Dads Watching Their Own Kids is Not Babysitting

I have a pet peeve to share with all of you, and I think it is something that is somewhat common in our language about dads that we need to change.

With my job as a social reporter I go to a lot of events, most of the time without my husband. 9 times out of 10 when I do and people wonder why he didn’t come with (which he sometimes does) they say, “So is Sean on babysitting duty?”

Now, before you jump all over me, I get it, this is just one of those “things people say,” but that doesn’t mean it’s okay.

Being a parent is a full-time job, not just for moms. Sure, a lot of dads, maybe even the majority of dads, might work outside the home at another job (for which they presumably get paid) but that doesn’t mean that they don’t also have a “job” and responsibilities as a parent. That also doesn’t mean that those responsibilities are a chore, as in “Oh I can’t go I have to babysit.”

Calling a dad a “babysitter” serves to devalue the role that fathers play in their children’s lives, which is just as important as the roles that mothers can play.

I’m tired of the old fashioned notion that mothers are always the primary caregivers and the only ones who know how to properly parent a child. You’ve seen the commercials, the one where the dad might be at the grocery store, in the diaper aisle like “Huh? Diapers? What are these?!?!” like he’s completely clueless and this whole “Dad” thing is just beyond his comprehension.


Jenny Witte
Jenny Witte
Jenny Witte is the creator of and Mamatoga Magazine, living in Saratoga Springs, NY with her husband and four kids. Writing since college, she finds parenting to be the most hilarious experience to write about yet. She strives to make Mamatoga a nonjudgmental place for all parents. You can also find Jenny on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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