A Father Isn't A Babysitter, He Is A Parent.
There is something about seeing a man take care of a child that sends people into an audible "AWWWWWWWWWWWWW" I must admit it makes me happy to see a loving father doting on their child. However, I feel the same way when I look at a mother showing love to her child as well. All too often people look at mothers as just doing what they are supposed to do, and they give big fat cookies to fathers that show minute interest in their children. The fact that Chris Hemsworth made headlines for baking a cake(that article showed up in TIME) shows how little responsibility we put on fathers.
I have seen it in my own life as well. I was privileged to go on a trip by myself to South Korea for a week. When I would tell people, I thought they would ask questions about what I was planning on doing while I was going there. No, the first question was always "Who is going to watch/babysit your kids?" I would say "Well, My husband is their other parent and he will be here to continue to parent them." The look people had was hilarious. We have such little faith in the male species to take care of their offspring. Why is it that the role of the parent is placed on the mother only. We are in the year 2018(almost 2019), and fathers need to step it up and we as women need to expect our partners to be parents as well.
Just look at the definition of the word babysit:
look after a child or children while the parents are out.
"I babysit for my neighbor sometimes"
Right there! By definition, you as a parent could NEVER babysit your child. You can babysit your niece or nephew but your child....NAW. When a father steps up as a parent and takes care of his offspring, it helps him live a longer
. It also makes mom and the kids happy as well. Children are a blessing, and they also have their personalities. There will be times when they push your buttons, but you roll with it. In our society woman are EXPECTED to make sure the kids are happy and taken care of when men are out an about doing parental duties people look at them as doing a favor for their wife. That is absurd.
I remember when my husband took our then two year old out for a Father, son day and he came home and told me about the looks and praise he received I was in SHOCK. He was offered free food etc. I as a mother have never received that kindness. I'm judged if my child made a peep in the store and told I should get him to quiet down. Just look at Instagram, when moms go to work, a date night, a fun outing, there is usually someone in the comment section talking about...who is watching the baby? No one is EVER on men's pages or asking them who is watching their kid when they are out and about alone. Women are more than mothers; we have lives and an identity that encompasses more than just the mother title. When a father steps up and helps with raising his children that gives mom a break to go after her dreams and aspirations which in turn makes her happy. A happy spouse makes for a happy house(children included)
So, men, it's time to step up to the plate. We as mothers had to learn how to be maternal, and you can also learn how to be paternal. You can either take the child out of the house or spend time at home. Just like you need to nurture your relationship with your partner, you need to do the same with your child. The only way you can do that is by spending time with them.
Don't make excuses either. I was out of the house for a much-needed girls night when my son was three months. He was exclusively breastfed, and I didn't get a lot when I pumped milk. My husband insisted that I go out and be more than mom. I am so thankful he did that. I am grateful that when our son inevitably started crying, he didn't call me to come home right away. He handled it. I left for 2 hours which was more than enough time for me to recharge. Just like we know a mom can handle things when it comes to their children, we need to feel the same when it comes to fathers. We as women also need to let go, He may not do things the way you do them, but that's ok. You need a break so leave the kids with him for a few hours and do something for you. You will be better because of it.
Say it with me: A father is a Co-parent NOT a babysitter. We need to make sure that we are encouraging that one on one time between fathers and children and as mothers, we can step back a little. Fathers, you can step up. Its high time that we believe that men are capable of taking care of children. Our children are watching, and we want it to be a fantastic example for them. That way if they decide to have children one day, they will know co-parenting is how to make the home happy.