Dads Don’t Parent, They Babysit

Hello! Welcome back to topic of the week Wednesdays!

This weeks debate is on the modern day dad. This kind of dad has more involvement. I can not count how many times I’ve heard the comments ‘aw is dad looking after the kids? He’s such a keeper’

“Oh is it dads turn to babysit?”

No, no it’s not ‘Dads’ turn to babysit. He’s being a parent. Babysitting is looking after someone else’s child so that’s impossible. Why is this even a thing that people say especially the older generation? We don’t say this about mothers do we? It’s all a bit strange.

I do however see why it can be said, parenting for a dad can be harder in some aspects. Not because they don’t have ‘mothers instinct’ but simply because of society is still set in the ways that mother does it all. If dad is out and about for the day and needs to change a nappy this can be difficult if say the cafe only has baby changing facilities in the ladies. Brands are also more for mother and baby too which doesn’t help.

And what about the stay at home dads that do it all? Are they still babysitting? I just think the whole thing is a joke and quite degrading to dads!

I do also see the side of how some single mothers may think the baby’s dad is babysitting. Admittedly some dads don’t do enough but even looking after a child for a few hours a week is still parenting in my opinion but I can see why some may say and feel like this in this situation. Even for parents that aren’t split and dads not doing there fair share of parenting.

I haven’t got much more to say about this debate as it shouldn’t be a debate. My partner is very involved and he even agrees he’s not babysitting. We’ve joked about it but for someone to mean it it is very degrading. Jonny thinks that some dads should and could do a lot more for their kids and he even admits that he has it easier than me, simply because he can go have a night out and not worry about who will look after the baby, he also doesn’t have to feed Logan on a night as he doesn’t produce milk. That might be a whole different ball game if I wasn’t breastfeeding however.

He’s also experienced the awkwardness of being the only dad in the room at playgroups and then being congratulated for being there. As lovely as that is it shouldn’t be that way. Dads would probably take their children to play groups more if they wasn’t called ‘mother and baby group’, dads need social interaction with other parents too but that can be a debate for another time.

So conclusion to this debate is no. Dads parent and that is that, we need to move forward from the olden times. Dads have become a lot more hands on over the years and its time that the rest of society follow.

So this debate got a lot of response! 95% of you agreed that a dad doesn’t babysit. The opinions I received too are quite an eye-opener.

I think the problem with this is that it automatically puts the mother as the person with the children on a daily basis. Would we say Mums are babysitters if the roles were reversed?

My little girl’s dad and I are separated. He has her one night during the week and one night at the weekend.

Whenever he has her any extra, or at short notice I find myself saying ‘thanks for having her’ etc. and then I wonder why I say it, because he’s her Dad!

A Dad can’t be called a babysitter, neither can a Mother./

I would never want my OH to think of himself as a babysitter. We’re both parents with all the responsibility that that entails. Unfortunately, he is overseas at least twice a week in a very stressful job at the moment. This has really changed the dynamics in our house and he doesn’t like to look after the kids if I’m not there to support him anymore. So I guess he now positions himself as a babysitter, a very reluctant one… I’m hoping that when his work calms down, we can create more equal parenting roles.

Dads definitely aren’t babysitters, and I think it’s old fashioned to think they are. My husband and I share the work with our two boys equally. He’ll get up during the night, change nappies etc when I’m at home or not, and doesn’t think twice about it. They’re our children so we both look after them.

I have been a single dad to three kids since my youngest was about 1. She is 8 now.

I honestly think a bit of the problem is down to how big companies and brands market products and themselves.

A nappy company not so long ago doing an advert for dad’s with arm here, leg here on a baby-gro for example. Or supermarkets marketing towards mums as another example.

Also, a lot of big chain restaurants or coffee shops don’t have nappy changing facilities in the men’s toilets still.

Also, the mentality of other parents (both dad’s and mums) too. Mums do the school runs , cooking etc.

When my youngest was a baby, it was awkward for me to go to ‘Mother’ and baby groups or toddler groups. Or for me to meet other parents with similar aged kids socially as I was the only man.

Speaking as someone who has done it all for years. I notice little changes, more dad’s on the school run. More dad’s out with their kids at supermarket etc.

They are looking after their kids, not babysitters. My husband is a SAHD, that doesn’t make him a Nanny or an Au Pair. He is being a dad.

It really annoys me when people say things like “oh is Dad watching the baby today?”

No, dad is being a dad today.

Because of work situations, I spend more time with my son than anyone else.

If this is your child, it is not babysitting! The definition of babysitting is looking after children whilst the parents/guardians are out. In the “old days” it wasn’t classed as babysitting if the Mum popped out and left Dad home alone and to be honest he wasn’t really less involved, it was just because mostly Mums were SAH and Dad’s went out to work!

It really gets my goat!

It’s not babysitting when it’s your own child! I think this is a historical hangover from the days when gender roles were more black and white, and old attitudes die hard. But gender roles are getting more fluid all the time, which is a good thing, it allows everyone more flexibility.

I got a comment from a fellow cast member of a play I was in recently, it was a man in his sixties, saying how understanding my husband must be to look after the kids while I go out to rehearsals in the evenings. I had never thought of it that way. They are his children too. I don’t think I’m asking him to do anything that he shouldn’t already be doing. I don’t see that he’s doing me a huge favour in looking after our children so that I can go do something else for a few hours.

Thank you to everyone who gave me a response, I love to hear your opinions.

Funnier picture of when I do leave Logan in his dads care for two minutes… Apparently he needed boobs 🤔

So now it’s over to you guys! What’s your opinion?

4 Replies to “Dads Don’t Parent, They Babysit”

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