When you’re out with your friends, do you hear ‘My husband is watching the kids? Or you’re trying to make plans to go out, and you think, ‘I need to see if my husband can watch the kids.’ Why do we put our husbands in the role of a babysitter? I doubt they tell their friends or co-workers that ‘my wife is watching the kids.’
Why do we put the fathers of our children in the role of a babysitter?
I’ve learned a valuable lesson over the past year – my kids LOVE when a babysitter comes over. We have two constant sitters whom we trust and our children love. One of the reasons they love a babysitter is that they are fun. They devote 100% of their attention to my children because they can. They don’t have the added responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, and all the other things we do throughout the day.
So when I see my husband wrestling around with the kids in the playroom or playing moonball, I can see where I start to think of him as a babysitter.
He’s the fun one. When my kids are looking to play fight or just run around and get out all that extra energy – they go to him.
He gets down on the floor and boxes with my son or lets my daughter climb all over him like he’s a jungle gym.
Like a babysitter, he doesn’t do the cooking or the cleaning up in our house. So when he is home, he has more free time to spend just playing with the kids. He’s more relaxed when it comes to rules. He’ll be the one to make a fort out of furniture and blankets. Most importantly (to the kids at least), he always lets them stay up past their bedtime when I’m not home.
But my husband is NOT a babysitter. THEY ARE HIS CHILDREN! He doesn’t “watch” our children, the same way I don’t watch our children when he is at work. He RAISES his children. He’s a parent, just like I’m a parent. By putting him in the same category as a babysitter, it’s lessening the importance of his role in their lives.
He is their father. He is a protector. He is a provider, he is a shoulder to cry on when there is a boo-boo. He is a calm presence when there could be a monster under the bed in the middle of the night. My kids need him just as much as they need me. Even though he is the fun one and his nickname is sometimes “Daddy Disney Land.”