You’re a Dad…not a babysitter!!

A short excerpt from a phone call this afternoon

Me: “Hey Jenn, wanna meet me at the gym for the 6:30 Group Power class?”

Jenn: “Sure, sounds great.  Just let me see if I can get Mark to babysit the kids for me.”

I can’t help but become slightly incredulous when I hear my friend Jennifer and other wives I know say they’re going to ask their husbands to babysit for them…their husbands, who are also their children’s fathers, who, based upon simple mathematics should share parenting responsibilities right down the middle. Correct? It also happened last week when my hubby James explained to me that his buddy Chuck couldn’t come over because he was babysitting so Janice could take a class on Wednesday nights

You're a dad!! Not a babysitter!!Pardon the nit pickiness of it all, but Merriam-Webster defines babysitting as “the act of tending to a child or children while the parents are away”. Both parents meaning mom and dad, or dad and dad, or however we define parents these days.

While so many husbands are active, hands-on dads who take just as much, if not more of a role in child-raising as their wives, there are still too many who consider  anything to do with taking care of their offspring to be “women’s work.” Just because we carried the little bowling balls around in utero for nine months doesn’t give us sole proprietorship. It’s a partnership!

If you’re one of those great dads who consider it just as much your job to help with homework, supervise bath time, drive carpool and make dinner as your wife’s, then we at Good Husbanding salute you. On the other hand, if you’re lying back in your recliner semi-comatose while your wife, after a long day at work, juggles laundry, dinner, dishes, homework, sibling referring and all the other workings of the house, then get off your butt and lend a hand…or two.

And remember, if you happen to hear one of your buddies say that they have to babysit their kids, smack them on the back of the head and say “Dude, you’re not babysitting when they belong to you. That’s called being a dad.”

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Filed Under: Husband & FatherHusband 101In Trouble


About the Author: Angela is an award winning humor columnist, freelance writer and public speaker living in Middle Georgia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. She uses her keen insight and clever wit to help husbands understand the complex mechanisms that are their wives. “I like to think of as an owner’s manual for the average wife. Of course results may vary, but we’re all fairly similar whether we admit it or not.” Angela uses her background in psychology, the myriad of learning experiences offered through her ten year marriage, and input from her “in the trenches” audience members across the country as input for her articles.

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  1. Dawn says:

    I’m glad I’m not alone in my annoyance with
    hearing fathers referred to as “babysitters”. I have heard many a
    coworker say “I can’t do XYZ. I have to babysit my kids.” 1) “Have to”?
    Really? You must be forced to spend time with your children? and 2) if
    you view your role in your child’s life as that of a babysitter, I fear
    for what kind of adults they are going to be.