggest lesson you have learned as a nanny?
Reyna C.: Probably how important communication is in any relationship. You always hear about communication and how important it is in romantic relationships, but I think I’ve learned how important communication is with nannying in your partnership with the parents and your relationship with the kids in order to be effective. Communication is so, so important. Even in the smaller things and details...communicating with the people around you and the people that are important to you [has shown me] and how beneficial that is to do that.
CCN: Are there any other tips and tricks you’d like to share?
Reyna C.: My go-to is podcasts. So my [nanny] kids don’t watch television at all and if they do, it’s a 30 minute episode on the weekend. They don’t do any electronics or ipads or anything like that and I love that! In the summertime, we are always walking around going to the park or they have soccer or karate; they stay busy. But there are times where we are stuck in the house and we need something to do. I have twin girls, and the problem that I recognized is that when they spent so much time together, they were with me and they would get on each other’s nerves. I was trying to find something for them to listen to and music wasn’t distracting enough for them. So I came across a few kids podcasts...until we found 2 or 3 that the girls really took to. So, whenever we are at home and starting to get on each other’s nerves, I will put on a podcast or they will request to listen to on and when I do, there’s less room for disagreement or argument. It’s been really helpful to keep them distracted...especially when it’s rainy or when we are stuck in the house. I would recommend podcasts after you’ve played all the games, just find some they like and use them. Just find one you like and cling to it!