In another issue of the Nanny Industry Spotlight, we’re again crossing over to the Untied States (LA to be exact) to bring you Brittney Schering. Brittney is a professional nanny, a freelance writer and also the founder of new magazine; Not Your Average Nanny Magazine. It’s a magazine catered to both nannies and parents, and helps to open communication dialogues between both parties so that we may all better understand all that goes on in the daily nanny life. I’ve submitted many articles, like the importance of children exploring wide open spaces, to this new magazine and I look forward to seeing it grow as it continues to develop.
I seriously don’t know where Brittney gets her energy from, she runs across town all day looking after kids from multiple families and then still meets her writing deadlines. Plus she even has a gorgeous little puppy in tow most days!
Los Angeles, United States
Career Nanny, Freelance Writer
Founder | Not Your Average Nanny Magazine
Los Angeles, Brittney Schering’s place she calls “home”. Photo – Eric.
Los Angeles. Photo – Somesuch Guide.
Tell us a little about your background, what path led you to becoming a nanny?
I have always loved working with children, even when I was still a child myself. In 4th and 5th grade, I’d spend my summers assisting neighbours with their little toddlers – not seeing what I was doing as work, but merely fun. I was fascinated with babies and so eager to help in any way possible. As I grew up, that never changed. I began to babysit at age 12, and then at age 23, I started to nanny full-time after graduating from college. It is a perfect profession to be paired with writing. Children are amazing little creatures of curiosity, and when I must put pen to paper in the evenings after a long working day in the nanny life, they’re perfect inspiration!
| “It is the perfect profession to be paired with writing.”
What does your current nanny role involve?
I work for a few families. My day starts at 6am with a two-year-old little girl. I wake her up and get her ready for school and take her there by 7:30. Then I dart across town to Venice, where I care for two children; a newly three-year old boy and an 11-month old girl from 8am to 4pm. After this I shoot back over to the other side of town to pick up the two-year-old from school at 5:30pm, and take her home to start the evening routine. I usually leave and head home for the evening around 9:30pm. I have two other families that I also work for occasionally and on weekends. My schedule is jam-packed, seven days a week. I don’t sleep!
Can you describe the style of your work and your philosophy towards the role of caring for kids?
I’m very natural and maternal, I operate under a philosophy of leading by example, and I feel that manners are incredibly important. I love to teach children from a young age that politeness goes a long way – saying please and thank you, and more importantly, “may I.” I like to show children how to share their toys with other kids, and that it is not only the way to make friends, but more importantly, how to keep them! I also believe that giving children space to be themselves is vital. They are their own individual selves and deserve the chance to explore as they wish, so long as their safety isn’t at stake of course.
What’s the most challenging thing about your time in the nanny industry, and that you’ve perhaps had to overcome?
Parents taking advantage of me and my services! Of course the up-side to this happening is that I’ve fortunately been able to learn from this experience and now know how to sidestep this hurdle before it can happen again. Another big challenge is having to discipline spoilt children who have never heard the word “no”. It completely baffles me, but it is a sad and increasing reality here in Los Angeles. It seems that parents would rather their children hush so they can tend to their own needs than actually take time to listen and to help them learn these things. Then there are the parents who do not believe in discipline at all. I have decided they fall under a category I call “mission: impossible.”
What’s your take on workplace fashion. Given the LA weather, what’s your go-to nanny outfit?
My go-to nanny outfit is generally something comfy but still cute. I like to wear maxi dresses, but because I mainly care for infants and toddlers, I tend to go home a bit messier than I arrived in the morning! I typically wear clothes I don’t care too much about, so that if I am spit up on, or worse, then I won’t get that upset. My daily attire is a decent top and beans, or a t-shirt and yoga pants. I keep it simple and make sure that what I have on won’t limit my mobility, because I am all over the place when working!
So you’re a nanny and a writer? How does that work?
Yes, it works awesomely, especially when I can work during nap-times. Writing is mostly deadline-based, so I often find myself working on writing projects on the weekends and at night after I get off work. Because I am a freelance writer, I make my own schedule and decide which jobs I can take on and fit into my nanny schedule. The key is to keep a healthy balance between the two.
| “If I start to nanny too much and my writing takes a backseat, I get unhappy, and vice versa.”
Tell us about your current project; Not Your Average Nanny Magazine.
My ultimate writing goal has always been to run a magazine. I toyed with content ideas like music, or arts, or events, and they’d always fall to the wayside. But then I had the vision for a nanny magazine, and I just ran with it. Because the subject matter is so near and dear to my heart, it seemed like something I should have thought of a long time ago! I spent some time prepping for the first issue, and gathering fellow nannies to contribute, and then in April this year our premier issue was published. We’ve now this month just published the 6th consecutive issue and it’s going extremely well. My bachelor’s degree is in Professional Writing, and that helped tremendously with getting the magazine published.
Can you give us some insight into the creative process? Do you work alone, collaborate or outsource parts of the magazine’s production?
It may sound silly, but for me, the creative process happens in the shower. I also find I tend to do a lot of my best work when sitting in a coffee shop – it keeps me on task and focussed with plenty of coffee. I also get a lot of my ideas while I’m at work nannying, and I have to quickly write them down before I forget them. I do a lot of my work alone, although right now, the magazine would not exist without collaboration. It is a part of magazine culture – you must have an open mind and be able to work with others in order to run a proper, engaging magazine.
What can readers expect from the next issue of NYAN Magazine?
We’ve a big focus on “mannies” at the moment, and have just featured another outstanding manny who’s based in London. We also have a strong focus on travel and the various travel woes that nannies experience when on holidays with their work families, as well as a strong push of education, healthy lifestyle and of course the “back to school” theme.
How would you like to see things evolve in the next 6-12 months?
I would love to see us partner with a bigger magazine such as Parenting Magazine LA or LA Parents. Maybe even a renowned nanny agency to help us grow.
How do you balance it all?
I don’t really have a “typical” day of any kind. Because my jobs are always changing and I’m constantly taking on new work, my day is all over the place at the moment. I balance it by taking my MacBook to work, and during nap time, I work on NYAN Magazine as well as my freelance work. Thankfully, the pressure of the deadline is what drives my greatest work. So I am used to working within a small time window.
Just quickly, you mentioned that you take your puppy to work with you. How does that play out? Are the kids and parents OK with their being a puppy around?
The kids responded differently to the pup. The 1-year-old was fearlessly affectionate towards her, the 3-year-old was apprehensive at first (but is slowly coming around & becoming affectionate), and the parents were a little concerned at first. They were concerned that given she was a puppy, she would require so much attention which could distract attention from the kids. Now they all love her as much as if Frida [the puppy] were their own; much the same as I love their babies as if they were mine.
It has worked out really well! Because she is a young pup, we have been able to train her to be sweet & gentle with the children. It’s perhaps not all that conventional, and some families may not be ok with it, but we are all happy and it’s great to see both the kids and pup play together and learn to take care of each other.
Inside Miracle Mile Toys, LA. Photo – Miracle Mile Toys.
So you’re based in Los Angeles, California. Why LA?
I absolutely love this city. I was born and raised in a tiny town called Trenton, Michigan [on the other side of the country] but I always had my heart set on the west coast. As a teen I’d dream of living in California. After graduating from college I made my first big move, and relocated to New York City. Although it was a profound place, it didn’t feel like “home” to me. Los Angeles is a different story however. I felt like I belonged here the moment I arrived!
Where do you shop in LA for the tools of your trade?
Miracle Mile Toys is a personal favourite. And of course I love Barnes & Noble, and Target is always a great place for affordable kids toys and craft products.
What and where was the last great meal you ate in LA?
It was actually at an Italian spot on La Brea called Amalfi Restaurant. My boyfriend and I were thrift shopping at Buffalo Exchange right next door. It was a matter of convenience and curiosity and it worked out perfectly!
Where would we find you on a typical Saturday morning?
You’d find me walking to the café with my new little puppy, Frida, before heading off to work. On the off chance that I don’t have to nanny, I’d be having breakfast with my boyfriend at one of our favourite local spots.
Your biggest personal and professional goals you’d like to achieve in the next little bit?
Essentially, to become closer to “entrepreneurial freedom”, whilst also taking the time to care for myself. I’d like to develop a personal agenda, with big picture goals as well as short-term tasks, as a self-love practice to keep me on the right trajectory.
What’s the best thing about what you do?
Working with children, and helping to mould their minds for the future, is truly the best. It’s the most rewarding opportunity I could ever imagine, and I absolutely love that it’s my responsibility to help raise so many awesome little kids.
Biggest piece of advice for new nannies starting out?
Be careful with what you say “Yes” to. The job itself – working with kids – is an awesome one, but it’s also a position where you can easily be taken advantage of (although not always intentionally so). Set your boundaries early on, constantly educate yourself, and being a strong and clear communicator is truly essential!
Peekaboo Playland, a great place for kids in LA! Photo – Peekaboo Playland.
More Industry Spotlight Interviews: see superstar nanny Da Poppins
Because I’m big into community, and sharing the love, and supporting the nanny industry, I’ve been all about getting to know other superstars in the nanny industry. I want to shine a light on them, to highlight them, to let you get to know them, and share with you their magic secrets and tricks of the trade. The Nanny Spotlight at Nanny Shecando is something I’m really passionate about, and I’ve got some fabulous names lined up over the next few months. To get involved, please contact me with subject title nanny spotlight.
To participate in the nanny spotlight, please contact me. If you’re a rock star in your field, be it a nanny or sitter, childcare worker, primary teacher, nanny industry expert, nanny agency or children’s author, I want to hear from you!