Friday, December 7, 2007

Dads are NOT Babysitters!

Last night I had a night away from Lily and went to a friend's house to hang out for a while - like the pre-baby days! So that meant that Jim was solo at home, and that led me to thinking about the phrase many dads tend to use when looking after their babies - babysitting duties.

Why is it called 'babysitting duties' to look after their own children?

Am I on daily babysitting duties then?

If so, when do I get my paycheck for it?

Why is if called parenting when I am at home solo and he is out, but not when the other way around? (I am talking about societal naming here, not my poor hubby, he is awesome at looking after Lily!)

I think that it is phrases like this that effect the standing of 'mums' in society. It is an acceptance of parenting being non-equal. I believe we should think carefully about some of the language we use around children and families as it is almost self-defeating in its negative connotations (even stay at home mum implies a soap watching woman, not the very busy people most SAHM's are!)

So next time you have some time out from the continuous care of children, don't let your other half say they are on babysitting duties, give them another phrase instead:
- parenting alone
- flying solo
- hanging out with the kids

Any other suggestions?

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