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 nannies, Valerie B.! We got a chance to connect with Valerie this weekend about her experience as a Chicago nanny. Hearing about how she has been able to teach her nanny family Spanish while also establishing meaningful connections was so wonderful to hear. Congratulations, Valerie, and thank you so much for all that you do for Chicago Collegiate Nannies!
CCN: What is your favorite thing about being a nanny?
Valerie B.: I’ve been with my family a little over a year. [And I think it’s] the freedom of it. I basically get to be with one family and become a part of it and that’s what I love the most about it.
CCN: Can you tell us your story about how you decided to become a nanny?
Valerie B.: I was in college and found out it was the easiest way to make money [doing something that I love] while I was in school and still had somewhat of a weird schedule. And so I started doing that. I went to school for computers which is completely way off of where I am at right now. And I realized that I didn’t want to stop being a nanny, but I wanted it to be more of a legitimate job for me. So, I went through Chicago Collegiate Nannies to make it happen.
CCN: What do you think has been the most rewarding thing you have learned throughout your current placement?
Valerie B.: That both kids basically [can] trust you like their second mom. I’m with the kids so much throughout the week and I’ve been there when they started talking or speaking Spanish (because I’ve also taught them Spanish). And it’s been great just to see them develop and to watch them growing up and knowing that I’ve been a part of that and I contribute to that every day.
CCN: What have you found has been beneficial about working with an agency like Chicago Collegiate Nannies?
Valerie B.: They have my back. So, they other day I actually just talked to Katelyn and I was really nervous about asking a certain question and she called me the next day and she walked me through everything and let me know that it was completely normal to be nervous and it’s just nice to have somebody there that’s willing to help you out. Even though I’m not looking for a new job yet and I’ve been with the family for over a year, I hadn’t seen Katelyn in a couple of months, but she was still there to be very very helpful. She’s awesome!
CCN: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become a professional nanny?
Valerie B.: Definitely [that] it’s a lot harder than it seems. You don’t just sit around and be on your phone and get to do whatever you want. The kids have a schedule and the kids are depending on you. You are their main caregiver, so you have to pay close attention to them. Make sure they’re having fun and are happy. So, I guess that’s one of the things the family let me know is that “I’m not here, but when I come home and I see my kids happy, that’s how I know you’re doing a good job.”
CCN: What plans and goals do you have for yourself personally and professionally in the next five years?
Valerie B.: Hopefully moving up a little bit. I do love being a nanny, but I hope to get into being more of a personal assistant or a house manager just because as I get older, I know those positions will stick a little bit longer because kids do grow up. And I love being with families but I would hate to keep switching off to other families. It’s tough on me too. I’m with the kids so much that the thought of having to leave does effect me.
CCN: What would you say has been the biggest lesson you have learned as a nanny?
Valerie B.: Honestly, that I’m not as selfish as I thought I was. I love putting myself first, but when it’s Monday thru Friday (and sometimes Saturdays and Sundays if they ask me to come watch the kids), I realize that I sacrifice my time to hang out with them for 2-3 hours while mom and dad go on a dinner date or if she wants to go on a spa date or something like that. I mean, there’s been days that I bring my own lunch and the kids don’t eat their lunch but they want mine and honestly I just give it up like it’s nothing. [And it’s because I care about them.]
CCN: Are there any other tips and tricks you would like to share?
Valerie B.: Aside from their after school classes, we have a binder with stuff they pick to do on their “free days.” So, on Tuesdays, they get to pick whatever they want out of a little box and whatever they pick out on a little paper will say what activity we are going to do that day. And they’ll get to do that activity and afterwards on Tuesdays, we cook dinner for the family together.