Sometimes, one parent has to go somewhere. Work. The mall. A doctor.
And that leaves one parent alone with the kids.
You never hear “Mom is babysitting the kids while Dad is out.”
But you do hear “Dad is babysitting while Mom is out.”
It may be the most frustrating, unintentionally demeaning thing I’ve heard as a Dad.
That sentiment leans on an out-dated, damaging misperception that Dads can do professional work like a champ, but turn into a chump when children are around.
Saying that Dads are just “babysitting” completely minimizes their investment in their kids’ lives.
Sure, I babysat when I was a teenager. It was great. Hang out with fun kids. Watch a movie. Eat some pizza. And call the parents when stuff got real. And then have some cash to fund weekend adventures.
But that was a long time ago.
When my wife needs to run an errand…or take a shower…or see a doctor…or travel for work…or visit a friend or family…I parent my children.
Cooking. Cleaning. Bathing. Teaching. Dressing. Transporting. Disinfecting. All of it.
Because I’m a parent 24/7 – when my wife is home and when she is not.
Am I on “Dad Duty” when I’m parenting solo? Absolutely.
But am I babysitting my kids? Never.