A father on Reddit asked if he was an a**hole for not wanting to “babysit” while his wife is on vacation — and YES he is
How many times do we have to go through this? When a dad is taking care of his kids, he is parenting, not babysitting. And yet some people can’t quite get that very simple concept through their heads.
Our most recent offender appeared in Reddit’s Am I The A**hole? forum, in which people recount arguments and disagreements to strangers in order to find out if they in the right or so very wrong. In this case: yep, he’s wrong.
Here’s the background: this guy bought his wife a plane ticket to Italy to visit her grandmother for her birthday. Which sounds very nice. But he also bought a ticket for their four-year-old daughter to go with her. His wife, who’s a stay at home mom, wants to go alone — to get a real break from her kid — but he doesn’t want to take off work to “babysit” their daughter for a WhOlE wEEk while she’s away.
He also can’t think of anyone else who could watch their kid while his wife uses the birthday gift he gave her.
“I suggested we have someone else watch her, but we don’t know anyone that lives close by who’d be willing to watch her. I love my daughter, but I don’t want to take a week off to babysit her.”
About 4,000 people had an answer for him: Yes, you are the asshole.
The most popular comments pointed out that simple, universal truth: if the kids legally belong to you, you are not “babysitting” them, you are engaged in the act of parenting. You do not get credit, you do not get props, you do not get paid, you do not get praise, for parenting your own children.
Another user had another great point: it’s not a vacation if your kids are with you. It’s a trip. The real parent getting the vacation is the one who gets to stay home alone while your wife navigates across the ocean to a different continent with a preschooler in tow all while solo parenting.
“You want your wife to travel alone with a 4 year old child and parent alone for her entire visit with your family that she clearly doesn’t see often because you don’t want to baby sit your own child,” writes the very observant reader.
And wait — there’s more. He’s also asking his wife to travel solo internationally with their kid during a global pandemic.
“Let’s not forget that international travel with a 4-year-old is hard enough — but we’re still in a pandemic. So now she’s got to make sure her kid is masked the whole time and keep sanitizing her hands,” writes one Reddit user.
At 4, the kid isn’t yet vaccinated, which could put herself and her great grandmother in danger — not to mention any number of international travel rules they might have to follow.
Another person had some pretty solid and to-the-point advice for the mother.
Although we also just appreciate the posts that are word-by-word total takedowns of the guy.
Okay, so to summarize, there are a couple of lessons here: ask your wife about her thoughts and feelings before buying international plane tickets. And if you give a gift to someone, make sure that it’s a real actual gift and not a backhanded way to get your spouse to continue to do all the childcare while you have a bachelor’s staycation. And for the love of all that’s holy, realize that even if your partner is a stay at home parent, you are also a parent, and you need to step up and do that.