– Kelly –
Tell us a little bit about how you decided to become a nanny?
As a kid, all I wanted to be was a mom. My mom has taught Sunday School since before I was born, and she was the one who helped me get started teaching Sunday School at the age of 12. I took it upon myself to create a class schedule and lesson plans, and it was the perfect opportunity to engage children and help them grow. I complied a box of necessities that I would bring to class to assist in teaching the 2 and 3 year olds.
In high school, I watched the staff’s kids before and after school, and worked in the nursery at most of the school events. I also took on my first babysitting gigs during this time, and was complimented on how great I was with kids. I honestly didn’t have much direction after high school, but fate had something special in store for me.
When I was 19, I got my first nanny position and loved it. At the time, I didn’t think that nannying was an actual career. I didn’t know anything about the industry, and I didn’t know any other nannies. Because I thought the natural progression was to go and work in a daycare, I did just that. I worked my way up to Director rather quickly, but I really missed being a nanny and went back to it after only a few years in daycare.
I eventually found INA and the nanny community and realized that I could make an actual career out of what I loved doing. I take every opportunity to become the best nanny that I can be. Looking around, though I may not be a mom yet, I realize that I have exactly what I always wanted. Children to help raise. Nannying is the dream that I didn’t even know existed.
What experiences best prepared you for this career?
Teaching Sunday School and watching my schools staff’s kids helped prepare me for the start of my career. The classes, groups, and friends I have discovered along the way have helped shape me into the nanny I am today and set me on a path for the nanny I will be in the future.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging part of being a nanny is saying goodbye. There’s support, articles, and books to help you overcome problems that may arise in your position, but nothing prepares you for saying goodbye when the job is over. I have been very fortunate that most of the families I have worked for keep in touch, but it still hurts not being there every day. It is definitely difficult starting over with a new family.
How would you define success in your current position?
I just started my current position, but in my last position I had a lot of successful moments. I worked with special needs kids who had what I like to call “invisible” special needs. What I mean by that, is that their issues are something that you can’t see by just looking at them. Over the years, I saw these children grow leaps and bounds. One of the biggest successes we had was when the little boy, at the age 5, was finally able to recognize his letters and there sounds. That may not sound like a big deal to everyone, but to us, and him especially, it was a very big deal.
He was also struggling with teachers saying “he can’t sit still” and “he’s uncontrollable”. I realized he just needed someone to have a little patience and understanding. I worked with him everyday and he learned what he needed in order to get into a private kindergarten where he excelled. I remember the day that his acceptance letter came in the mail. We were all so excited and proud of him and even more, he was proud of himself. Those are the types of successes I work for.
How would you explain to a parent that you are “Not Just a Nanny”?
- What are some of your best qualities that make you a great nanny and how does that explain you are “Not Just a Nanny”?
I see myself as a “need filler”. I do not just come in everyday, work, then go home. I am constantly looking for ways to help the parents I work for engage the kids. In my last position, I went from a part-time fill in nanny to eventually being a full time family manager. I’m always looking for ways to help and became an invaluable part of their family team. I still manage the kids calendars, even though I am no longer their nanny.
- Give us an example of when you feel you went the extra mile for a family/child(ren)?
With my previous family, I registered to be a volunteer at the school they went to. It was a requirement of each family of the school, but at the time, their parents were not able to. I offered to volunteer so they could meet their requirements. The kids loved it when I show up to their school, and I think it really helped the family out.