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 Bella A. recently to hear about her experience as a Chicago nanny (and one that enjoys dress up)! As you read along, you will discover how learning new ways of parenting has affected Bella's development as a nanny. Bella has also found some great ways to both connect with nannies in her area and find true enjoyment in working with children. Be sure to take a few moments to read about Kellie and hear her story. Congratulations to our November Nanny of the Month, Bella!
CCN: What is your favorite thing about being a nanny?
Bella A.: I think two-fold really. I think one, I like working with new first time parents, which a majority of my job has been with families like that. Being able to coach them through that and be a support system for that. You’ll never be a first-time parent again. It’s very rewarding for me. The family I’m with now, it was their first baby and she was four months old [when I started], and now that the second baby is here, they’re like “Oh, they’re fine!” And two, I think that kids are the coolest, funniest, weirdest little people. They’re just fun. I say that I’m laughing all day long because kids are so funny.
CCN: Can you tell us your story about how you decided to become a nanny?
Bella A.: Yeah sure! Before I became a nanny, I was primarily a preschool theater teacher. For 5-8 years, that’s what I was doing. I was teaching theater, directing productions and things like that. I started to follow down that path when I moved to Chicago. I realized I really loved the days when I was one on one with children. And that’s how I decided to become a nanny. And it’s been about 7 years now. So going from 50 kids at once, and though I love that type of thing, what really nourished me was helping individual children.
CCN: What has been the most rewarding thing you have learned throughout your current placement?
Bella A.: This family [I work with] follows a different parenting philosophy than other families I’ve worked with. And I’ve worked with quite a few families and I’ve seen different glimpses of different families and how they like to do things. This family has taught me an entirely new way of thinking about parenting. For me, watching her grow up with this specific philosophy, has been really interesting to see that come to life. A few months down the road, we are seeing the fruits of our work. This is the most specific philosophy I’ve worked for. So that’s been really fascinating!
CCN: What do you think has been beneficial about working with an agency like Chicago Collegiate Nannies?
Bella A.: I think, for sure, having someone have your back. I used to use other websites [to find a family] and had difficult experiences. With an agency it is really helpful to guide you on “this is how you should be treated,” “This is how this goes,” “This is normal,” “We are here to help,” etc. And to help not only with the nannies but also the parents themselves. I think that’s really beneficial. With nannying, we are both an employee and a member of the family. An agency helps keep that boundary in mind to make sure everyone feels safe and professional.
CCN: What advice would you give to someone looking to become a professional nanny?
Bella A.: Take your CPR class every year because you should do that. Hook up with an agency for sure (I’m so glad I did that). And be really thoughtful about the interview process. Don’t just take the first family that falls into your lap. Make sure you’re a good fit for them and that they’re a good fit for you. That’s important in all jobs, but in this job, it’s very, very important.
CCN: Do you have any plans and goals for yourself personally and professionally in the next five years?
Bella A.: I’m an actress so obviously I’d love for something to happen with that. What I used to do was freelance babysitting. I used to have about 20 families I rotated with. The past two years has been about finding a family I click with and watching them grow and profess and change. I’m really looking forward to sticking with my nanny family and see how everyone grows up.
CCN: What do you think has been the biggest lesson you have learned as a nanny?
Bella A.: That kids are amazing. They are thoughtful and intelligent and really smart before you realize it. I guess, realizing that they are developing tiny people. They are capable of so much and it’s really cool. Today my [nanny] kid did her first full sentence. When I met her, she couldn’t sit up and how she’s articulating an opinion and telling me how you feel, and that’s really cool.
CCN: What kinds of tips and tricks would you like to share?
Bella A.: I think it’s my theater background, but I love playing dress-up! Going to the park and dressing up going to the grocery store and doing different things to make the day fun and enjoyable. With kids, it’s important to have a structure and schedule, but it’s also really fun to have a fun silly day and to be in the moment while having fun. It can feel like a lot of pressure to raise a child and it can be serious, but also really fun.