An Involved Father Doesn’t Baby-Sit

My husband is a wonderfully involved father.  There are things that he’s done with our children that I haven’t, even though I’m a stay at home mom.  Those things are part of his role as an involved father.

I seldom take care of Norton’s bath.  It’s been something that he’s done with his daddy since coming home from the hospital.  It’s entirely possible for me to go months without giving Norton a bath or putting him to bed.  I have never given my daughter a bath.  I rarely put her to bed at night.  Those are all part of Daddy’s rituals.

An Involved Father Doesn't Baby-SitHe does a ton of great things with our children.  There’s no one set thing that I do and he never, ever does… except give medicine, and that’s because we have a “medicine agreement.”  Oh, and he doesn’t wash diapers, either.

He also doesn’t baby-sit.

I don’t mean that he never has sole responsibility for both children while I’m out.  He does.  It happens from time to time.  However, he does not baby-sit our children.  The reason for that is simple: he’s not a baby-sitter.

My mother-in-law baby-sits.  My nephew has baby-sat.  My niece baby-sat Norton when she was up visiting.  These are people who do not have responsibilities as a primary caregiver of our children.  These are people that help out in a pinch, and are possibly paid.

When people ask if my husband is baby-sitting, I get annoyed.  If he were less patient, he’d probably be annoyed, too.  It’s sexist and it’s a socially acceptable way of telling men that it’s okay to not be around for their children.  It implies that fathers are somehow less capable or less important.  Not all fathers are like the bumbling stereotypical dads shown on TV.  (In fact, I’d say that the majority aren’t bumbling fools at all.  I don’t know of any real life completely inept fathers, myself.)

So, yeah, when I go out for coffee with friends later this week, I’ll leave the kids at home.  I’ll enjoy myself and not have to worry because I know that they’ll be with someone who will always love them and care for them.  I know that they’ll be with the person who spends more time with them than anyone else in the world (other than me).

My husband is not an unimportant person who just drifts in and out.  He’s my partner in life and my children’s father.  He loves them and takes amazing care of them.  He’s not a baby-sitter.  He’s an involved father.

Does your husband baby-sit?

Image credits: Free Digital Photos.net | David Castillo Dominici

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.

Comments

  1. I agree! When it’s your own kid, it’s called parenting, not babysitting.

  2. Excellent points! I also get miffed when people ask if my husband is babysitting the kids, as if to say they’re only being parented if I’m present.

Trackbacks

  1. […] things that make me an angry mom.  Or at least an irritated one… like the assumption that my husband baby-sits instead of parents.  Or when Norton decides to dive bomb off the back the couch and somehow hurt my back.  Because I […]

  2. […] things that make me an angry mom.  Or at least an irritated one… like the assumption that my husband baby-sits instead of parents.  Or when Norton decides to dive bomb off the back the couch and somehow hurt my back.  Because I […]

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