2015 Nanny of the Year, Maribel Melo’s Essay

Maribel Melo, 2015 Crunch Care Nanny of the Year and Stacie Steelman, CEO and Founder of Crunch Care Inc.

Our 2015 Nanny of the Year shares her journey with us.  We are honored to have her share space on our blog and give us her very interesting perspective.  Maribel Melo continues to wow us with her introspect and professionalism.

My Long Learning Road….

Do you have any experience with children? Have you ever had a child under your care? I was not asked for work references, at least not as a nanny, she knew well enough I didn’t have any. It was many years ago when I first met this lady, she owned a nanny referral agency. She liked me immediately and after the second meeting she knew who I was, where I was coming from, what my previous job had been, I told her about my family, and my intentions about applying for a job as a nanny. My first encounter with children had taken place in México. As a teenager I had helped taken care of my niece and nephews, I remembered how much I had enjoyed caring for them, playing with them and growing with them, so when I learned that this lady had a nanny referral agency I just felt that this was the right job for me, I knew I liked children and that was what inspired me, I assumed this was enough to get the job done, right? Wrong! How naïve I had been then! No doubt, it has been a long, long road for me and a learning one too. Today I know what it takes to be a professional nanny. To me it is a huge responsibility to care of children! It’s not just to watch them to keep them harmless, or entertain them, no! it is about helping them develop their abilities according to their age, teaching them good manners, good habits like, eating healthy, reading, get homework done, exercising, etc. and very important to be alert of any sudden change of behavior, I mean there are too many things you need to be aware of!  As a grown woman I know how important love is in our childhood. Here I’d like to mention a statement that my best friend said once when attending a job interview herself and I have made it mine just because it fits me right when I myself hold a job interview “I charge for my work, but love is free, and of that your children are going to have tons!” I truly believe that love in a child’s life makes the difference, so I always make sure to plant a love seed in their hearts, and please don’t take me wrong I’m not saying parents don’t give love to their little ones, I’m saying that in my heart I believe that an important part of my job as a nanny is to give love to the children under my care. It is also important since I have realized they listen to me better, they trust me, and they let me guide them based on the trust they have in me, this makes my job a lot easier. One of my most gratifying experiences is when they come to me and hug me, and kiss me, and say I love you! I feel so rewarded! I feel it is genuine love, they don’t see race, or skin color, or age and that is awesome! but my motivation, what  makes me keep going with the certainty that I’m doing things right is when families I have worked for before send me pictures of their children, all grown, dating, or holding a bachelor’s degree. I remember when I was invited to one of my kid’s college graduation party 3 years ago, wow! When I saw her, a successful beautiful young lady, big smile on her face, I felt so proud and thought to myself “her success, is my success too” her parents, grandpa, uncles, congratulating me like if I were one of the parents! In those moments images flashed in my mind of how many times I’d got help from grandpa and aunt, from picking up one of the kids from school, to helping with homework when I was stuck with the sick brother or sister, or let’s face it when homework had been difficult even for myself! Then realization came to me, I couldn’t have done such a good job without their help! so the “success” had to be shared and what’s more important I realized what a good thing it had been to have had a good relationship with all members of the family! Yes, what a clever thing to have done!

In my years of experience as a nanny I have done more than what a nanny’s prescription job involves in order to help the family in turn going and to maintain harmony and a healthy work environment, I know this has been a big plus in my career, and the consciousness of what the expectations of the family who is going to hire me may be, which are pretty much what any family would want: responsibility, reliability, honesty, punctuality, hard work. Therefore these are the standards by which I work very hard to achieve every day. I believe that everything as a whole is the key I have succeeded as a nanny and that’s the reason I have remained in some families for very long periods of time. As I’ve mentioned earlier, it’s been a long road for me, I have learned from the wonderful children I’ve had under my care, I have learned that all children are different and unique and each one needs to be treated with love, respect and in a different way, I love them all and I’m very grateful with their parents and relatives for trusting me with their most precious treasure and for helping me become a professional nanny.

As I look back I can see all the challenges I’ve had to overcome. At one time I had to look and find a job on my own since “the lady of the nanny agency” had retired and closed her office for good. Quite a challenge it was! Years latter my good fortune led me to the Crunch care team and after completing with all their requirements I became part of their nanny staff.

I have to admit that whenever my eyes come across one of those walls at a local business shop with a photograph on it and the lettering “employee of the year” below it I’m amazed by it, and at the same time I cannot help it, but to think with some regret that the work of a nanny is almost invisible to any one, so I can’t tell you how pleased I am to express what a great idea it has been to recognize the importance of the role a nanny has in the development of the American families’ children, the future of our country!  Well I have to say that I was very surprised with the news and I’m honored to have been distinguished as The Nanny of the Year 2015. I know that this is the inaugural year so it makes me the very first one to be awarded, that is even more special to me! For such a motive I think to put quite my experience, knowledge and efforts to demonstrate I deserve to be at a height of this recognition.

To end I would like to thank the Crunch Care team for thinking of me for this distinction and my gratitude for Stacie Steelman, the owner for the unconditional support that I have found in her, always behind me to help me make the right decisions. Thank you very, very much!

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