When it comes to being a dad there’s one saying, or phrase, or whatever you want to call it, that continues to bug me when I hear it, and I feel like it gives Dad’s a bad name. Of course what I’m referring to is when a person references a father as babysitter when the mother isn’t around… For example, a woman comes up to my wife (who is alone) and asks where our daughter is, she responds by telling said woman that she is with her dad, said woman then responds by making a comment about how the Dad is babysitting… No, I’m being a parent and taking care of my kid while my wife gets to go out and do some adulting with her friends, or go shopping, or whatever the case may be. It’s as if, just because I’m the Dad, that I’m some how incapable of watching my own kid and making sure that she’s well fed, entertained, and safe… it’s kind of bullshit.
And I get that it’s just one of those stereotypical things that has kind of been put forth throughout the years based on the fact that throughout history the men were typically the ones out making money and a living so they could support the wife and children back at home, while the woman was the one keeping things in order at home and had more of a hand in the raising of the kids…. But shit changes, shit has changed, most families these days need two working parents in order to survive. It’s not impossible to raise a family comfortably on a single income, but you better be smart with your money and/or don’t live above your means, otherwise you’re going to struggle.
So this notion of Dad’s not being capable of handling their own children is kind of bullshit and I do kind of take offense to it. I pride myself in being a good father. I’ve said before that in life, (not to stoke my own ego) I’m good (meaning capable) at pretty much everything I’ve ever tried or attempted (except maybe snowboarding… broken collar bones don’t do much for your confidence), but while I may feel I’m good at most things thrown my way, I don’t feel that I’m truly great at anything… at least I felt that way for a long time. Having a kid kind of made me realize that all of those things I’m just ‘good’ at, have prepared me to be a great father. I feel as though they’ve made me well rounded enough to be able to teach a child about different things in life and, hopefully, raise a decent human being. So for someone else to think that just because I’m the Dad, that I’m some how less capable at raising my own daughter, is ridiculous.
It’s really just like any stereotype for anything in the world, there’s just a generalization based on history, and other people, that make society think a certain way about all the people in a particular group. All Dad’s just seem to get generalized into the same category whether they are a great dad or a not so great dad, it’s just kind of how it is… which sucks. The definition of stereotyping sucks, but unfortunately it’s a part of society and just kind of how things are at this point in time.
Dad’s certainly don’t have it as bad as other groups in this world, so I would never compare those stereotypes to other stereotypes that are destroying our culture, but it’s still something to think about.
There are truly good Dad’s out there that put in the time and effort to hang out with their kids and raise their kids, together, with the women in their lives.
It’s not babysitting when you’re watching your own kid… it’s parenting.