5. "I need you to babysit the kids."
Slide 5 of 5
Ladies, this phrase needs to go. It is the 21st century. Your husband didn’t just father your children, he is their dad.
The notion that women are always the primary caregivers and the only ones who know how to properly parent a child is a detriment to your husband’s ego. Parenting is a full-time job for both parents, regardless of who is with the children more.
The majority of dads work outside the home but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a “job” or other responsibilities as a parent.
In other words, fathers don’t say phrases like this in the boardroom: “Oh, I can’t go to the work dinner, I have to babysit tonight.” Calling a dad a babysitter diminishes the role fathers play in the lives of their children.
He is the head of the household, he is the leader, and protector. To say he babysits is demeans, devalues and discredits him.
Often when this phrase is said, it comes with an air of superiority because we think no one can keep our kids alive like we moms can. We’re in a rush to get out the door. We tell our husband that dinner is in the oven. We remind them that the toddler is gifted at choking on everything right now because of his sensitive gag reflex and to watch him carefully as he eats.
We then tell him to make sure the kids are sitting down in the tub at bathtub because you don’t want your kid to slip and fall again. When you finish, you’re exasperated because he’s giving you the “Are you kidding me?” look. To which you reply, “Look I need you to babysit the kids but don’t mess it up.”
Now turn the tables and imagine someone saying it to you. You’re at the grocery store with all of your kids when a friend sees you and says, “Looks like you’re babysitting today!” Of course, you aren’t! Husband may have a different parenting style but we need to respect it.
Heather Riggleman calls Nebraska home (Hey, it’s not for everyone) with her three kids and husband of 20 years. She writes to bring bold truths to marriage, career, mental health, faith, motherhood, celebration and heartache. Heather is a former national award-winning journalist and is the author of Mama Needs a Time Out and Let’s Talk About Prayer. Her work has been featured on Proverbs 31 Ministries, MOPS, Today's Christian Woman and Focus On the Family. You can find her at www.heatherriggleman.com.
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