One of the worst things a parent can say is that they have to babysit their kids. They are YOUR kids, so there is no babysitting. It’s called spending time with your own children. Mostly, I hear this from mothers, who say their husbands call it “babysitting.”
If they really thought about it, they would know it’s a terrible thing for their children to hear them say they babysit them. Sure, it can fall that way at times. But I tell you one thing it would be much easier to babysit the kids, because at the end of the shift you get paid and you get to go home and leave the madness.
Being with your kids when one spouse is not available requires you to actually be with your kids. What a wonderful concept. They are your responsibility to entertain, teach, calm and love.
Plus being with the kids without mommy I would say is a much easier task for dads. They listen to you more. Mothers are the ones they walk all over because of our mother guilt. Dads can get away with just taking kids through the fast food drive-thru, because they don’t expect a homemade meal from their fathers. Although I must say there are many fathers who are the chefs in the house and can really burn — but they can also let them eat cake and ice cream and be perfectly fine with that.
Society doesn’t help with this either. Moms, how many times have people asked you if your husband was babysitting simply because you don’t have little ones in tow? It’s insane.
I think one of the best ways a dad can spend time with their kids when mommy is not around is to actually do things they wouldn’t expect dad to do. Cook a meal and have them help. This opens the door for talking and learning at the same time.
Instead of throwing around a football, take out some old pictures so dads could talk to their kids about their upbringing. A lot of times, our childhoods don’t come up unless there’s a comparison to something back in the day and it’s not always a positive conversation. You know, something like, “When I was little I didn’t have someone to drive me everywhere. I had to take three buses to school.” Looking at old pictures can help children imagine what parents were like at their age. They can learn about the people you love and the traditions and fun you had growing up.
So no, parents don’t babysit their kids. They parent them. Always.
Take the phrase out of your vocabulary please.