Have you heard statements like “her husband is babysitting the children” or have you heard when a man says he won’t be able to hang-out with his guys because his wife is not around and he needs to babysit? Well, I have heard and I am only left to wonder. Do you know who a babysitter is?

While I’ve heard these somewhat ridiculous statements, I’ve also seen and heard men who do not see themselves as babysitters, rather as fathers who are responsible for the welfare of their children and they carry out their responsibility effectively, and even go as far as silencing some women who find it absurd for a man to take care of his child.

My post for today is not on men who know their responsibility and do them, but for men who do not have the faintest idea of what it means to be a father in the totality of what fatherhood is. This post is also for women who believe that it is a taboo for fathers to cater to the needs of their children. I come in peace, but we have to make a change.

Let’s start with the definition of who a babysitter is and we’ll see if a dad can qualify to be called a babysitter. A babysitter is someone who is hired temporarily to cater for the needs of children on behalf of the children’s parent or guardian. Does this in any way sound like who a father is. Definitely not.

A father who takes care of his child—diaper changing, feeding, bathing, playing, nursing, attending, and all the things a child needs to feel taken care off—is performing his roles as the father of that child, and it is normal. Click To Tweet

A father who takes care of his child—diaper changing, feeding, bathing, playing, nursing, attending, and all the things a child needs to feel taken care off—is performing his roles as the father of that child, and it is normal. There was time when it almost looked like the Seven Wonders of the World when a man is seen carrying his child with a baby carrier, but now it is almost becoming a norm.

There was a time I watched a BBC video where a lady was teaching men how to care for babies because she wants men to be more involved in the life of their children right from conception. She asked for their views about child care, a man said “To tell me to start bathing a child and go for ante-natal, I don’t think I’ll do it. In my own place, a man doesn’t bathe a child. It’s only for women. It is women’s duties.”

...caring for his child is not determined by where he comes from or the traditions of his place, but by the fact that he fathered the child and he desires to be a responsible dad. Click To Tweet

I’ll fault his statement by saying that caring for his child is not determined by where he comes from or the traditions of his place, but by the fact that he fathered the child and he desires to be a responsible dad. Also, it is not only for women, and it is not women’s duties since the woman is not the only one responsible for the conception of the child. Another man said he doesn’t see it as a sin or a bad thing as some people do and he will do it.

We have talked about men, what about the women who are allies. Let me paraphrase the words of Chimamanda Adichie. That child will not die in the hands of her father. He may not do it as you would do it, but let him do it anyway. And no, he is not helping you, he’s playing his role as a father.

Finally, according to Rebecca Lindenbach in her post How to Help Dads be Parents, Not Feel Like Glorified Babysitters, she wrote, “Childcare isn’t a 50-50 split. It’s a relationship that requires 100% from both of you because your child needs 100% of you. Your kid doesn’t need half a dad and half a mom. He or she needs two parents who are fully devoted to raising him the best they possibly can.”

“Childcare isn’t a 50-50 split. It’s a relationship that requires 100% from both of you because your child needs 100% of you. Click To Tweet

Watch the video I mentioned here

Oluwakemi.