Dads Don’t Babysit

dads don't babysitSometimes, 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.

4 thoughts on “Dads Don’t Babysit

    1. John

      Agreed. I get, and like, what you’re trying to do here, but when you pick up an issue that has been talked about for YEARS and act like it’s a new issue for dads, in a clear attempt to drive traffic to your site…it just feels a little forced. Here’s how most of us see the dad babysitting thing: We know, as dads, that we’re not babysitting, we’re parenting. It annoys us when you suggest otherwise. But now it’s like this has become our ONLY issue…and I couldn’t care less. I’d rather we focus on something like the number of dads who lose their children in divorces, etc, rather than focusing on some clickbait, petty issue. We aren’t feminists, after all. Let’s be a little bit above their tactics.


      1. Hi, John. Thanks for commenting. Very much appreciate you doing so. I can only write about my experiences. As such, I have no basis to discuss divorce and custody. But I will definitely examine other substantive topics when I have a credible viewpoint.


  1. I agree. I caught myself saying that I was babysitting the kids a couple times really without thinking, just using a phrase I had used all my life. My wife pulled me aside one night and explained how much it hurt her feelings when I used the term “babysitting.” She then explained the connotation that while babysitting was not my job it was hers. I had never thought of it in this way before and since then I have done my best to use terms like “I’m a single parent this weekend” or “I’m on dad duty tonight” I think it is something that as a society we don’t even realize the gender bias that we have until things like this come up.

    Liked by 1 person

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