Thursday, August 02, 2012

Dad, The Babysitter?

It really annoys me when people use the term "babysitting" when a father looks after his own child(ren). As if to imply being a dad does not include the role of caregiver.

I am currently on mat leave, and joke that my daughter is the best boss I've ever had. When Chris gets home from work, the first thing he does is wash his subway hands, and if Hannah is awake, grabs her for a hug.  He is the "bath" man, he purees her food and never minds changing a dirty diaper if he's home to do so (although I am quite petty and offer them up if I am the first to notice the smell).

Is our relationship perfect? Of course not. But we feel comfortable letting the other person know if they aren't pulling their weight or if there are chores that need doing. We agree that parenting is a team sport and both of us need to strive for personal bests and share the puck (so to speak). (I always had great respect for single parents, and now that I have my own child that respect has rapidly grown into awe.)

I do not want my daughter to grow up in a home where she sees Mommy doing all the housework and child rearing while Daddy surfs the Internet or watches TV. I want to teach her that relationships are about equality and respect. I want to teach her about cooperation. I want her to realize that if she decides to start a family one day she deserves a partner in every sense of the word - someone who helps, supports and loves her the best they can.

And really, unless a father spends time taking care of their child, how are they to bond?

So the next time someone says, "Oh, daddy is babysitting tonight," I'll politely inquire as to how much his hourly wage is. If the rate is good, perhaps he can babysit my child too.

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.


  1. A fantastic post. I couldn't agree more! It is so true that many people say Dad's "babysit" when in fact they are parenting. Thanks for this. It made me smile.

  2. GREAT post! The whole dad "babysitting" think annoys me too. I joke that my daughter is my boss as well :)

  3. I hate that question, too! My boyfriend tends to slack on household chores, but when it comes to taking care of our babes, he is a great partner! Found you from the TGIF blog hop, and am leaving a follower. Come visit me at

  4. Funny enough, when I thanked my Mom for babysitting Hannah while Chris and I were at a wedding this weekend, she was like "I'm her Grandma! It's not babysitting, it's my job!" So I guess I need to take it the next level - Grandmas don't babysit either!

  5. {Kathy} I always say, "Dads don't babysit their own children.....maybe the neighbors' kids, but not ours."


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