I can clearly remember the moment I slipped up and called my husband the babysitter. I was at a photography event and was asked to stay a little bit past the end of the event. I said “Sure no problem…I have a babysitter at home.” In an instant I froze, I didn’t have a babysitter at home. I had a husband, the father of our children, not a babysitter. I remember quickly trying to backtrack my words. I’m sure the person knew what I meant, but in my mind, I was pretty upset with myself. Where had that come from?
My husband is amazing both as a husband and a father. This is something I don’t take for granted. I realize it is a complete blessing to have this amazing man at my side. So, when I slipped and called him a babysitter, I instantly felt a wave of shame.
We have a babysitter…it’s not my husband
Don’t get me wrong we have a great babysitter, she comes and has a great time with our kids when we go out for date night. However, my husband, their dad, is not the babysitter. He wasn’t “watching” our kids that evening. He was parenting them, giving baths, making dinner, checking homework, teaching life lessons, reading stories, and loving them. When I got home that evening, he even had dinner made for me. (See? He is amazing!)
We can be the change
Here is the thing though moms. I am not the only mom to ever refer to her husband or child’s dad as a babysitter or in a way that implies, he is “watching” kids. Our society as a whole does this from time to time. I think we have improved greatly, but we still have progress to make. I think we (including myself!) need to break this habit. Our children’s fathers aren’t their babysitters; they are their parent just as much as we are. I believe dads would appreciate our emphasis on their parental role, and feel more confident as we display more confidence in them.
I am personally working on, and I hope that you will join me. After all, dads are not babysitters, they are parents.