Dad’s AREN’T babysitters. I recently read an article that someone posted on a mom group I am on about Dads and society’s perception on how they parent, or don’t. It really spoke to me and I just want add my opinion on the subject. While my blog name is “One Mom to Rule Them All”, I think it is important to talk about the role my husband plays in our children’s life in relation to this article. He is a parent, not a babysitter.
First, let’s talk about my husband. He is an amazing father who always go out of his way to help me out as much as possible. He takes an equal part in playing with our kids, doing bedtimes, bathtimes, and watching them when I go out. He does not babysit. I am not worried about the kids when they are by themselves. He cooks, he cleans, and he gets up with the kids whenever I need help. He is my partner in parenting when he is home.
As Jarrett works long hours every week, I am at home with the kids a lot more than he is and end up taking care of him and the kids a lot, which is how I picked my name. But I just want to clarify that I am not by myself in this journey that I am taking as a parent to my three beautiful children.
I always find it funny when people ask me if Jarrett is babysitting the kids when I am out running errands or hanging out with my friends.
“No… he isn’t babysitting… he’s just watching the kids.” Is usually my reply.
When I think of a babysitter, I think of a temporary caretaker. A parent is NOT a temporary caretaker, and should not be treated that way.
If you are a wife who has a husband who is a “babysitter”, maybe you should think about giving them more responsibility. I realize it is sometimes hard to give up the reins, but give them a chance. It will pay off in the long run. Having children who are solely dependent on you is extremely draining, and you will eventually have a meltdown.
I think that we as a society need to re-evaluate how we view fathers and their roles in a family. I am very lucky that Jarrett is a nurse who specializes in pediatric care, because he has taught me a lot of what I know about parenting. He bathed the kids right after they were born because I didn’t know how. He changed diapers for the first few weeks because I couldn’t move after giving birth to Jack. He assisted me in learning how to breast feed.
While I’m not saying that every father should be as involved as Jarrett is, I DO think that they should be involved. Make the dad’s change bums. Make the dad’s baths. Make sure your kid gets bedtime from Mommy AND Daddy. If they don’t know how to do it, teach them.
Maybe it’s because my dad was always a very active participant in my life. He cooked, cleaned, took care of my brother and I for six months while my mom was out of town for work. He was a parent. Is it because of him I have high expectations of fathers? Probably. Kudos to all those dads out there who step into the parenthood role easily. I know it is a challenge, but I encourage you to embrace it. Children aren’t children forever.
Dad’s AREN’T babysitters. Let’s change the perception of dad’s for the next generation to be regarded as father’s who parent. Not babysit.