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Author Florence Ann Romano: “I want to create a kinder, gentler and more tolerant world for children through childcare”

I want to create a kinder, gentler and more tolerant world for children through childcare. Parents AND nannies are shaping our future generations; and I am worried what the results will be based on what I am seeing happening behind closed doors in households across America. Are these nannies good role models? Are they raising […]


I want to create a kinder, gentler and more tolerant world for children through childcare. Parents AND nannies are shaping our future generations; and I am worried what the results will be based on what I am seeing happening behind closed doors in households across America. Are these nannies good role models? Are they raising children with the values of the household/parents? How are they teaching children to leave the world better than they found it?


I had the pleasure of interviewing -Florence Ann Romano, The Windy City Nanny, is a former nanny and the author of Nanny and Me. She is the CEO and Owner of Kindred Content. — a full service video production company based in Chicago.​

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?

I have loved children ever since I was a child myself! That led me to babysitting, which then quickly revealed my desire to be a nanny. And, as they say, the rest is history! I was a nanny for 15 years in my hometown of Chicago, and those days will go down in the record books as some of the best days in my life. After retiring as a nanny, I launched my brand: The Windy City Nanny, and authored my first children’s book, Nanny and Me. I wanted to stay connected to children and families by focusing my brand on childcare in the new millennium.

Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

This is a tough question because the word ‘interesting’ is so subjective and personal! If I had to pick, I would say the most interesting turn events for me — as a nanny — was discovering just how dirty that word was near and far. The term ‘’nanny’’’ immediately leads folks to think of someone, who enters your home to ultimately take care of your kids, cheating with your spouse. Then, on top of that, celebrities started cheating with their nannies and it became front-page news. With that, nannies got a bad reputation and I was so sick of hearing the same narrative recycled over and over again. I wanted to correct the record and speak up for the 64% of Americans that employ a nanny and need a proper voice.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Oh golly, I sure can! I was about 18 at the time, and I had 4 of my nanny kids in a public pool with me. The kids LOVED hanging on me for the duration of the swim (mind you I am only 5’2 and these kids could have taken down me — easy). Well, the little boy happened to be hanging around my neck and somehow loosened the tie to the top of my bathing suit. I felt it slip into the water, and grasped the baby girl even more tightly to the front of me — hoping not to cause a ‘naughty nanny scene’’ in the pool. I swam over to the lifeguard and summoned him down to “please tie me up before I embarrass myself and these children!” He kindly obliged and the crisis was averted. What did I learn? To wear a one piece.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I have always had ideas for television regarding childcare; and those ideas are now becoming conversations with decision makers. I want to show the world what is ACTUALLY going on in households across America with their nannies, and bring the spotlight to many themes of todays society that need to be under the microscope. Stay tuned!

Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

The most powerful image in the book for me is the little boy holding a whale stuffed animal. My brother, Michael, is 17 months younger than I am and is Autistic. He is on the low end of the spectrum, and still operates in many respects as a little boy. The stuffed animal whale in the book is real, and is one of his most favorite toys to date (and he still carries it around with him wherever he goes). The little boy in the book was created in the likeness of my Mikey — curly brown hair and all!

What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?

The transition of being cared for by your parents to by a nanny or caretaker can be traumatic for children. They compare themselves to their friends and wonder perhaps: is my Mom or Dad not staying home to take care of me because they don’t love me? Don’t want to play with me?

Don’t leave your kids questioning your decisions — communicate with them, as much as you can, about any changes in the household and explain WHY. I especially want the parents of special needs children to take great care in selecting a nanny for their household. Special circumstances require a special nanny — take your time; do your homework; have an observation period and invest in nanny cams (that advice goes for ALL parents — not just those with special needs children!)

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

I have always looked at Margaret Thatcher and marveled at her gumption and grit. I also don’t have to look farther than my family gene pool to be humbled and inspired by incredible female leaders — my great grandmother was the founder of Ferrara Pan Candy (you know the Lemonhead candy? Yep, that was her!) She was a woman ahead of her time — all business and couldn’t boil water. Today, women can have it all — but, back then, who she was (and what she represented) was truly progressive and extraordinary. Grateful to be her great granddaughter!

Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?

Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens embodies two important things still relevant today: 1) sacrifice and 2) redemption. I believe we are teaching our children to grow up thinking life should be handed to them; teaching them to feel entitled and have expectations that they “deserve” what they want, without having to work for it. NOT BUYING IT. We need to go back a bit old school — find respect again; instill a work ethic; and demand manners. Through sacrifice you see results, and you become a better person for the trials. And, inevitable as failure is during this journey, so is redemption … but only if you truly are doing the work; have your heart in the right place; and are leading from a generous place.

How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?

Whenever I glance at my book, the first word that pops in my mind is: love. I just hope Nanny and Me makes children feel and know love — in so many forms, whether that’s parents or a nanny.

What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author like you?

The best advice I ever received, and what I will now pass on to you, is to write what you know. If you want to write a book, you have to have something to say that will aim to better or enhance your readers’ life in some way, shape or form. Isolate what that goal is and then put pen to paper.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I want to create a kinder, gentler and more tolerant world for children through childcare. Parents AND nannies are shaping our future generations; and I am worried what the results will be based on what I am seeing happening behind closed doors in households across America. Are these nannies good role models? Are they raising children with the values of the household/parents? How are they teaching children to leave the world better than they found it?

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1) You can do anything you want, just not all at once. You have to take care of yourself in order to be any good to anyone. When I feel myself burning out, I start to prioritize and then just let what can’t get done fall to the wayside. You pick up the pieces later.

2) Say what you mean, just do not say it mean. I cannot STAND ego or rude people. I am lucky to work with so many wonderful people, but now and again a stinker slips through the cracks and it takes everything in me not to school them. Always be the bigger person but coming from a place of kindness and assertiveness. Never give someone anything mean to say about you — rise up; look up; speak your truth with a spoon full of sugar.

3) You will fail 10 times before you succeed 1 time. I went through 3 illustrators before I found the one that plucked my heart strings. I felt so lost for so long — I felt that no one could possibly make my words come to life. But, giving up is never an option in my book. And, thankfully, I kept going and stayed true to my vision. When it is right, you know.

4) This too shall pass. My grandmother said this to me constantly. And I have repeated it in my head thousands of times. The hard days come, but you battle through. And the funny thing about life is … nothing ever stays the same. Even if you want it to.

5) Let go and let God. Whether or not you and I believe in the same God; or the universe, or spirits or a greater purpose does not matter. But I will tell you what DOES matter: faith — faith in yourself; faith in the world; faith in love over evil. One of my favorite quotes is: “if you cannot give anything up to faith you are doomed to live a life dominated by doubt.” And that, my friends, is the truth — life reveals this to you over time.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

Jessica Alba has done such a sensational job with her company, Honest. SO impressed by her innovation and dedication to children!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WindyCityNanny/

Instagram: @WindyCityNanny

Thank you so much for this. This was very inspiring!

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