Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Group Therapy: What parent "babysits" their kids?

Welcome to Group Therapy:

No emails today so I have something that I'd like your guys' wise brains to discuss...

I was on Working Mommy's Blog and came across THIS post and she found this article on Yahoo that is entitled, "10 Things Husband's Should Never Do".

Some of them I agreed with but the one that if I were an irkable person would irk me is #1 which states:

Offer to “babysit” your own kids.

I honestly hate when I hear my friend's husbands say stuff like that. (My husband would rather play with the kids then do almost anything else so I never have this problem nor has he ever said this to me).

For example, one of my good friends wanted to join me and another friend for a movie. I happen to still be at her house chatting when her husband got home, this is how the conversation went:

My Friend: "Hey hunny, I think I'm planning an impromtu girls night tonight and going to watch that chick flick with Shelle and So and So."

Husband: Looks at her in shock, "So what? I have to babysit the kids?"

Me in my head: "Oh no you didn't!? You get to spend quality time with your kids while your wife takes a break for herself." (honestly the girl is one of those girls that feels bad that she gets to stay at home so never takes time for herself! Reminds me of a fellow blogger we all love... JULES :)

My Friend: "I'll make sure they are in bed before I leave."

Husband: "Okay then."

I kid you not people.

So what do you think? Is it babysitting if the husband is watching the kids? Guys, Gals, what do you think?

***Tomorrow is our first He Said/ She Said post so stay tuned for that and make sure to see what side YOU take! :)

***If you have any questions or problems that you would like to have addressed in Group Therapy please email me at blokthoughts@gmail dot com orrealworldvenusmars @ gmail dot com.

Leave your advice in the comments, comment on other comments, and feel free to comment Anonymously.


SciFi Dad said...

Erm, babysitting is something you do for kids you have no relationship with. Otherwise, it's called parenting.

Chief said...

OK... I will admit that for the first couple of years Duke used to say this whenever I went to school (at night)...I would hear him tell people he was babysitting.

I remember constantly explaining to him that he sounded like an A-Hole when he described it using the term babysit.

It took a while but he no longer uses the word, and I truly think he just had no other word to put in its place and didn't mean anything derogatory by it.

Like when he calls the waitress "hun" and my skin crawls.... still working on that. He is a small town boy after all.

Missy said...

When I hear crap like that I have to say... I really love my husband. He would never think to say that. He would give me some cash and say "Have a good time."

I am one who stays home (During the week) with the kids. Luckily my husband knows that it can be stressful, and I need a break.

NO, you can not babysit your own kids!

Momma Sunshine said...

Crap like that irritates me. It's NOT "babysitting" when you're looking after your own children. I hear lots of people call it that (hell, I'm pretty sure my ex did when we were still married) and it's just plain silly.

Hell, I'm in a new relationship now, and I wouldn't even call it "babysitting" if he looked after my girls. I would ask him if he could "watch the girls" while I went out and did something....

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

SciFi-thank you! I totally agree!

Chief- I can understand what you are saying, maybe some of them don't mean it that way...I get that :)

I always wished my hubs was as smooth as to call a waitress hun. But then he just smiles and they seem to flirt all over him... Rolls eyes...

Missy- I agree with it giving me appreciation for the guy I married :)

Momma Sunshine- Exactly!!! Nice perspective :)

The Princess of Sarcasm said...

If they are like Duke and they don't mean it like that, it's one thing. If they expect you to bathe and get them in bed first......oh girl! It's ON!!!

Seriously? Babysitters do more than THAT! He should just call himself a housesitter.

I went to NYC with a group of girls a few years back when my boys were really little. Everyone was talking about the extensive lists they left their hubbys. I was shocked. I kissed the prince and my baby heirs goodbye and told them I would call them. My hubs is an active part of their life and knows their schedule without even being with them full time.

When my father had unexpected open heart surgery, my husband took care of the boys for an entire week and missed only one minor thing on the schedule. He also did laundry and put it away!!!

*sigh* I love him. :)

MommyLovesStilettos said...

My ex considers spending time with our daughter "babysitting". Which is exactly why he almost NEVER sees her.

Men that say things like that don't deserve the title of "dad".

Working Mommy said...

YAY!! I was an inspiration...GO ME!


Anonymous said...

Fortunately, my husband doesn't view his time alone with the kids as babysitting. However, I have known some people (My nana, who is sometimes stuck in the past when it comes to some things lol) who has refered to my husband "babysitting" our children. I just shrug it off, cuz it's Nana lol.

I don't really have any advice though. Just the comment. Not really sure if this NEEDS advice. If the husband truly feels like it's babysitting then ... it's going to be hard to change his feelings on it. But he has a right to those feelings ... as much as I disagree with them.

Unknown said...

Oh, that just burns me up!
My hubby (my boy's step-dad) sometimes says that but I cut him some slack since he used to watch the boys for me back when we were just dating and then it was a babysitting sort of arrangement.

Chief said...

Oh, Im not saying that sometimes he didn't feel that way! Im sure he did...

Just took a couple of years to set him straight

Truth be told, he is absolutely 50% participator in the kids now. sometimes even more when Im bloggin' *wink

Danielle said...

Funny that you say this right now.
My soon to be ex wants to remain my daughter from a man that is out of the pictures, "daddy".

I have been fighting with my self about whether or not to allow this.

She stayed with him this last weekend for a night and he told a friend of ours that he couldn't go out because he had to babysit.

I was so pissed. My thought process: You want to be her daddy, but you call it babysitting when you get to spend time with her? What (REAL) daddy calls spending time with his child babysitting.

It was definitly a minus in his favor of remaining in her life.

Thanks for the post, it helped me not feel like I was being too critical.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Princess Sarcasm-- I know what you mean about your girls! I do the same when I go out, I leave knowing he is just as competent as me to take care of the kids. When he's gone I find the babysitters and take care of the kids as well as the house, he can do the same when I'm gone!

Shellspann-it boggles the mind I tell ya!

WM- thanks so much for that link! :)

Alex- no advice as much as your opinion on it! Thanks and thanks. Although if they have the right to feel that way does that mean it's okay?

Sunday- okay I get that situation...but still. :P

Chief--hahahaha thank goodness for blogging to help him with needed quality time! Hehehehe

Danielle- your thought process is validated...but he gets some points for the WANT of being in her life. But yes your thoughts are validated :)

Anjeny said...

Great topic, Shelle.

The way I see it is, I didn't bring those kids into the marriage, we created them together. He participated in the created process and actually got more satisfaction out of the creating process so he better damn well be participating in raising them...if that means watching them or taking care of them so I can go out on a girls' day out or a time alone, then he had better enjoy his time with them and not even think about considering that babysitting.

Fortunately, I'm married to a guy who happens to love spending time with our kids, he would even come up with things that he can do with the kids even without me being there so I don't have this problem. I've gone on a couple of trips where I was gone for a couple of weeks and he actually did a wonderful job taking care of the kids.

So, to answer your, it is not babysitting if the hub is watching the kids. On the same token, as chief pointed out, there's probaby husbands out there who don't have the right word to call so they just call it that. To them, watching their kids for few minutes or hours so the wife can have her time out probably mean just that..

Let me see if I can do this right..

When we hire a sitter to watch our kids, let's say a teenager for example, they come to house, we give them a list of phone numbers(emergency) and ours where we can be reached, give them run down on what we expect of them and our kids' schedule and we go off...we only require them to watch the kids, no other work involved like cooking for those kids or cleaning up our kitchen or house(a bit extreme but I'm using this as example) so when a husband sees this and the wife said she's going out for time out or girls' night out, can he watch the kids..he automatically would think that it's similar to babysitting because when a wife said watch the his mind, that's all it is, watching the kids and that's what a babysitter does, just watch the kids, nothing else. Hope I'm not confusing you or anyone else but I'm thinking this is probably the thinking that goes on in a man's mind when the kids are left with him while the wife goes out..does that make sense?

Anywho...that's just my two-cents worth of thought today

Missty said...

Great topic. Ok, when I was a younger mom stuff like this bugged me. Now I think, its just a guy who can't come up with the right words. Especially if the woman is more of the care taker or home more with the kids. It just happens.

I guess it depends on the man. My guys is wonderful with the kids, he has always been the one to take care of them and give this at home mom a break. Always stepped up to do it all when I have been back east visiting my family, etc.

But I can bet, he has said he "has to watch the kids" Or "babysit" to someone. Not because he is forced, or doesn't want to be with his children. But because he usually is the bread winner and I am the one "watching our kids" So its just a different role for him at the moment.

It wouldn't be any different if I told some one "I can't have a girls night out I have to work tonight." Not my normal role. kwim? I know not the same as children, but a different role.

Maybe I am getting old (Crap did I just say that?) Stuff like this just doesn't bug me anymore, unless it is already coming from a jerk of a person. Then it doesn't matter what they say or how they say it, I know they are already an idiot. lol

Cherished By Me said...

Funny, I've never thought about it like that before but yes I suppose I would run around ( most times) trying to sort the children out as I felt guilty leaving my husband to do it if I was going out leaving him to gulp 'babysit'. Never noticed that before. :0(

The deMented Mom said...

Seriously, this phrase is so over-used that most people don't even blink when they hear it. A mom would NEVER describe staying home with her kids as babysitting. Isn't it time that men were thought of as an equal parent rather than an alternate form of childcare??

I've been guilty of it myself...AND, since I stay home, I am like a lot of women who knock themselves out trying to have the kids all squared away before I leave for any 'me' time. Crazy isn't it?

Love your blog, so glad I found it.

Anonymous said...

A Martian's view -

As he is not here to defend himself, I will try to do it - : )

I suspect that his definition of 'baby sit' is different to the mums. They might consider it a commercial function done only for money with no love. He might mean that he is left alone in charge (at the mercy) of them - although he loves them dearly. No wonder he was horrified.

Plus, was he going to use that evening as a relaxing rest period, essential to repair the damage done by the stress of work ? Men tend to work in high energy bursts, and the rest periods are essential for the next burst. Women tend to work in continuous routines at lower energies, and hence the rest periods are not so vital.

Most men in regular jobs need the evening as a wind down period ready for a night's rest, and a frenzied day's work the next day.

I remember in Scotland - before feminism - when a husband was simply the work force for the family home and the house wife was the company director. A man was expected to hand his wage packet over unopened and wait for his beer and fag allowance - she was also the financial director. As a consequence the good wife and mother placed great importance on the care of her 'work force', just as the work horses of the time were looked after very carefully; and fed and rested with care. And the phrase to the kids 'leave your father alone, he needs to rest' was a common one.

As far as sharing the burden, certainly, as long as the sharing is fair, and the mum goes in to do the father's job one day in two, giving him time to do his 'share' of the housework and looking after the children.

There - I said it! With typical Scots (suicidal) courage.

Nearly 11.00pm here, so I'm off to my cold damp lonely cot, it's around -15*C outside, but I'll not put on the nearly new central heating until it gets really cold, it's a shocking waste of money. Aye, I'd rather remarry first to be warm in bed.

David Edward TC

Hubman said...

I love when Veronica gets out of the house and I get the kids to myself! I jokingly refer to it as "Mr Mom" time.

How's this for pathetic? When we were in college, Veronica babysat for the couple who owned the pizza shop I worked at. The pathetic part? The husband was home the entire time Veronica was there! The man was unwilling or incapable of watching his own kids while his wife was out!

Chief said...


I used to babysit all the time as a teenager and the dad was downstairs watching TV at the time.


Another Suburban Mom said...

I don't put much harm in the phrase babysitting. I think in most cases its just a lack of a better phrase.

But if a guy is put out by having to spend time with his own kids it gives me concern.

Shirley said...

Years ago a friend asked if my husband would "babysit" while I went out to dinner with a group of girlfriends. I told her my husband didn't babysit. She was horrified that my husband wouldn't watch the kids. I told her I didn't say that. I said he didn't that is what we paid teenagers to do. He would be glad to hold down the fort while I went out. She had always asked her husband to "babysit" and decided that was quite demeaning to him. It ended up being the topic for our night out. LOL I see the topic still brings lots of comments even after 25+ years.

Princess - When I went out of town, I did leave detailed lists for my husband. Otherwise, the kids would have all missed music lessons, sports practice, games, etc. I always thought it was funny that my husband would check off what got done and cross out what he chose not to do.

Anonymous said...

"The man was unwilling of watching his own kids while his wife was out"

"I used to baby sit all the time as a teenager and the dad was downstairs watching TV at the time"

Another Suburban Mom
"If a guy is put out by having to spend time with his own kids it gives me concern"

In general, Men do not want to look after children, especially when they are resting - fact of life - welcome to the Real World ! If you cannot accept Men for what they are then you feminist women had better marry one another, and be happy and content. (hah! not much chance of that)

Anonymous said...

His guy?

Probably babysitting . . .