It’s true, my husband doesn’t babysit the kids. Now, before you bring out the stakes and pitchforks, let me explain. My husband doesn’t babysit our children because I don’t believe that dads babysit, they are just watching their children, like any normal parent. If my husband goes out somewhere, he has never once been asked “Oh, is mommy babysitting the kids tonight?” because it’s just assumed that I am home with the kids, because that is apparently my job. But if I go out places without the kids, I get asked all the time “Oh, daddy is babysitting the boys? How nice of him!”
Seriously, how nice of him? Since when did it become a ‘nice thing’ for daddy to watch his own children? Why doesn’t anyone say it’s a ‘nice thing’ that I watch the boys? We are a team, we are a parenting team. Raising children is a team effort here. We take turns on who is home in the evening. For example, on Friday, I went out with some other moms in my neighborhood for a mom’s night out, so Justin was home with the boys and put them to bed. Tonight, he has a work meeting to go to, so I will be the one home with the boys to get them dinner and do the bedtime routine. That’s not ‘nice’, it’s just one of the many aspects of being a parent.
Parenting is a Responsibility
It’s not the fact that one of us has to be home with the boys, it’s the way it’s viewed that bothers me. A babysitter is someone that is hired to watch your children, someone who comes to your house so that they are there to make sure your children are ok while the parents both go out. A parent is not a babysitter, they are a parent. They made a decision to have a child, so it is their responsibility to care for that child. It is not an optional thing, like taking a babysitting job can be.
Parents Don’t Babysit!
So if anyone asks, no, my husband is not babysitting the boys, but he is home watching and playing with them like any parent. It also makes me wonder, in a gay couple, do people still say that the dad is babysitting? I would think not, because there isn’t that defined male/female roles that society wants us to conform to. Just because I am the mom, doesn’t mean that I am the only one who takes care of my children and if daddy does it’s a bonus. We split our time: mornings are for me to get some work done, afternoons for Justin to work. The evenings mostly depend on who has something going on.
But no matter what we are doing, neither of us babysit our children. We care for our children in a partnership, as a team, both of us taking responsibility.