He’s Dad, Not the Babysitter

Dad

Photo by Heather Cook Elliott Photography

Here’s the thing, my husband is an amazing dad. And I’m not just saying that to justify my choice of partner. He is truly the kind of parent that I strive to be. He’s not perfect, but that’s what makes him an exceptional dad. 

When my husband is alone with our kids, he’s not their babysitter, he’s their parent.

Everything we do, we do with the understanding that we are in this together. Even when we divide our parenting responsibilities, we are still a team. Sure, some days are hard and one of us will need a “break,” like any human parent needs every once in a while. But we both have each others back, and neither one of us is ever “babysitting” our kids. Because they’re our kids. 

It’s called parenting.

It seems like whenever I mention to people how much alone time my husband spends with our kids, I get comments like, “Wow! you’re so trusting” and “Are the kids hanging out with Dad tonight? Let’s hope they stay out of trouble!” I’d be willing to bet that nobody asks him where the kids are when he’s out alone. It’s interesting to me how dads have somehow become the “second best” option for their own kids. Now, I know this probably stemmed from the dads (and moms too) out there that don’t pull their own weight. But regardless, there are great dads out there who don’t want to be looked down upon, just because they aren’t the mom.  

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love that mothers are seen as strong and confident women who are successfully raising and nurturing their children. But I don’t want to see dads getting overlooked either. My husband is such a natural at being a parent, that it shouldn’t be belittled. Just because I’m the mother, why does everyone assume that I’m the natural? 

When our two boys are alone with my husband, I have every confidence in him.

Sure, he has his parenting mishaps, but who doesn’t!? I trust that he’s going to take care of our kids when I’m not around, as well as do normal household things. But I’m not going to sit around and praise my husband up and down for doing things that I do, and am expected to do, every day. I don’t expect him to put me up on a pedestal either. We both work hard, and we both appreciate each other because this whole parenting thing is tough. But we are surviving it because we parent together.

So, as I write this, my husband is putting our kids to bed. And my 1-year-old is screaming, and my 6-year-old is debating with him on why he should be able to go to bed later. And I know that he’s got this. Of course I’m not worried because he’s their Dad. And a darn good one at that. 

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One Response to He’s Dad, Not the Babysitter

  1. Shel
    Shel June 15, 2017 at 8:57 am #

    When my kids were little, I worked 24 hour shifts 2-3 times a week. I was not a nurse, I was a firefighter which I guess is not as noble as a nurse for a woman. Many times I received judgey comments about the amount of time I spent away from my kids where the individual did not realize that I actually saw them more than the average worker because I worked through the night when they were sleeping. Obviously, I could not have done this without a great husband who was also a great dad. Interestingly, on the day that my 4 yo broke her arm and I was at work, my husband was questioned by a sheriff’s deputy just because he was home alone with the kids. My other daughter told them what happened and they backed off but not before one of the EMTs on the scene told the deputy that my husband was great with the kids and a better parent than his wife. I think it is unfortunate that more couples do not have the blessing of equality in parenting and even more unfortunate that the children don’t as both parents bring something special to a childhood.

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