Traditionally women do most of the child care. This childrearing role is due to both biological and social implications developed over many centuries. Up until even the 1950s most patriarch roles were limited to play time and when a kid was in trouble.
Yet the mentality of times gone by is still sticking in our ‘progressive’ society. It’s not uncommon to hear “Oh are you worried your husband won’t know what to do if the baby cries?” or “It’s so nice he’s baby-sitting so you can come out” and even from mothers, “Just give her to me, you don’t know how to do it.” It’s not fair for fathers to maintain an idea that they are completely unknowing about their own children, to claim they are merely babysitters when they are fathers. They are not on the same level as the teenager you pay to watch your kids for a few hours, they are on the mother’s level.
Outsider Attitude Adjustment
It’s clear we as a society need to fix out attitudes towards fathers and their roles in childrearing. It’s not fair to treat them as baby-sitters, and its even sexist to tell a mother, “It’s nice your husband let your out for the evening.” Why would she not be able to come out, is she expected to remain barefoot in the kitchen? Is she being held hostage against her will? No.
To assume a man can’t handle his own crying child is assuming he has no sense of basic nurturing skills, which he does. Most people do. To say he’s ‘baby-sitting’ his own child is to assume that he literally hasn’t been around and doesn’t know his child’s likes and dislikes, behavioral quirks, and routines- you’re essentially saying he’s a poor parent.
We don’t say a mom is ‘baby-sitting’ her kids, why is that? There are plenty of women who were clueless at first in parenting, just like their male counterparts. The difference is in most households women tend to spend more time with the kids due to breastfeeding and maternity leave, even staying home completely, so they tend to get better at the kid stuff faster.
Some Mothers Don’t Understand 50/50
For the mothers that don’t understand a partnership with your children’s father should be spilt 50/50, you’re helping perpetuate the idea of fathers baby-sitting instead of parenting. Granted some stay at home parents may feel it’s their duty to take care of all household items including children because their spouses are the ones working, which is quite fair. However, taking kids off that chore list is important.
Get your kids’ father involved: ask him to give them a bath, bottle, play, etc. It gives you a break and develops the important fatherly bond. Let him do things his way too, your kids might prefer the way he makes breakfast or tucks them in. Let go of the control.
Fathers Step Up
This article has been biased in favor of the fathers, so we need the fathers to stand up and parent. Don’t pass a dirty diaper or a crying child to your wife, take care of the problem and prove you’re more than a baby-sitter, you’re a parent.