10 Reasons Fathers CAN Be Referred to as Babysitters


Many women’s claws come out and they assume their ass-kickin’ Matrix stance when they hear some gal say her husband is babysitting.


This man is a father – his children’s legal guardian for flip’s sake.  He. Is. Not. Babysitting.

True dat.  But a lot of the time, it feels like he might as well be.

Here’s why:

1. It’s a business arrangement.  You might not have to stick some Jacksons in his waistband, but you’ll pay.  Whether it’s a night out with the guys, keeping your yap shut when he ignores the dirty dishes (again!) or some major baum-chicka-wow-wow time, you owe him for his services.

2. You feel like you’re overindulging.  Given the pay arrangement outlined above you’ve got to ask yourself, “Can I really afford this?

3. They are only fully employed when you aren’t there or are on your deathbed. Literally on your deathbed.  If you are home and not lying in bed with several broken bones and oozing sores someone’s going to ask you to do something.

4. You leave a ton of instructions.  You want to make their life easier by making sure they know the schedule, the rules, and things like So-and-so likes her hot-dogs peeled and cut into ½ inch think semicircles.

5. The fear factor.  While you’re gone you envision everything from an army of first responders being dispatched to your doorstep to the kitchen floor carpeted in Doritos.

6. You lay down the law regarding TV, Internet and phone use.  Because some people need reminding that watching a game or surfing the web for hours on end while the kids do God-knows-what is not the best childcare method.

7. Due to unfamiliarity with the house, you put things out where they can’t be missed.  A box of diapers on the kitchen counter seems like overkill. But. . . if someone doesn’t know where you keep fresh tubes of toothpaste should you really leave such matters to chance?

8. Your kids will have a great time doing shit you’d never let them get away with.  Goldfish and fruit snacks for dinner. Playing dress up with Mommy’s keep-your-grubby-hands-off new outfit.  Going to bed two hours late on a school night.  Yes. Yes. And (Dude it’s an effing school night?!) yes.

9. If they clean up and do some laundry you do a happy dance. You didn’t think this was in the job description, so, woo-hoo, this is going above and beyond expectation.

10. Somehow, even when things go not exactly as you’d have liked, everything is fine when you get home. 

If you are one of those women whose husbands totally kill it in taking an equal if not greater share of the housework/childcare load, then shut the front door, and know we envy you.

Make your hubs give Daddy lessons to the rest of our dudes, who dance between being an extra child and a full-fledged partner.

So yeah, technically no father should be called the babysitter.

But if the title fits, go make him a t-shirt.


    • 2

      Keesha Beckford says

      I hear ya, leaving can cause serious emotional angst can’t it? But I hope it all winds up like #10, doesn’t it? Fingers crossed!

    • 3

      Me says

      I wish i wasn’t in a position to have to treat my hubby like a child himself and ask for the simplest things like making sure the house doesn’t turn into a hurricane, or to try not to leave our daughter in front of the TV for hours on end. but i will admit he is learning.

  1. 5

    Amber says

    Wow. This blog post makes me want to go give my husband a big hug. Seriously, if I was married to a guy like you describe above, I’d be divorced. I have no time to take care of a 3rd child.

    • 6

      Nilzed says

      I was married to a guy like that. His 3rd wife just left him. Yeah, useless.

      My now husband may not parent exactly as I do, but he is no better or worse. Did he do as much housekeeping as I would have when I had to be gone for two weeks? No, but he was doing his best to do his actual job from home in between caring for his son. And besides, in any given 2 weeks, there is plenty I might not have accomplished (she said, looking at the pile of unfolded laundry and the dark, depressingly still decorated Christmas tree piled up while husband has been gone almost 2 weeks)

      • 7

        Keesha Beckford says

        Nilzed — you totally get where I’m coming from. My husband is a great dad, despite what folks may infer from this post. It’s just that I am super neurotic and he is more relaxed. Recognizing this stylistic difference (and being able to laugh at it) is a great thing! Thank you!

        • 8

          Me says

          Keesha: Well I am not neurotic and if you have to ask a father of his own children to get them to bed on a school night? -well, I dont think that’s neurotic. And when you’re living it everyday, it isnt humorous. but the article is great – very entertaining and well done!

    • 9

      Kate says

      I’m with you, Amber… a man who “baby sits” his own children is not someone I’d care to spend the rest of my lift with.

    • 12

      Katie says

      Agreed. I just can’t find the humor in the whole “my husband hasn’t the first clue how to be a responsible parent” schtick. When I read things like, “If my husband watches the kids, I have to repay him with sex,” I feel like your husband has seriously misunderstood his responsibilities as a father and as a husband. This isn’t cute. It’s sad.

    • 13

      TheHeadacheslayer says

      Right there with you Amber! If a father doesn’t know how to take care of his own kids….that’s really sad. Heck my husband could give complete tutorials on cloth diapers ;) If I could clone him…I’d be richer than Oprah ;)

  2. 14

    Deb says

    This is soooo true!!!! It kills me when he’s on the phone with his buddy and says to him “No, cant do it, I have to babysit”. Ahhhhhhhh

    • 15

      Keesha Beckford says

      The ol’ moms-in-charge-and-I-step-in-when-she’s-gone routine…A dance so many unfortunately know so well. Sigh.

  3. 16

    jetts31 says

    If my wife were this overbearing, lacked the confidence in my parenting ability, or thought it necessary to treat me like a child, we would have serious problems. I can’t believe there are still Dads out there that are this inept?

    • 18

      Keesha Beckford says

      Thanks for commenting. Some of it is genuine ineptitude, but some of the problem is the Controlfreakitis and IWD (Intense Worry Disease) that affects so many moms. That and two different styles of parenting — one more “relaxed” and one more “hands on” and there you have it…

      • 19

        jetts31 says

        Its was a good read from the fact that I was engaged immediately. I think I may have overreacted initially about it too. There are certainly enough parents out there who embody ineptitude and some who can go overboard too. Cheers.

  4. 20

    Andie says

    My husband is pretty awesome. Through the week, he works. It’s ALL me whether I want it to be or not. On the weekends, he helps a ton (mainly because I am tired), but still manages to keep his “guy pants” on. I’ll catch him watching football or catching up on Hulu on the computer. I figured he works a lot and deserves some “me” time. Nobody is perfect, though. However, there are some dads out there who don’t do anything but ignore their kids by hanging on their phone all the time or off in another room 98% of the time. The only time these dads show their faces is when there is a hot meal presented to them on the table. That, to me, is ridiculous and a complete waste. Enjoy your children!!

    • 21

      Shannon says

      Your very lucky! Although my husband isn’t like the second dads you described, he also doesn’t help much. Its kind of like I have to ask for help or he doesn’t do it.

      • 22

        Keesha says

        And having to ask sucks, doesn’t it? And how many “talks” can you have? I hope you can get your message across, Shannon!

    • 23

      Keesha says

      I agree completely Andie. I know it can be a hard call between cutting your husband some slack over the weekend and feeling abandoned. Thank you for the great comment!

  5. 24

    Shannon says

    lol this is too funny and also VERY true! When I was with my ex (my son’s father) I remember him asking his dad if he ever had to babysit him when he was little. His dad replied “Babysit?! Hello its your child, you aren’t babysitting them!” I try not to even bother leaving my 2 year old home with my husband, the last time I did, he fell asleep and when I got home and woke him up he asked me when I was leaving! In the mean time, my daughter had dumped baby powder all over the living room! And I was only gone an hour! Imagine how it would have been if I was gone longer than that?!

  6. 27

    Hollow tree ventures says

    Yes to ALL of this – they’re the most expensive, hard to schedule babysitters in town. Thanks for the laugh! I needed the entertainment, since I know I won’t be leaving the house any time soon. ;)

  7. 30

    Megan says

    Yep, this is my house. My husband is a great dad and certainly does more than previous generations did, but he go back and forth between being another child and an actual partner. That said, I get indignant when people refer to him “babysitting.” I correct them with, “No he’s taking care of his children.”

  8. 34

    Kim says

    It’s so true. I’m the “go to” person for almost everything and he’s the default. Maybe it’s because I’m home all day with them? And when he does watch them all day he struts around that night like he’s the shit and I’m one lucky lady. Whatever.

    • 35

      Keesha says

      I hear ya! always feel just a tad guilty when he watches them all day – like I played hooky or something. What’s up with that?!

  9. 36

    Ninja Mom says

    Keesha you killed it! Event hubs LOLed. #7 is our fave. My man doesn’t know where anything is in our house except the fridge and the TV. But he helps with laundry. Sharing this everywhere.

  10. 38

    Rebecca J says

    I wish this wasn’t true at my house, but sadly mostly is an exact description of the way things are (although my hubs would strongly deny it all if accused, so don’t tell him I said that, k?)! Thanks for making me chuckle!

  11. 40

    Toulouse says

    This was so funny and so true. My hubs works his butt off all week and does help with the kids on the weekends. BUT he still doesn’t know where anything is and he’s still the one who lets them break routines, stay up late and eat candy (Dad is great, he gives us the chocolate cake!). Regardless of what we call him, the husband is still a little bit a babysitter, no?
    #s 1, 2, and 3. Yes, that.

    • 41

      Kelly McNamara says

      Toulouse: “Dad is great…gives us the chocolate cake” haha! You must be about my age cuz I about died when I read that! Yes, that’s my hubby too!

      He’s a great dad with them, but yeah, they eat horribly and stay up way too late when he “babysits”.

      • 42

        Toulouse says

        Even my hubs is only 32 and he goes around singing that song (so clearly, he knows he’s like that too). Not sure how he knows it since he’s a BAYBAY but he does. Gotta love the Eddie Murphy from the old days.

    • 44

      Keesha says

      This is why I love you, Toulouse, because you totally get that a guy can be a great dad and still match up to this list point for point.

  12. 45

    Nil17 says

    Yes, this is exactly what it’s like at my house. It’s not that Hubs isn’t willing to take care of the kids but rather that I do it ALL DAY LONG. He does it for a few minutes at night while I pee alone or finish supper.

    Plus both kids scream “Dad” & trample anyone or anything in their path when he comes home. lol

  13. 46

    Kathy at kissing the frog says

    When I am going out, even my kids will say, “Is Daddy going to babysit us?” I say, “No, he is going to PARENT you.”

    Oh, and the “Dad is great” thing is Bill Cosby, not Eddie Murphy.

  14. 48

    Crystal says

    Dude,never get excited over them doing work! Then they think are not supposed to help ALL of the time. I respond with ‘oh,cool.thanks baby.’ not in an exited tone. I nipped this ‘babysitting’ behavior in the butt early.He cooks all the meals when he’s home-(he works 2nd shift @work) helps me clean when he IS home,and NEVER says the word babysitting.

  15. 50

    Kim at Let Me Start By Saying says

    SO funny! My husband is great, but his thing is forgetting to feed the kids. Really?? You can’t remember that the kids need to eat 5x a day? So I clear the kitchen island and lay out a whole bunch of food and meal props as a not-so-gentle reminder. ;)

  16. 52

    Stacey says

    This is so spot on that it’s scary! We have 7 children and I think it took me 4 kids for me not to be afraid the entire time I was gone. Without fail, he would always call at bedtime and ask where the binky was. Now that I have older children, he just asks them where stuff is. Usually someone will know! To my husband’s credit, he is totally willing to take them any time I need a night(or weekend) off!

    • 53

      Keesha says

      That must be nice when the kids are less dependent and can do more for themselves. Even great Dads can give a mom a little anxiety – it goes with the territory!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>