So I’m Babysitting My Kids This Weekend

February 26, 2010 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

So, Heidi is going on a women’s retreat this weekend.  She left today (Friday) at about noon and will get back into town late in the afternoon on Sunday.  All weekend long it is just Maylee, Lauren and me.  I’m babysitting the two of them all weekend long . . .

Wait for it . . .

Gotcha.  I’m predicting a couple of things.  One, at least one mom will post an angry comment on my FB page at the post link before reading the post.  B, at least five moms screamed out loud (Go ahead and confess).

One of moms’ favorite lines to drop on an unsuspecting dad is this, “It’s not babysitting when it’s your own kids.  It’s called parenting.”  Sorry guys, I have to agree with them.  You may think that all you mean is that I am going to be with my kids, but when you say babysitting you imply that this is some task or duty that you are obligated to perform rather than a normal part of your life.

Here is the question for you: When your wife is with your kids, is it babysitting?  Here’s another:  If she has to ask you if she can be gone and can you watch the kids, do you have to do the same?  Or is it a situation where she is the default parent and you have freedom to do whatever you want?

Here is what we communicate to our wife: It is your job to watch our kids.  I am doing you a favor when I watch our kids.  However, that is a terrible perspective.  If you are doing anyone a favor, it is you.  You get the opportunity to do something that you probably don’t get enough time to do.  You get to spend focused time with your kids.  You get their undivided attention.  You get a chance to spoil them, enjoy them, let them know that you love them and that they are a top priority for you.

You also get the opportunity to show your wife how much you love her.  You get to show how much you value her time, how much you want her to be able to get away and take a mom break.  You can show her that you are completely with her as parents and that you are a team. Whether mom works outside the home or not, she deserves regular time away and just some time for herself or with her friends.  You have a great chance to show and tell her how valuable she is and give her that special time away.

Besides, it’s not babysitting, because you’re not getting paid. Well, not in money anyway.


5 Responses to “So I’m Babysitting My Kids This Weekend”
  1. Megan says:

    So, what are the rules about passing this link along to a spouse? :) Would doing so be similar to praying aloud with a person and asking God to give them wisdom?

  2. cloften says:


    The policy is leave the page up on your computer until he “happens” to see it.

    Vice-President of Spouse Manipulation

  3. Wendy Thibault Kane says:

    Ok, Charlie. You got me. I was one of the mom’s “screaming”! I’ll never forget the first time someone said this to me. My brother was getting married in a few months, and I was going to be a bridesmaid. We had to go shopping for dresses. Suzanne, my oldest daughter, was about 9 months old. My (future) sister-in-law’s sister and mother asked if my husband was “babysitting.” I was honestly kind of shocked and replied, “um, no, he’s watching his daughter.” I was thinking the same thing you said. If my watching her during the day is “parenting” or “mothering”, then why does he not have any responsibilities to do that? Babysitting implies 1) that you get paid and 2) that you get to leave when I come back.

    Ok, enough rant. Your post said it better than I could! Good job!

  4. Chris says:

    DOH!! It worked. That sucks. I got nothing. Gotta get back to babysit…. I mean, watching my kids,

  5. Jules says:

    I like your post! I think I’ll be reading some more…

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