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, Tina M. Tina’s got several wonderful things to share about her experience as a Chicago nanny and you are certainly going to want to check out what she has to say. Congratulations, Tina, and thank you for all that you do for Chicago Collegiate Nannies!
CCN: What is your favorite thing about being a nanny?
Tina M.: I think my favorite thing about being a nanny is just meeting the kids and being able to work with them and learning more about them. [Also] learning their habits, and getting involved with what they like to do and [continuing to] learn more about them, just because…everyone I’ve worked with so far has been fantastic. And they have their own little personalities and quirks which are really interesting!
CCN: Can you tell us your story about how you decided to become a nanny?
Tina M.: So, I had gone to school [and received] by bachelor’s in education psychology. I had nannied before when I was in college and I just really liked working with kids. So after I finished [with my degree] in educational psychology, it was great [because] I had worked for a company for a couple of years and then actually decided to go back to being a nanny partially because I wanted to go back to grad school (because I had a little more free time). But, I also wanted to work with kids so it was a good trade off to work with kids but also be able to study for school and do what I needed to do. [It was to] help myself further and to help more kids later on with whatever I was choosing to do.
CCN: What do you think has been the most rewarding thing you have learned throughout your current placement?
Tina M.: I think the most rewarding [thing] is that I’ve learned a lot about the family. [The family I work for] is Jewish and I knew about their holidays, and stuff, but not really in depth. So I found it really interesting when they had Passover and now [they’re celebrating] Rosh Hashanah. So just learning more about them and even when they did Passover, I tried to stay kosher with the family which I thought was really cool. I’ve heard about it but I’ve never understood it fully or really known all the things they can’t eat during that time. So I thought it was fun to experience what they do for that week, which the mom really loved and [she said] “no one’s ever wanted to try doing it”…So I [worked to] respect that and thought it was all very interesting.
CCN: What have you found has been beneficial about working with an agency like Chicago Collegiate Nannies?
Tina M.: I think the most beneficial part was being able to find a family without having the hassle of [having to] go and meet a bunch of families versus an agency being able to have a lot of families already that have…what I’m looking for. [Also, having] them be the middle man and pairing us up rather than having me need to individual go out and meet a bunch of families that potentially would have been a good fit. And having that time where they could have found someone or I could have found someone, so just having the agency be able to set that up and fill everyone’s requirements and what their needs are.
CCN: What advice would you give to somebody who is looking to become a professional nanny?
Tina M.: Just being open to the families and what their needs are…and getting involved with the kids I think is a really big thing. You know, running around with kids all day is tough, but just being open to doing what they want to do and just enjoying yourself is a big thing.
CCN: What plans and goals do you have for yourself personally and professionally in the next five years?
Tina M.: I am looking to go back to grad school. I actually applied to a couple of grad schools and recently took my GRE not too long ago, so I do want to go back to school for psychology. I haven’t decided exactly which field of psychology, but hoping school psychology or some research psychology. And kind of going through and getting my master’s and Ph.D. and then coming out there and seeing what I can do with it!
CCN: How has being a nanny helped you in your own personal growth and development?
Tina M.: I think just being able to learn more about myself. And learning about the kids is a good way to field out some of your own qualities. [For example] feeling kind of how patient you are or things like that. I think working with kids is a good way to identify those things. So it’s kind of helped me…grow as a person as well. Seeing how they’re developing or things that they’re doing that I would have never thought to be interested in something like that…[because] it gives me a new interest which is super exciting!
CCN: What would you say has been the biggest lesson you have learned as a nanny?
Tina M.: Definitely being, I guess, open with being flexible, i think is the biggest thing. You know, you’re working with these families and being flexible and you can’t be upset when plans change or you have to work late, but just being open with that flexibility and working with that family [helps it] work out on both ends.
CCN: Are there any other helpful tips and tricks you would want to share?
Tina M.: With my family, specifically, I like to learn about their interests. So for example, the girl that I work with she likes to bake, so when I find new recipes…so whenever she has a day off of school, we will try new recipes. Or with the boy, he likes to do sports, so sometimes I’ll find clubs or things like that where we will take his friends and play baseball in the park or go find a sport and go play outside or just have his friends over to some sort of activity that they like to do.