Originally appeared online at Red Tricycle.
A little while back I made a comment about how I had to “babysit my kids.” My wife gently reminded me that watching my kids isn’t actually babysitting. Instead it is something called “parenting.”
Dads don’t babysit. We parent. We are equally responsible entities who will, on occasion, need to care for our children without the presence of their mother.
We wrangle. We wrestle. We cat-herd. We don’t babysit. At least not when it’s our own children.
Instead we father. We read. We play. We feed and bathe and build and tickle.
It’s not a secondary role, but a primary one. Its not called babysitting when a mom spends her precious hours caring for children. Its just called being a mom.
Men, it is the same for us. The mantle of responsibility does not fall solely to mothers. It is not the woman’s job to raise our children. We are in this together.
This is what we do. We aren’t too macho or too unequiped or too busy doing man stuff. We are dads. This is man stuff.
We care for our kids. Even when mom isn’t around. Even when they scream or poop their pants or we’ve had a long day and just want to relax.
Be a dad. Send your lady off with her friends or away for some quiet time. Take your kids out of the house without mom. Step up and help out. Share the wealth (and the burden).
Your kids need you. Their mother needs you. It’s who you are. You are not a babysitter, you are a parent. We can do this.