Babysitting? No I am the Dad!


Although this does not happen as much as it used to this week I have had the pleasure of not one dad but 3 dads turn and say to me “your babysitting tonight eh?” with a smile, “isn’t babysitting fun?” with a smile and the last dad turn to me and say “I’m glad I don’t sit them much! I couldn’t handle them all day!” with a smile which the look on my face when he said it must have spoke volumes as he just turned paid for his groceries and left.

There are few sentences in this world that will send my head in to a frenzy like that one. I loathe when a dad or a mom refer to caring for their kids as babysitting.

Oxford Dictionary online defines “babysit” as follows “Look after a child or children while the parents are out“.


If your out with your child or children like myself these 3 times at the park or at the grocery store, you are not babysitting you are the parent! As you can see I was doing a fine job of parenting in the picture!

I do not understand how “babysitting” became part of a parents vocabulary when talking about caring for their children? I can’t imagine saying that about caring for my children, I never have and never will! To me it seems like you have to be or feel removed from them to reference them as such.

Now I have thought that some parents might use it as a joke… not sure why you would? or maybe an ice breaker? To me though this is one of those words put in a sentence that really irritates me to no end. It may be because I am a stay at home dad and I am there for my children every moment they need me and that’s why I take offense to it?

I may be very wrong in how I feel about the word “babysit” and I might be taking it far to personally, but I very rarely and am not even sure if I have ever heard a mom say she is babysitting the kids?

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Katie (Growing Up KaterTot)

I agree with you!! The word “babysitter” is not meant for parents. We are our kids’ caregivers, providers, role models, and their biggest supporters. We aren’t outsiders who come in and sit with them for awhile!


How very true and yet I never looked at it from your point of view before. I am not sure if I have ever used the term myself but I know exactly how you are referencing it. I would think twice before saying it ever now. Great rant! 🙂

Toni @ Gym Bunny Mummy

My Ex used to use this phrase & it infuriates me, I couldn’t imagine how it feels for you. He used to refuse to ‘babysit’ on a weekend if I wanted to go out when in fact it was his allocated access, but he was an arse!

Modern dad

I’m glad it bothers your husband too! 🙂 Next time someone says that tell them you will go to work for them and they can come and run your house for a day!

lianne @ one of each kind

Very well said. My partner has corrected his friends countless times, it frustrates him no end. The fact some parents class looking after their own children as a chore is beyond me, it goes with the territory of having children, surely?! Thank you for hosting #Effitfriday


Babysitting implies payment. Next time someone uses the phrase, ask them what their hourly rate is. #thatwillshutthemup #effitfriday

Becky, Cuddle Fairy

I couldn’t agree more!! I think it’s awful when dads refer to watching their kids as babysitting. Like you said, it’s their child – it’s parenting!! #momsterlink


I completely agree with you! My ex husband used to tell me he couldn’t babysit for me to go out (Usually because he was already going out without me)..This is when we were together still and I can’t imagine why I left such a helpful charmer
Stevie 🙂

Emma's Mamma

How can a parent be baby-sitting? If one of us needs to do something without Emma we normally ask if the other one can watch her. And we both ask, because even though my husband works, his free time is parent time, same as mine. I really hope those people have a weird sense of humour, otherwise they must feel so detached from their kids. Good rant by the way! #momsterslink

Claire, Unfiltered Mama

Oh my gosh. I told someone I had to babysit and they yelled, “Babysit? YOUR OWN KIDS?” I had to clarify that, no, I was actually committed to watching kids for two other families that night. 🙂

I can’t imagine not feeling like parenting was my life! Not something you do for a few minutes here & there.

Coco Cana

Wow, how insulting! I personally have never been asked that and I don’t think my husband has either. I’ll have to ask him. He would be just as offended by the comment as you are. I don’t think you’re taking it too personally at all. It’s a really outdated viewpoint some of these absent minded men have and I think that our generation is doing a lot to change that. Bravo to you for being a good, hard working dad who loves his kids! Our world is going to be a better place because of it!


totally agree that fathers don’t baby sit!! although when i do meet a friend for a drink, i do come home to the fridge being emptied and dad lying up watching brain numbing tv x just like a teenager x


Any parent that thinks parenting is babysitting shouldn’t be a parent. I argue with my husband all the time because he says his job is to go to work and my job is to take care of the kids. No taking care of the kids is called parenting and should be shared between both of us…my job is the housework. He still doesn’t get it sometimes. Thanks for linking up with #momsterslink. Where the hell is my badge ROD!?!? 😉

Nige Higgins

So very true great post I hate the phrase babysitting you cannot babysit your own children

Modern dad

I am thinking to have cards made up with the meaning of “babysit” and every time a dad says that to me I whip out a card and hand it to him! lol

Daddy Daydream

It’s such a shame that this even has to be pointed out to people, you’re totally right. No parents babysit their own children.
On a personal note also may I add that school is not a babysitting service either. We have some parents at our school who totally see and use school as a place to have others look after their children for them.

Modern dad

Thank you! I know it shouldn’t even said, but it still happens far to often! I was shocked 3 times this week and it had been a good while before that since I heard it last!


I think it is really bad that parents are referring to looking after their kids as babysitting. Surely babysitting means you take custody of a child only for a short time, therefore the mentality is that they can somehow give the child back? That is strange. I’ll have to watch out for this in the future when I have a kid. Thank you.


I have heard this term thrown around to parents, but have never had it used on myself. I don’t get it either. It doesn’t make any sense – parents babysitting their kids. Umm no, they’re my kids, I am being a parent!


Oh I’m with you on this. I’m a stay at home mum and it frustrates me when people say my hubby is “babysitting” on those times when he is looking after the girls on his own. As you say, he’s not babysitting, he’s being their parent. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the word babysitting in relation to a mum being with her children either – it seems to be partly a reflection of a society that still to some extent views it as a mother’s job to look after the children.


My husband always say this when he has the kids, it drives me mad!!
They are your children you are caring for and parenting not someone else’s you are having for a few hours.
I will be sure to share this post with him!!

Ashley Beolens

God you would not believe how much I hate being asked if I am babysitting, I often think if I didn’t have the kids it could turn violent so much is my hatred, although without the kids there it would’t happen.

The more of us dads who correct these ignorant fools the better though, so be that voice 🙂


I totally agree! I hate when friends of mine tell me their husband is babysitting. He’s not babysitting – he’s being a parent! Ugh.

Stopped by from #momsterslink 🙂

Tin Box Traveller

Babysitting really is the wrong term but it’s the type of thing that people say without thinking. The modern family comes in all shapes and sizes so it can’t be assumed that anyone is taking more or less of a role in raising their kids #effitFriday

The L's Mum

It sounds like you have your bugbear comments just like I do about being a sahm. us mum’s get comments as well, I tend to get the ” so you are not going back to work then ” like it’s a bad thing to want to stay at home and look after the children, anyway I digress. Babysitting is definitely the wrong term to use and it must be so frustrating when really you are just being dad. Must have took all your might not to respond back with something. #effitfriday

krissy @ whymoms

I’ve said this same thing to my husband MULTIPLE times when he says- “so I’m babysitting tonight?”… Nope. you are hanging out with our family- raising them-teaching them- enjoying them! #bigfatlinky


Have to agree I hear this a lot from the men in my office and everyone is like “oh gosh you poor thing”! Excuse me? They are your babies! Thank you for letting us host with you. I had a great time last night. Felt like a celeb ha! – Emma

Mrs Tubbs

Grandparents, aunts and uncles, Godparents and friends may babysit. Then they go home. We parent. It’s full on and never ending. Gah, great rant as this annoys me too! #effitfriday


My mom says this to me when my hubby has the kids and it really gets to me!!! I have to constantly correct her! It bugs my husband, to, but he usually lets it slide–gotta pick your battles, ya’ know…

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