I'll admit it. I am guilty of this. As are so many
other fathers. It's not necessarily a bad thing, and I am pretty
sure most guys don't think it through. But, I have heard plenty of
people say it, as well as myself.
"What are you doing Friday?"
"I'm off of work, but I am watching the baby all
My coworker pointed it out to me. She told me,
"Kevin, stop saying that you are babysitting your child!" And
that's when I realized and actually thought about that
She's right. We are not babysitting our own
children. We are simply being parents.
How many times have you heard a parent, usually a
father (sorry guys, but it's true), say "Hey, I can't do that this
weekend, I have to babysit the kids." or "I have to babysit my son
NO. You aren't babysitting anyone. It's your job as
a parent to be there for your kids. A babysitter gets paid. I would
be willing to bet any money that nobody is paying you to watch your
own children. Am I right?
I think a better way to phrase the situation would
be more along the lines of - "I have the kids all day." or "I will
be with my kids." You aren't watching your kids, or sitting them,
or taking care of them or whatever other term you can find to
describe. They are a part of you now. Part of your family. Part of
normal, everyday life.
Even if you are divorced, or separated from your
child's mother/father, spend that time with your son or daughter
and cherish it. Separated families get even less time together.
Don't ever push off being with your children as
Better yet, why don't we hear the word "parenting"
more often? I never hear it. It would be awkward to hear somebody
say, "I'm parenting today." But technically, it's correct. You
parent today, tomorrow, and everyday. You are constantly parenting.
Try using it sometime.
There are big differences in the definitions
according to Merriam-Webster.
Parenting is the process of
taking care of children until they are old enough to take care of
Babysitting is to take care
of a child while the child's parents are away.
I'm making it a challenge. To anyone that has
caught themselves using the forbidden word: babysitting. Swap that
word with "parenting" next time. See if you can do it and how much
better it will sound. Then see how the person on the receiving end
of the conversation responds to it. I bet they will be
Dads, I'm speaking for us, here.
Kevin Whitehead lives in the Southwest suburbs with his wife and almost one-year-old daughter Brynlee. He started PregoForMen shortly after finding out his wife was pregnant. He invites you along on his journey as he discovers just how much life can change in nine short months and beyond.
See more of Kevin's stories here.
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