Jul 29, 2014
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Dads Aren't "Babysitters"

Dads and moms alike are equally responsible for spending time with their children. One-on-one time should never be considered babysitting.

Dads Aren't "Babysitters"

One thing that really gets me going is when I hear moms say, “My husband is going to babysit the kids so I can get some 'me' time.”

Last time I checked, the creation of a child required a mom AND a dad. The upbringing, however, can vary of course. There are now single parents, same-sex parents, and grandparents involved with child-rearing.

In a traditional home, both parents should be (in my opinion) equally responsible for their child’s care and development until they become responsible adults. It shouldn’t be a one-parent job unless there's some legitmate reason. And I do understand this happens.

But, I struggle when I hear moms talk about how great their husbands are for “babysitting” the kids.

Oh, I’m so lucky! He’s going to babysit the kids for me tonight so I can go get my haircut,” or “Bob babysat the kids so I could do the grocery shopping in peace.”

Really?? It makes me want to gag – just a little bit. And yes, I'm talking about the term "babysit," not the actual act of spending time with the child.

Dads are a critical element in a child’s life. They are NOT babysitters. They are role models, caregivers, and providers.

I am a stay-at-home mom, but I am not June Cleaver. I fully admit to this. I'm not the best cook and I can't sew very well, but I'm proud to share the responsibilities of running a home and raising children with my husband.

We are a team.

We are trying to set an example by having dad cook while mom pays the bills. Dad washes the laundry while mom folds and irons. We share in the household duties with hopes of showing our boys that nothing is a man's or a woman's "job." (Well, except for cleaning the chicken coop which I simply prefer not to do!)

The nature of our society is that dads typically are the main breadwinners, although it seems we are starting to make a shift.

I know many stay-at-home-dads who are proud to be the caregivers while their career wives bring home the bacon. I think it’s pretty neat!

The funny thing is that I don’t recall hearing them say, “Donna is going to babysit the kids so I can go bowling this weekend.”

When I was in the dating phase of my life, one of the main qualities I searched for in a husband was his love of children and a dedication to being a father.  

Somewhere in the depths of my being I had enough sense to recognize this key quality in a life partner. I actually valued that more than sexy abs and straight, pearly teeth. Call me crazy!

Parents should WANT to be involved with their own flesh and blood. Perhaps I'm too idealistic in this day and age. But in my opinion this is a critical factor in a child's healthy development.

Working dads have a lot on their shoulders. However, working or not, moms also carry a heavy load. Stay-at home-moms are overwhelmed with the juggling act of being everything to everyone on a daily basis.

So moms and dads, let’s try to eliminate the term “babysitting” from our vocabulary when it comes to referring to one another caring for our children.

Instead, say something like, “Sam is spending some amazing quality time with our kids tonight while I get some quiet time to re-energize.”

No more babysitting please. It’s called being a parent.

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