Sitter Spotlight: Kelley Whalen

sitter spotlight photo | Call Emmy

Meet Kelley Whalen, a dedicated and valuable member of the Call Emmy team who has been making families’ lives easier for the past five years by babysitting. Her years of teaching experience, paired with her genuine love for kids, make her a wonderful sitter that both parents and kids enjoy having around.

Get to know one of our top sitters from her interview, where she shares insight into her life as a Call Emmy sitter.

Q: Tell me a bit about yourself.

A: I recently retired a year ago. I was a middle school counselor for 17 years and a middle school teacher for 16 years. I also taught back east in elementary school for 3 years before I moved to Colorado. So a retired educator basically.

People will ask, what have you done in your first year [ since retirement]? I’ve been babysitting, traveling, relaxing, taking things one day at a time, and hanging out with my dog.

Q: How long have you been babysitting in general?

A: Since elementary or middle school, I’ve been babysitting. I’ve been doing it for a long time.

Q: How many years have you been babysitting with Call Emmy?

A: Arezou [ the CEO] told me recently that I started in 2019. It feels like more than that, but that’s what she told me so I’d say 5 years.

Q: Why did you start doing more babysitting jobs?

A: I started doing church events and individual homes, but then COVID hit, and then the events stopped. I was pretty much just doing a church in Arvada on Saturdays once a month, but it stopped because of COVID, and then it picked up again. Then, I started picking up more jobs outside of the church events because I have the time now. But back in the day it really was just a job here and there. I’m doing a whole lot more now because I have the time.

Q: How do you typically start your day before a job?

A: Nothing out of the norm, just getting me prepped in a semi-professional look, that kind of thing. Then I get the phone out and get the map ready, so I know where I’m going, and I have a protein drink or a bite to eat before I head out the door.

Q: Is there anything specific you take with you to a babysitting job?

A: Recently, I have taken some card games but normally, no. I use what the kids have at their home but I had a couple of gigs where I brought some cards and the kids loved them. So I’ll probably keep bringing those decks of cards. There’s Old Maid and Crazy Eights and memory games.

Q: Are there any other activities you like doing with the kids?

A: I love doing arts and crafts and playing games with the kids. We did crafts the other day, and we just had a ball. We made a butterfly out of a paper towel tube and construction paper that they had, a little bit of paint, and crayons. But I like crafts and I like games.

Q: What are your strengths as a babysitter?

A: I would say playing games, doing crafts, being engaged, and just paying attention to the kiddos, giving them the attention that they like and need, being a teacher, so to speak. With this little girl the other day I had to be a bit of a teacher and let them know it’s nice to let others go first in a game. My teacher comes out sometimes as we go through our day.

Q: Do you have any regular clients?

A: I had one for two weeks, which is regular for me. I had one I did last week for three days, which is as regular as it gets.

Q: What was it like sitting for one person over the course of two weeks?

A: There is something to be said for consistency. You know where you are driving to, you know how long it takes to get there, you know their routine, where things are, and you’ve met the dog. So it’s nice to have that consistency.

Q: Are you comfortable with pets that come along with sitting jobs?

A: I love dogs. I’m on my fifth dog. Dogs rule. When I get a sitting and there is a dog in there, I go Yes! I get kids and dogs. I love it.

Q: What are the age ranges of the kids you usually babysit for?

A: It really runs the gamut, I would say. I did a gig down at the convention center back at the beginning of the year, and they were babies, I think, three months old. The church outings go up to 5th or 6th grade, so I do the entire gamut.

Q: How do you approach working with babies?

A: Patience, especially with the one I have now. She’s a 5-month-old; she’s teething, so you just have to try everything to keep them happy. It’s just about tapping into your patience because, obviously, they can’t communicate the way we’re all used to communicating, so you just have to use patience and try to figure out what’s gonna make them happy.

Q: How do you approach working with multiple kids?

A: I just try to give them the same amount of attention. Sometimes, they’re fine being on their own doing their puzzle or whatever it is, but you just have to make sure you’re giving them the attention they want and need at the same time.

Q: Do you find yourself doing more outdoor or indoor activities when there are multiple kids?

A: That depends on the kids and the household. These two kids I had before were definitely indoors. They never even mentioned the outdoors. Another two kids had a backyard, and they wanted to go outside. It’s really what the kids want and what they have at their disposal. Every situation is different; you just work with what they want to do at the moment.

Q: Have you ever done any home organization jobs?

A: I’ve done laundry twice. They [the bookers] did the laundry, and I folded it and put it away. It’s pretty easy. I’ve done that twice, and I’d like to do more of it in the future.

Q: Have you received any compliments from a job?

A: I have several on my page, including one [from a booker] the other day. I texted that mom and thanked here for the accolades. It’s on my page with a picture of me and a little blurb about me.

Q: What has motivated you to keep working as a sitter?

A: It’s nice to get some extra money coming in but it’s also about the people that I meet at the big gigs. I met a few people that I’m friends with, and we do things outside of work. It’s just nice to bounce things off of, too, asking them what would you do and how would you handle that. And, of course, the kids. I just love kids and their humor and their perspective on life, hearing them and their comments, the things they say and do and how they approach things. It’s kind of fun.

Q: So you’ve become acquainted with other Call Emmy sitters?

A: Yeah. You keep meeting once a month at the same church, and then, from there, someone says they need help on another job, and it becomes this help network. It’s nice to meet other adults who do the same type of work that you do.

Q: What is one thing you wish parents knew about babysitting?

A: The more information they can give us the better. We are walking into a strange place, we don’t know where things are or the password for the Wi-Fi or the code on the front door. It’s good if they can put things in writing. A parent did that the other day, and it was very helpful.

If you want to work with Call Emmy and help families like Kelly does, offer your services here. If you’re in need of a great sitter click here. Call Emmy offers sitter services, as well as home organization, cleaning, and companion care services.

Leave a Comment