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, Olivia K. Olivia is so excited to share about her experience as a newer Chicago nanny that will open your eyes to the wonderful things she has learned. Congratulations, Olivia, and thank you for all that you do for Chicago Collegiate Nannies!
CCN: What is your favorite thing about being a nanny?
Olivia K.: I would have to say my favorite thing about being a nanny would be seeing all of the kids grow up. I've been with [my] family since the end of August or September and they have three girls. It's been so amazing to see how much they've grown physically and with everything. The baby was just two months [when I started] and now she's fifteen months and she's walking and talking. I think that's my favorite part, seeing them grow and just getting so much closer with the family.
CCN: Can you tell us your story about how you decided to become a nanny?
Olivia K.: It's actually a funny story! I was originally an assistant teacher for junior kindergarten, but that was just a one year deal. And then I spoke with my future sister-in-law who is a good friend of Lydia and [she] mentioned that there was a family and [wondered if] I'd be interested in it. I always have loved working with kids since I was fourteen years old. And it was very quick: Lydia and I set up a meeting for an interview, and then [I] met with the mom the next day. She said she had three girls and I'm the youngest of three girls, so I thought that was so great! It was so quick, it was about four days and then I found out I got the job. I met the middle child for a play date and it went so well. It was the fastest process to being a nanny, and I hadn't worked with babies that much before, but I got the hang of it very quickly and I'm so happy to be a nanny especially with this family...It's a great match and I never thought about being a nanny as I was always on the teacher path, but this is even better since I'm close with three girls.
CCN: What do you think has been the most rewarding thing that you have learned throughout your current placement?
Olivia K.: Oh gosh there's so much! Honestly just being an influence on these girls and knowing that even though I'm not their parent, I honestly feel kind of like an older sister helping them become better people and understand what's right and wrong. Overall, helping them be good people, grow up and be a role model for them on how behave and act and treat each other. I'm the third youngest so I've seen the whole thing! So yeah, just being a great role model for them and being a good influence on the family. And it's just nice to be appreciated.
CCN: What have you found has been beneficial about working with an agency like Chicago Collegiate Nannies?
Olivia K.: It has been so beneficial knowing I have you guys to go to if I have any problems or anything I want to talk to you guys about. Knowing that you have my back if anything were to happen and just knowing that you guys are there to support me throughout the whole process even if I don't talk to you guys all the time or check in a lot, I know you're there in case I need you. It's just nice to know that it's a good solid company I'm working for who actually care about their [candidates they place].
CCN: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become a professional nanny?
Olivia K.: Be yourself and be true to who you are and be honest and ask questions...I think just mostly be yourself. I think [also] to learn from mistakes and grow from them. As you grow, you go on and learn from what you do [because] everyday is different. Be open minded and go with the flow with how things are run [in the home] and honestly be confident within it as well.
CCN: What plans and goals do you have for yourself personally and professionally in the next five years?
Olivia K.: Honestly, as of now, I'm hoping to be continuing to work with this family for as long as they need me, of course. I honestly want to continue nannying down the road. I have a new nephew who was born in July, so he's only a couple of months old, and I already feel I have a lot of practice from nannying. And I just want to keep working with kids even if it isn't nannying...I don't know what's coming up in the next five years (I'm getting married in June actually) and I really think I would love to continue with this family in nannying. Or if it isn't nannying down the road, definitely working with kids.
CCN: How has being a nanny helped you in your own personal growth and development?
Olivia K.: Honestly, I feel it's just made me become more mature. I mean, I'm twenty-five, but just getting to know myself and what I want. I've always known I've wanted to work with kids but not really with nannying, but it's just really helped me grow as a person and know that, down the road, I would love to have children...I think it's just helped me open up my eyes even more knowing that I love working with children. And [knowing] I'm very confident in myself with what I'm doing...And even thinking about raising my own kids [one day] and helping my nephew and all of that. It's just helped me become more mature and opened up my eyes to real life.
CCN: What would you say has been the biggest lesson you've learned as a nanny?
Olivia K.: The biggest lesson I've learned is [remembering] I like to be in control of things a lot. But, I think [the lesson] is just "losing control." You can't control the situations, you can't predict the future of what's going to happen like if a kid falls or something happens. I think "losing control" and accepting you can't control everything. Things will happen and the biggest thing I've learned is that accidents happen, mistakes happen, you've gotta learn from it and that's how kids learn as well. And I think that's been my biggest thing of learning how to become more laid back in situations...You've gotta learn how to go with the flow and lenient [with control].
CCN: Are there any other helpful tips and tricks you would want to share?
Olivia K.: When it came to working with the baby, definitely making a schedule when it comes to naps and eating. That was super helpful because it takes a long time to get the right schedule for the baby. And also, work on cooking because once they become old enough to eat real food, you've gotta mix it up a little...It's definitely the scheduling and time management of how you schedule and work around other kids' schedules. It's all messy and eventually it will get more orderly as time goes on.