I stared at my mobile phone screen.
What did he just write? Did I read it wrong?
Baby sitting kid @home. Said a relative on Whatsapp.
The father of the child. His own kid. It would have been normal if he was talking about someone else’s kid. I wanted to shout, “You are not babysitting. You are looking after your own son.”
It always bugs me when people call a father looking after his kids babysitting. A father looking after his kids is called being a DAD. Parents are supposed to take care of their kids at all times. And that means dads too, not just mums.
A dear friend of mine told me a couple of months back that she had somehow “convinced” her husband to babysit their kids so that she can get some me-time. We had quite a long discussion after, which resulted into her saying that her husband thinks it’s not his job to look after the kids. Sigh!
I don’t get such parents. It angers me no end. Babysitting is when you hire someone to look after your kids. When parents or fathers look after their kids it’s parenting!!! How does the term “babysit” even come into the equation?
The underlying sentiment bugs me. It makes me angry. When these fathers – these parents say they are babysitting their own child, in essence they mean to convey that looking after their own offspring is not their responsibility. It is a chore for them, a job.
Parenting is such a blessing when done as a team. Most fathers don’t get the opportunity to be a hands on parent but when they do get their share of it, it should be a sought after appreciation, not a chore.
No doubt there is a special bond between a child and mother. But there is a very strong bond between a father and his child too. It may not be that obvious or that strong but it is very real. It exists. It needs to be nurtured and developed with love and care. And the onus lies only with the parents.