No, I'm not babysitting, that's because she's my bloody daughter!
I had a chat at work with a friend of mine who is also a Dad and it turns out we have one paternal sticking point that really hits a nerve. It turns out after a bit of research, it's a nerve pincher for a lot of men. Ask us Dads whatever you like when you see us out and about with our kids when their Mother isn't present, but never ask 'Where's The other half today? Has she left you babysitting'
Seriously, how in the name of all that is holy does a father babysit their own child!? I bet no one has ever walked up to my wife and gone 'Eddie at work? Are you babysitting all day?'. This one question pretty much insinuates that Dads are always playing second fiddle to their better halves. What would happen to a male gay couple with a child? Are they just permanently 'babysitting' whereas a Lesbian couple would be permanently 'parenting'
Babysitting is something which occurs for a finite amount of time and usually ends with the child being handed back to a parent. How do I even manage to do that? Believe me, if I could have done this, I would have done this when she suffered with colic every night for six months. It's a comment which is said without malice or humour, but it really does wind me, and other Dads up.
I don't walk in the house and thank my Wife for looking after the Jam-Eater all day, nor would I expect her to do the same. I came across a website when I was looking into this post, which is solely for Dads who feel aggrieved. 'I'm not Babysitting, I'm parenting' is their motto and has a whole load of merchandise to go with the phrase. It does feels very American but in essence its values are spot on.
I have had to come back and edit this piece as when I read it back it was littered with expletives, I guess I was a bit mad at the time. So please, if you see Flo and I out and about, please poke fun out of my big ginger beard or ask how we are doing. Just, please please please, don't ask me if I'm babysitting.