What's the difference between a parent and a babysitter? As a former sitter, who spent a large portion of her teenage weekends caring for the neighbors' kids, I can tell you the one clear distinction: you parent your own kids and babysit others.
Yet time and time again, we've seen fathers "babysitting" their children. So let's get one thing straight. Whether you're a mother or a father, you're never "babysitting" your children. You're "parenting."
One of our favorite mommas, Kendra Wilkinson, shared some wise (and slightly naughty!) words on Twitter earlier today:
Fuck anyone who thinks that a man taking care of his child is considered "babysitting". Sick of hearing that. #petpeeve— Kendra Wilkinson (@KendraWilkinson) April 11, 2014
Amen, girl! And good for Kendra for standing up! Her husband Hank doesn't babysit little Hank, nor will he babysit the one in her tummy. He'll parent them.
Women who let their husbands get away with saying that they're "babysitting the kids" are doing a disservice to their entire family. Dads are not babysitters.
No matter how you slice it, the statement is demeaning towards both parents. For one, it implies that the fathers graciously allowed the mothers out of the house by taking care of their kids. And secondly, it suggests that fathers are not able to parent their children to the extent that mothers can.
And clearly, neither is true. So ladies, it's alright to take a firm stance on dads "babysitting." Simply, don't let them. After all, you don't leave them a $20 on the table and check their references before you leave them with the kids.
Has your husband ever said he was babysitting? What did you say to him?
Image via adselwood/Flickr