Today I would like to introduce you to renowned nanny to the stars, MARVA SOOGRIM. Marva is a celebrity nanny who has worked for over 30 years with A-lister babies including the children of Julia Roberts, Courtney Cox, and Chris O’Donnell. Her specialty is to bring “calm to the chaos” of bringing up a newborn. I appreciate her taking the time to answer these questions!
What inspired you to want to work with children?
Working with children was one of my callings, as I knew that I could bring calm to any household. Whether twins, single child or quintuplets, no family is too big of a challenge for me. Not too many nannies can step up to the plate with love and true smiles. There is a great need for special nurturing care for babies and children in our country, as most parents are busy working outside the home. Most of all, I love being a nanny even after thirty years, as I have aspired to be the best in my field.
How did you become a Hollywood Nanny?
Born in Trinidad, I came to the United States in 1980, at the age of 21. With medical assistant training and great references, I began work as a baby nurse and nanny to some of New York’s most prestigious families. News of my novel approach to caring for babies spread via word of mouth and I quickly became the nanny of choice for celebrity A-listers including Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, Courtney Cox and Sheryl Crow, and Chris O’Donnell.
I have heard that your expertise lies in how to bring “calm to the chaos” of bringing up a newborn. Could you share some tips for new parents on that subject?
- A stressed out parent translates to a stressed out baby. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remove yourself from the room for a minute, take three (or more) deep breaths to regain calm, and comfort baby as well as yourself. Babies can pick up vibes from parents and will feel calmer knowing you are at ease.
- Once your newborn is 3 months or older, bathe Baby after dinner, and the soothing waters will help your child sleep soundly – maybe even though the night!
- Although it’s easy to devote all attention to your new arrival, it is imperative to maintain a healthy, loving relationship with your husband/partner. Maintain an active sex life (even if it’s not traditional intercourse) and keep your flame alive. Happy and fulfilled daddies are more likely to chip in with parenting, chores around the house, and much-needed naps.
- Babies love fresh air. Once you’ve ruled out fussiness is not due to a dirty diaper, over tired, or hunger, immediately pick your little one up and take baby near out onto a porch or for a walk. Fresh air, change of atmosphere and visual distraction do wonders. Watch as the baby calms down like clockwork.
Could you share with us any humorous or moving stories from your experience as a celebrity nanny?
- One time, I had a new celebrity client interview at Barney’s in Beverly Hills, CA. I had no money to grab a taxi and needed to somehow travel 3 miles. I walked 1 1/2 miles and then hitchhiked with a gardener in his truck. He dropped me off in Beverly Hills and I had leaves and hay all over my interview outfit! This goes to show, things happen sometimes so you have to act fast. I still got the job and the client was kind enough not to say anything about my appearance.
- I worked with one boy named Andrew for 7 years. He always had a great sense of humor. One time when Andrew was 2 ½ years old, I stood up, towered over him and said, “Andrew, you take my breath away!” He shot up in panic and looked up at me with fear in his eyes, held his hands up near my mouth and said, “Marva, can I put it back?”
- In terms of celebrity moms (and everyday moms too), it’s always slightly amusing to think about women who cry when they spill milk after pumping. They consider that milk to be liquid gold. Once it happens, and they’re sitting there in tears, I say, “The milk has been spilt.” Ladies, you can’t get it back, so let’s not be sad about it!
What is your favorite part about being a celebrity nanny?
My favorite part of being a celebrity nanny is knowing for sure that A-list parents are just as vulnerable as everyday parents, and life treats them no differently than us. And of course, to know that if my work was not of the highest standard, they would not have sought me out.
What is the most challenging part of being a celebrity nanny?
The most challenging part of being a celebrity nanny is keeping up with A-lister schedules – my clients travel A LOT for their work…so we might be jetting off to a remote island or going bicoastal at a moment’s notice.
How do you think being a celebrity parent is different from being a regular every day parent?
Being a celebrity parent is different from being a regular every day parent because you are constantly in the spotlight. People are judging your clothing, lifestyle and parenting habits. Besides the extra attention, celebrity parents are just as loving, stressed and swept up with their children as every day parents. They have to work through the same issues – preparing a strong family and marriage foundation before bringing babies into the home, and setting boundaries with their children. That being said, I can attest that even the biggest names in Hollywood discipline their kids.
Anything else you would like to share?
Now that I’ve been a nanny for over 30 years, I want to share my wisdom and serve as a resource for new parents across the globe. With my new website, www.MarvalousBabies.com, parents can submit questions to “Ask Marva” or arrange for private phone consultations. You can also check out Marvalous Babies on Facebook.