Last week in my bookclub, we started talking about husbands and parenting. A couple of us admitted we were really put off when someone said "My husband is babysitting our kids tonight." In my opinion, husbands don't babysit their own children. It's called being a parent; taking care of your own kids, with your spouse or in his/her absence. When did it happen that dads got out of "parenting" and got the job of "babysitting"? And when did moms and wives start accepting this as ok?
I talked before about how many people asked me "Who is going to take care of your kids?" when they found out I was going on an 11 day vacation to Hawaii with my BFF. My typical answer was, "I have a husband who happens to be the parent of our three boys. Who do you think is going to take care of our kids?" My husband found himself being a little offended by this question, too. He took it as an implied message that he was unwilling and incapable of being the primary caretaker in my absence. He's a parent. Not a babysitter.
I wonder, in those families where dad (or mom, in the case of a "role reversal") has no solo parenting experience, what would happen in an emergency where mom is no longer in the picture, either temporarily or permanently? How difficult it would be for the dad and kids when dad has no experience doing the solo parenting thing and is now being forced into it under a stressful situation. While nothing can prepare a parent for the unexpected and it would be difficult no matter what, I do take comfort in knowing my husband has some good solid experience over the years of being the primary caretaker for extended periods of time without me as backup. He's a parent. Not a babysitter.
Oh, Just Shut Up and Lie Down Somewhere
8 hours ago