Dads don’t babysit

There is someone I work with who sometimes leaves work early to ‘babysit’ his children.  I get upset at him every time and remind him that you can’t babysit your own children!!! He jokes about it….we joke about it.  But I do truly believe that he isn’t merely ‘babysitting’.  He is parenting!!! I believe that he is living up to the stereotype that Dads are often portrayed as.  I don’t really know why particularly it frustrates me every time he says it…it just does.  It could be that there is something about the fact that babysitting doesn’t sound very permanent, and I feel like your children should be pretty damn permanent in your life.  I am also pretty sure that his working wife doesn’t “babysit” whilst he is late home from work.  Which also leads me to believe, it is incredibly sexist!

The other day, I discovered that there is actually a kind of ‘movement’ called “Dad’s don’t babysit”, I read about it on the BBC here.  Many fathers (particularly ‘stay-at-home’ dads) are upset at what people (both men and women) say to Dads…such as:

“Aww, it’s so nice of you to babysit and give mom a break.”

“I guess you got stuck with the kids today.”

“You’ve got a good helper here!”

I would be frustrated and upset if anyone said these kinds of things to Chris (or to me).  I truly believe that Chris will be an equal part to this parenting business.  I am sure there will be days that it won’t be equal…I am also sure there will be some things he will be good at, and others I will be good at, but in balance it will be equal overall.

I know many of my male friends and family who parent and don’t just “babysit”….so how have we ended up like this in society?  Why can’t we shake it off?  It just makes me a bit sad.

BTW – I discovered that there is a T-shirt you can buy that has the slogan “Dads don’t babysit, they parent” – now available in both gender cuts!

dads dont babysit


22 thoughts on “Dads don’t babysit

  1. My Perfect Breakdown says:

    Absolutely dad’s don’t babysit, unless of course they are also taking care of someone else’s kids too! Caring for one’s own child is never the same as babysitting, and to say it’s babysitting is disrespectful to any other parent! And yes, I think it’s sexist too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nara says:

    It’s so crazy how men get such kudos for doing what women do without getting any credit! Bloody typical! I saw those shirts… Apparently they were originally made by a man! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • thegreatpuddingclubhunt says:

      I think that we are lucky that ‘we infertiles’ know our partners are willing to give it their all to become parents! I guess some couples don’t have that advantage. Hey -there is at least one positive outcome to going through infertility! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. EmilyMaine says:

    Yes I am always going on about this too. A male friend put something in Facebook about babysitting his son and I couldn’t help but comment “I’m pretty sure it’s not babysitting if it is your kid ;)” I find it interesting that men started this “we don’t babysit” movement as I find them to be the biggest culprit for using the language!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sue says:

    When I am away on business I often get asked the question ‘so who is looking after your kids’ or ‘how is your husband coping with the kids’. I asked my husband (who also travels for business) if he ever gets asked the same questions and he said never, not once. Definitely a double-standard going on here!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. workingwomensivf says:

    I am having 6 months off with the girls and then going back to work full time working one day from home so hubby will be the predominant career (with some help from the nannies). It is amazing the comments you get about that decision. People can be really judgemental of both me and him. Why should it be so shocking that he will be the one staying at home?

    Liked by 1 person

    • thegreatpuddingclubhunt says:

      This is something I am really interested in too in general…..Why are people so judgmental about a couple’s decision for child care? No one family is the same, people’s careers are all different, so why should we be expected to follow a ‘standard child care package’ i.e. mums stay at home?

      Thinking of you today! (Although perhaps with the time difference everything has happened already!!! – Still I am!!)


  6. flatwhitetogo85 says:

    I had a Facebook rant about this just the other week. It REALLY winds me up. On the day in question, a male colleague made a big song and dance about how he had to leave at 4:30pm as he was “babysitting” and so we’d need to do our client calls from 8pm when his wife got home. Not only was this fine, but loads of people were saying how “lovely” it was that he was going home to look after the kids. WTF?! At the same time, I am being told that it won’t be convenient for me to work flexibly when baby Flat comes along and nobody is saying how “lovely” it is that I want to spend time with my child! Grrr…rant over (for now)…


    • thegreatpuddingclubhunt says:

      That is pretty shitty to be honest! Such double standards – and I am guessing it was all women who were saying it was so lovely? I’m not sure I would ever say that to a man at work – I think it’s so patronising!!!


  7. circumstance227 says:

    I teach a university course on social issues and occasionally the students choose “Gender Issues” as one of them.
    When that happens, I start by giving them a survey which consists of a list of statements. For each one, they should circle a number from 1 to 5, whereby 1 is “strongly agree” and 5 is “strongly disagree”.
    One of the statements is “A husband/partner should help his wife/partner with the household and child care work.”
    The students – modern as they are – dutifully circle “1”. I then confront them with the fact that I, personally, circled “5”. They ask me why. I counter “Why do you think?” Then some student, usually a female one, asks me if it has to do with the word “help”.
    Then we discuss whether household work and childcare work is “women’s work”.


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