‘Dads Aren’t Babysitters’, a Viral Post Makes a Point About Normalising Dads Role in The Family
The term ‘babysitter’ can stir up emotions when used in the wrong context.
A babysitter is someone who will watch over your children, while you’re out. It’s a term that couples with children will use when organising a date night.
The question is always, ‘who will babysit the kids?’ and either a grandparent or
a friend will be asked to care for the children.
The moment dads’ are named a ‘babysitter’, for looking after kids while their mother goes out, all hell breaks loose.
Dad’s don’t babysit. They dad. They parent.
A dad in Oregon decided to prove a point about the term used on dads by sharing a photo of his wife, at the airport. Jeremy Martin-Weber and his wife Jessica have six daughters and write a parenting blog called Beyond Moi.
On May 9, Jessica left for an out of town multi-day work trip and Jeremy was left alone with the kids.
The dad shared on Facebook how he needed to figure out who would cook and feed their kids and basically look after the kids while his wife was out of town.
“Who is going to do all that stuff while their mom is away?” the dad asked.
“Me. That’s who,” he answered. “Because I’m not the babysitter. I’m not just their playmate. I’m their dad. And looking after them and guiding them and caring for them is my responsibility. And I love it ― with all of its challenges.”
The dad continued, “No the house will not fall apart or be trashed and the kids will not be ruined because dad is in charge. And no, I don’t deserve anyone’s special praise and adoration because “Wow! This dad can look after his own kids.” I’m just doing what every parent should do, and what moms do every day without praise or adoration.”
Bravo. Great post. Many parents agree.
Dads can manage on their own and should be capable of caring for the family when one parent is away.
Jeremy explained further, “People have assumed all sorts of things about me as a dad,” he said. “I have been asked if I would be babysitting my kids while Jessica would be out of town. It has been inferred that I am no more than my children’s playmate, and directly stated that my wife always has an extra child (spoiler alert: it’s supposedly me). I have at times been pitied for having to care for my children on my own, as if I didn’t have to be a parent while my wife is around. And I have been told that I just don’t have that mothering instinct that is essential for being a good parent.”
“The assumption that I can’t handle the responsibility of parenting my kids in her absence and that I’ll just be hanging out with them as more of a sitter has been mentioned to my face many a time,” Jeremy said. “Her trip seemed like the perfect opportunity to share about how that’s not how I function as my children’s father, and to challenge that widely held belief about fathers in general.”
Jessica said to the Huff Post, “Moms don’t get those kind of comments,” she said. “It is assumed they can and will always be the ones responsible for childcare and the home, but dads are somehow heroes for doing the same thing.”
Jessica hopes their post will stimulate a thought change about a dad’s role in the family.
“I want people to realize that dads taking care of their kids as equals in parenting isn’t extraordinary, it’s normal. Or should be but we’ve lost sight of that.” she told HuffPost.
The stereotype of dads who can’t handle the kids by himself needs to be phased out. Dads are just as capable at handling parenting responsibilities and household duties as mums. Mums need to step back and let dads handle it their way, because they are capable. Equal parenting needs to be normalized.
Jeremy has been overwhelmed by how their post has been received by other parents. He’s been touched to see mum’s tagging their partners in the comments, because they’re raising their kids with both parents involved.