As most of you readers and followers surely know by now I am the Full time Stay at home Dad to my girls, I mention it often enough I know but I am going to share something with you that putting it politely has quite pissed me off. Parents, mums whatever some people may be, may even not have children but to look upon a father like myself and others and use the term BABYSITTER when we are out alone with our kids without Mum, Dads are Co-Parents not a BABYSITTER.
I am a Stay at Home Dad, a Co-Parent and proud, Not a Babysitter.
Damn its 2021, come on times have changed massively from the parenting era of Dads who used to be the sole earner, the grafter, before heading home call at the pub to sink a few pints and arrive home just in time for the kids bedtime.
I’m far from saying back in the day that all Dads were like that but as Dads these days we are wanting to be more heavily involved in various aspects of our children’s lives and parenting. I have had the few comments whilst at the tills in the shops, or a trip to the park, it is a comment we cannot seem to escape from and that is when somebody references us Dads as a Babysitter.
The additional comments of aww aren’t you sweet letting Mum take a break and have the kids, erm no let me stop you right there! I am a Dad… I DO NOT BABYSIT my own kids. With my children’s Mum just like any other Dad, Its parenting and we Co-Parent our kids. Both me and Mum are one hell of a team. We work together, we are equal and decisions regards parenting and anything relating to our kids is done together.
Co-Parent and the Modern Dad.
I have experienced this a few times while I have been the stay at home Dad and it is a subject that confuses me so much. Why are Dads most commonly portrayed as the person who SHOULD be the one to work and earn a living to provide for the family, and be made out to only have the time for the kids when mum needs a break. No we are Dads, it is equal Parenting, and for me and other Dads out there we Co-Parent the Sh*t out of it.
Yes being the stay at home dad is hard work, have a read of what being the Stay at Home Dad with a 1 year old was like. I won’t deny that it was extremely hard and whilst doing it I have a new found respect for at home parents. The decision to be the Stay at home Dad was a joint decision between me and Sarah (my partner). She is working so hard lately but is loving life, she knows that I am up to the task and capable of the job I am doing.
She is currently working through her 1st Year of her Nursing Degree and the last 5 weeks she has been working Full time at our local Hospital on a work placement. Yet still around this she has assignments to complete. A lot on her plate and is doing amazingly. No matter how busy she has been we both are still working together like a well oiled machine, we discuss things together regarding the kids, make plans and do things as a family. Its called Co-Parenting not me being a full time babysitter.
I had an instance of this a few weeks back with a health visitor, it was time for Beasts 24 month Check-up, pretty routine and standard. What got to me was the fact tat the health visitor was so focussed on doing this Check up with Mum and when was informed it would be with me it was like a whole attitude flip. She never even asked me my name. With the whole Covid situation it was carried out over the phone, we had received questionnaires in the post regarding our daughters progression and development and then a telephone appointment to go through it.
Rather than it seeming like a personal discussion like I have experienced in the past when Sarah has done them and from other mums, it felt more like a random phonecall where I had being asked if I’d be happy participating in a questionnaire. No mentions of how I was finding things with my Daughter. Have any other Dads found this before?
Why are Dads seen to be Babysitters and not Co-Parents?
This is a question I constantly ask myself, Why are Dads seen as Babysitters and not seen as an equal Co-Parent?
What is it that portrays Dads more as babysitters than Co-Parents, when we are seen spending time and bonding with our children, how is that Babysitting and not Parenting? It is something that isn’t mentioned of Mums so why should Dads be seen this way.
As with most things these days with regards Equality, things have changed massively but sources of support for Dads in terms of what is available for Mums there is still a way to go, I hope along the way with raising issues such like Dads being made out more as Babysitters than a Parent or Co-Parent that there can be changes made and more equal. The way Stay at Home Dads are seen and portrayed, the decision to be the stay at home dad has to be the best thing I have ever done.
For Dads out there who are considering making the switch to be the Stay at Home Dad, I’d say if it is what both you and Mum want and agree on, DO IT, you won’t regret it, if you are considering it make sure to take a look through my Stay at Home Dad Survival Kit.
I do apologise as this seems to be more of a rant but it is something I wanted to write about and I would love to hear your thoughts, opinions and comments on this and if you have ever had any experiences of being a Babysitter and not a Parent. I believe that parenting subjects like this are important and always looking to hear from others.