It’s a delight to celebrate this week’s featured nanny, Ruth Rebecca Kennedy; our nanny of the week. Rebecca’s positive outlook about life is evident within the first few minutes of conversation with her. She’s a very hands-on mother and also a very engaging nanny who values the instrumental roles she has in the lives of the children in her care. Rebecca, you are a nanny who deserves all the recognition~ we celebrate with you! Here’s Rebecca in her own words!
1 Why are you a “Nanny Extraordinaire”?
My energy, passion, professionalism, and work ethic is unsurpassed. I take my job very seriously and strive toward excellence. I take a very engaged and active approach to caring for children. I treat each child as an individual and I am attentive to his or her particular: interests, strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes, patterns and personality traits. Also, I help guide new parents and parents with toddlers in understanding aspects about their children.
2 What is your Nanny Story?
Coming from the beautiful island of St. Lucia with my two boys, I never thought I would become a nanny. My purse was stolen at Kings County Hospital while at a doctor’s appointment with my baby, Rio. My pocketbook, passport, visa, kids’ birth certificates, ID’s, money etc. was in that bag. I had to stay in NY and make something happen. After doing a few odd jobs here and there, I was hired as a nanny for a wonderful family, “The Fillings”. Greg and Kristin really set the tone for succeeding families. They weren’t rich but they paid me generously and treated me like part of their family. I developed a close, caring bond with the little girl, Jessica, and shortly after, Ryan was born. Ryan and Rio are a year apart and have literally grown up together; now 13 and 12 years of age. We still hang out with them in their CT home. Kristin used to comment on how smart I was and well organized. She taught me to always get paid my worth. From then on, I’ve worked with celebrities, ambassadors, and producers. And as long as I am respected well enough to do my job and am paid correctly, I am most efficient at taking care of children. If I am in a situation that‘s unfair or offered a position that doesn’t suit my and their needs, I interview with different families to find a better fit. With over 12 solid up and down years, I consider myself a professional.
3 How do you make a difference in the nanny community?
I often share my experience with others nannies and encourage them to take classes in safety and children’s development so they can exuberate confidence in interviews and excel at being a nanny. One time a friend told me how much a family offered her and I said “No way. Tell them you want ‘xyz’ amount and ‘xyz’ perks.” She was afraid to tell them, but she did. And later she called and told me the good news that they accepted her offer. Another time, I was filling in for someone and the mother noticed me reading books to the kids. She was amazed saying “Wow, you read books to them!” She went on and on. I later had a talk with the nanny and advised her on trying different things with the kids. I always give advice to people but fair is fair. Nannies have to do their job and employers must be fair also.
4 What are your thoughts about the nanny profession?
I view childcare as a profession and therefore approach it as a professional. The demands are endless and as a nanny you are making a difference in children’s lives. You have to be a teacher. You have to be nurturing, caring, loving, understanding, patient, solve problems and the list goes on. It’s also a job so you have to be punctual, reliable, flexible and responsible. Several colleges and institutions are based around child health care and early childhood development. New information is always coming out and you must stay atop current affairs. Their little lives are in your hands, so you have to take care and take “the job” seriously.
5 What is the most valuable lesson learned while working as a nanny?
I have learned that you must have unyielding patience with parents. After all, their kids become attached to you and some parents feel threatened. You must balance the schedule you have set for the child and must also adhere to the wants and wishes of the parent, even if it conflicts with what you want for the child. You definitely learn a lot about yourself. I often find myself intrigued by the way kids think and what they say. I enjoy watching the stages and progress they make as they develop. I have come to realize that every parent is different and you have to adapt to their parenting styles.
6 What advice do you have for nannies that are new to the profession?
If you are entering this profession to get a paycheck, please find another industry. If you love kids, and want to make a difference in a child’s life, then listen up. Being a nanny is a very important job because you are responsible for these children, you represent all nannies, and you wouldn’t want anyone to mistreat your children nor relatives. Gain experience, and in order to elevate yourself, you need higher education and to gain as much knowledge as you can in childcare. Seek certificates and CPR classes. Keep up-to-date with current events and work with parents knowing they are always concerned about the welfare of their children.
7 Tell us the one thing that people need to know about nannies?
Know that people before you have paved the way for you to get paid and earn a living. In olden days, nannies were treated as sub- persons. Only midwives had the respect of influential people. Nowadays, some nannies make more than engineers and computer programmers. Our profession has high demand. Especially given the fact that more millionaires and entrepreneurs are made every year in this country than ever before. They usually need babysitters to help with their families since they work a lot. Some people just want help because they know squat about raising kids. That’s where we come in. We have respect from people now, and we need to act in a professional manner, so that teenage immigrant or that young mother looking for a job can follow behind us in this industry and be paid and treated fairly.
8 Once out of the nanny role what activities do you engage in and can’t do without?
I sell hair products in the meantime, and I spend every chance I get with my husband and three sons. We attend church every Sunday and I can’t do without travelling, I have been to dozens of countries and intend to see more. I can’t do without a beach. I love swimming. And I use FaceBook as a tool to connect with friends and advertise my hair products.
9 How do you define wholesome living?
Living a positive and spiritual life! Eating healthy foods like fruits, veggies, fish, whole grains and wheat, and drinking tea. Listening to some good music, caring for myself and personal hygiene, spending time with family and/or friends. And exercising when the chance is given.
10 How do you mange stress in your life?
I manage stress in many different ways: Making sweet love to my husband, drinking an occasional glass of wine, finding something to laugh about, running through the park, and having outdoor activities with my family or watching a good movie together.
For those interested in using my all natural hair products or becoming a rep can visit my website: www.reviveyou.mymonat.com or call me for more info @ 718.877.8949.