Daddy is Not a Babysitter!

So, I'm sitting here and once again wishing people would stop congratulating me on what a fabulous husband I have. Not that he isn't fabulous, there's no doubt about that, but like any other husband and father, he does not require (or want) a pat on the back for doing his duty as a parent.

A few things worth mentioning...

When told he changed our babies diapers
People smile at him in amazement

When they hear he also bathed the babies
Most women swoon, as if he's Edward Cullen in the sparkly flesh

When I mention he cooked dinner for the family
They rush to the stores which sell trophies, and purchase one for him

When I go out with my friends
It's "Aww it's so sweet that your husband babysits the kids"

Babysits? He co-parents our kids!

I do not understand this, and really don't understand this almost religious adoration shown to men who "help" their wives with the children on some odd occasion. Why do we refuse to see it for what it really should be? Parenting! It's what needs to be done. It's what we're supposed to do. Change the diapers, prepare the meals, tend to cuts and scrapes, soothe a crying child... Parenting! Some of my friends think I'm pretty ungrateful because I dismiss their gushing over how "helpful" my husband is. Let me say this to them... I love my husband, I appreciate many, many things about him, I'm thankful for tons more, but I do not need to pay him homage when he spends half an hour with the kids, so I can cook dinner in peace. He doesn't want the thanks, and neither do I want to be constantly thanked for everytime I wash a dish.

There are many women who I think need to grow a little backbone, or alternatively stop treating their husbands like idiots who are capable of accomplishing only one small task at a time. They may surprise you, believe me. They're more than capable, and if they're not? They'll learn to be, and unlike small five year old children, they do not need us standing on the sidelines cheering them on.

It's time most stay at home moms mothers around the world also stepped back a bit, and allowed these guys to be fathers. Admit it, we take on too much, attempt to do everything ourselves, put our lives, interests, wants and needs firmly in a box and lock it. And while we're happily doing all that, telling ourselves we're so great, because we do everything to nurture our children, and shower them with love, we tend to forget there's another parent around, who needs to nurture and love those kids too. And, more importantly, the children need him to do that, free and clear of mommy butting her nose in. He may work 9-5 or 9-9 or whatever, but when he's around, he's right there and perfectly capable. And, don't give me that He works all day and is usually tired crap... We all work all day and are tired, get over it!

Step back.

And, when it's all done, hold the thanks and give conversation a chance. Let him talk about his time with the kids... And, listen. You may be surprised when you notice he needs no thanks, and isn't looking for any.

Because, he actually enjoyed his time with his children.



Millions Of Atoms Man said...

Very well said. Sadly, in some cases, the fathers think it is the mother's "job" to take care of the kids and they want no part of it. I'll never understand that...

Anonymous said...

you said it, girl!!! abira

Caba said...

Can I give Millions of Atoms Man a trophy?

I hear ya Anne. I went out with a group of girls the other night, and everyone said how they husbands were "babysitting". So bizarre ...

Hiedi said...

Totally agree! I think it's definitely nice to say thank you for those small things that get done. I don't think that someone doing something they HAVE to or SHOULD do, eliminates the need to say thank you though. We don't have kids, but my husband does loads of things around the house. I don't praise him like I am surprised he 'managed' to do something right, I make mention of the things I really appreciate. Dads spending time with their kids, well that should not be extraordinary event.

InALittleMinute said...

Way to go and set things straight! I dont have children, but I am constantly annoyed by people with children who let their husbands "have the honor of taking the kids for the day".. your right.. its called co-parenting...

Not an event to get worked up over cuz the guy is partaking in his responsibility of having kids...

Loved the post!