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14th Aug 2022

Musings: Stop saying my partner is ‘minding’ our kids – he’s parenting them

Melissa Carton

“Is dad babysitting the children for you?”

It’s something I’ve heard more times than I can count when I’ve gone on a night out, and I’m not the only mum.

No, my partner is not babysitting, he’s just simply continuing to be a parent in my absence.

Funnily enough, when I’m parenting solo it’s never considered babysitting, it’s just what I’m supposed to be doing, which is correct. Parents are there to parent, so why don’t more people assume that when it comes to dads.

The babysitting remarks come hand in hand with the ‘oh isn’t he great’ comments.

“Oh isn’t he great, he changes nappies? Oh isn’t he great he brings them to the park?”

Yes, he is a good parent for doing those things, but I don’t recall ever being told I was a great mum for wiping a bum. Again it’s just assumed that that’s what mums do. So what do people assume that dads do?

Modern fathers spend more time with their children than any other generation of dads, but it is still to be reflected in modern society.

Opinions on traditional roles within the family unit have begun to change and even advertising companies are beginning to realise this with many trying to steer away from only having women in cooking and cleaning commercials.

The idea that dads are simply financial providers and nothing more is falling by the wayside and being replaced by 21st-century dads activity taking part in the raising of their children.

These dads aren’t babysitters, but they are many things.

They’re role models. They’re protectors. They’re parents.