My dad never babysat my sister and me.
Merriam-Webster’s defines the word “babysit” as “to take care of a child while the child’s parents are away.”
My dad is my parent. Therefore, he did not babysit us, even when my mom had to be away. He watched us because he is our dad. My mom took several trips to visit a sick relative, and we were alone with our dad for a week or so at a time. While we missed my mom’s presence, we functioned normally and had a good time with our dad.
Over the last few years, I have heard numerous women say that their husband/father of their children is “babysitting” while they run errand XYZ or go away for the weekend. This drives me insane. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal for a man to watch his children. Plus, it’s not like he is doing you a favor when it’s his kid, too!
In fact, it is important for a father to bond with his kids. Men can and do play important roles in the lives of their children. I think the fact that there are more stay-at-home dads now is awesome. I love seeing men out and about with their children.
One day, Eric and I will have children. Because of the nature of Eric’s work, I expect to be providing the majority of the childcare. But in no way will my husband ever be the “babysitter” for our children. So, don’t act shocked the next time you see a dad out by himself with kids!