Strollers and Stilettos® interviewed Abby Berger as our highlighted nanny for the month of March. Abby grew up in the Chicagoland area and holds a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders (Speech Pathology) from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Read the full interview below!
S&S: Where did you grow up?
AB: Naperville, IL
S&S: Why did you end up in Chicago?
AB: I moved to Chicago almost two years ago for a sales position.
S&S: What is your alma mater?
AB: The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
S&S: What degree(s) do you hold?
AB: I have a B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders (speech pathology).
S&S: Tell me a little bit about your professional experience – What have some of your previous roles been?
AB: I started out of school as a house manager/nanny for a family with two kids. After that I ventured out into personal training, being a nutritionist, and inside sales. In the end, I came back to my original and true passion of being a nanny.
S&S: What did you want to be when you “grew up”?
AB: I think I went through many phases and wanted to try out many different careers but they usually related to helping children. I remember I wanted to be a NICU nurse and then a NICU speech pathologist for a while.
S&S: Who is one person you looked up to or still look up to?
AB: That would be two people- my parents. I couldn’t ask for better role models who inspire and motivate me each and every day.
S&S: Why did you decide to become a nanny, house manager, babysitter, etc.?
AB: I was a nanny/house manager for a family right after college and loved working with the children, taking initiative around the house and helping out a busy family. Each day had different tasks that I needed to complete which always kept me on my toes and gave me something to look forward to. My current position allows me to experience all of that and more!
S&S: How long have you been in this role?
AB: Almost a year and a half.
S&S: What is your favorite part of your current position?
AB: I love working with the kids and hanging out with them, but I also enjoy the gratification of helping the parents with administrative tasks when they are too busy to take care of it themselves. Planning and helping host the many events and parties is a blast as well!
S&S: Why do you enjoy working with children?
AB: They can always bring a smile to your face no matter what kind of day you are having. These three kids are incomparable, very well behaved and always trying to help out which allows every day to run smoothly.
S&S: Do you want to have a family of your own someday? How many kids do you envision yourself having?
AB: I do! I would say probably two, just like my parents!
S&S: What are your favorite things to do with kids?
AB: I love doing crafts and cooking with them. They are very imaginative and creative kids so participating in the games and projects they come up with is always thrilling.
S&S: What do you enjoy doing in Chicago during your personal time?
AB: My boyfriend and I are constantly going around and trying new places to eat and shop. We love taking advantage of this great city we live in. We have been traveling a lot recently too; Greece, Mexico, and Seattle to name a few. I also take pleasure in cooking, working out, and listening to music.
S&S: Tell me about a day in the life of a Nanny.
AB: When I arrive, the kids are all in school so that allows for the mother and me to go over the daily/weekly schedule and figure out what needs to be done and who is going to do it. I clean up around the house and respond to emails. There is usually a vendor coming to the house to do work, so I supervise them as well. When the kids return home from school, we do homework, and then whatever they prefer whether it be a game, craft or their own quiet personal time. I make dinner approximately three times a week, so we eat and then they shower and go to bed!
S&S: What are some of your favorite spots in the Chicago area (i.e. museums, play cafes, restaurants, beaches)?
AB: There are many great places in the city. My boyfriend and I are constantly out and about! We love riding our bikes to brunch on Sunday’s (Toast, Whisk, or Kabella to name a few!) or down The 606. In the summer we enjoy going to the beach and playing volleyball, attending outdoor events and concerts, and checking out new street festivals. Lately, we have been quite obsessed with escape rooms too! So far we have been unsuccessful at escaping.
S&S: Where do you see yourself in five years – On a personal and/or professional level?
AB: I see myself married with hopefully at least one child of my own and still working for the same family!
S&S: How did you hear about Strollers and Stilettos®?
AB: I saw a job posting through an online search engine.
S&S: What was the process like with Strollers and Stilettos®?
AB: Very easy! Katie was always quick at responding and kept me in the loop about everything. She continues to keep in contact with me and constantly checks in to make sure everything is going well.
S&S: How did Strollers and Stilettos® help you with finding a family in Chicago?
AB: I initially reached out to Strollers and Stilettos for a different position. However, after Katie got to know me a little better, she knew I would be a perfect fit for my current position. Katie really understood exactly what I was looking for and made the perfect match happen!
S&S: Do you have any advice for families interested in hiring a nanny?
AB: Working side by side with someone every day, communication is key! Also, find someone who has the same morals and values as your family does and will help pass them along to your children.
S&S: Do you have any advice for candidates interested in becoming a nanny?
AB: Be available for whatever and whenever. The job is never the same two days in a row, and you need to be flexible and adjust to whatever the family is asking of you. Always keep a positive attitude and help out whenever possible. You also need to be very organized and creative. It is a lot of work but also very rewarding!