As her year of being INA Nanny of the Year draws to a close, we asked Mary Ann Meddish some questions about her last year.
What did being NOTY mean to you?
I believe that being selected as a Nanny of the Year should not be looked at as a pinnacle of achievement but instead as a commitment to continue on as an example of what it means to do your personal best in this career choice and industry. Being the 2009 Nanny of the Year means that I have been recognized for who I am and what I have done so far during my career in an industry that has not yet come into its own. It also means that I will forever be looked to as an example, and that I have an obligation to continue to follow my goals of constantly learning and striving to be one of the best at what I do.
Was it what you expected it would be, why or why not?
I knew that there were certain tasks and duties set before me as the 2009 Nanny of the Year that I would be expected to complete but I also knew that each past NOTY has brought something deferent to this recognition and that it was my job to make it my own. I cannot say that I reached the masses and made people listen, as I have never been one to seek attention. Instead I looked at my time as the Nanny of the Year as an opportunity to help strengthen the potential leaders of tomorrow, to encourage others in the industry to continue working towards their personal best and to recognize their strengths and achievements and to truly see what they have become and what they have to offer to this industry as it moves into the future and claims the positive recognition that it deserves.
How did it change you?
Being selected as the 2009 NOTY forced me to step up in a more noticeable way instead of my usual role of hiding behind the more outgoing and vocal members of our industry where I was (and still am) very content to play the role of a supporting them in getting things done.
What was the highlight of your year?
It may seem strange (it certainly surprised me) but one of the highlights of this year was facing my fears and speaking at last year’s conference. There have been times I have found myself involved in something before a group without warning and I always felt so self conscious and scared of messing up that I couldn’t get into it or enjoy it. There was no way I would volunteer and step out there willingly and just go for it.
What surprised you the most?
Receiving this recognition threw me right in the middle of my fears, on a stage with the job of addressing my peers, showing my appreciation, and encouraging other nannies, while also letting people get to know me a bit more. I promise I was shaking when I stepped up to deliver that speech but I accomplished that task and got a couple of laughs in the process. I have found myself before groups a few times recently and I am now able to fear it less and actually enjoy it a little bit.
What is your message to the new NOTY and do you have any encouraging words or advice for future candidates?
I am proud of the people in this industry; of what we are and what we are becoming and I am honored to address them as my peers. As I look to the future I hope and pray that others making this career choice and getting involved in this industry will allow themselves to learn and grow and try new things and reach their full potential. I hope to see the leaders of tomorrow coming into their own and stepping out of that comfortable place where they say ‘being a nanny is my job’ to owning the statement ‘being a nanny is my career’ to responding to the calling to make a difference and stepping up to be involved with the growth of our industry. We are nannies and we have the ability to do amazing things!