A friend of mine is turning 30+10 this week so we are off for a spa day and drinks in the evening to celebrate. As a stay at home mum who barely has time to wash her hair on a regular basis I’m incredibly excited about spending a day without a wet wipe or nappy in sight!
I was chatting to a friend about it and she shocked me by saying how good it was of my husband to babysit our daughter for the day. I explained he wasn’t babysitting and he was looking after his daughter and looking forward to spending a day and evening together – my friend laughed and said how nice it was he didn’t mind doing that.
Once we’d finished chatting I walked away thinking about that conversation and the reflection it showed on how people sometimes view Dads.
My husband changed Emma’s first nappy and has done thousands since then, he’s got up with her in the night, held her as she took her first steps, comforted her when she’s been hurt and made her giggle till she was breathless. He’s the best Dad she could want and has been there for every scan and every appointment from the moment I found out I was pregnant. He’s missed out on nights out and weekends away, missed out on opportunities for sporting events and spending time walking or going out on his bike.
He does all of this because he wants to. Because he is her Dad. Because when we decided to have children we made that decision together and not based on me being her key parent and him taking over whenever I need to go to the hairdresser or want to go out for a night.
To imply that he babysits her is disrespectful to both him and I.
It says that I need permission to go out and not be a Mum for the day as if somehow he’s giving me a day off and doing some sort of massive favour to me by looking after his own child. Worse that that though it also gives the message that he is somehow a part time parent which he absolutely is not.
We decided to have children together and we’ll go through this parenting journey together – it is hard and sometimes pushes us to our limits but we work together to raise our daughter.
Dad’s don’t babysit their children – they raise them.