From the organization, National At-Home Dad Network comes this really neat shirt. It says ‘Dads don’t babysit. (It’s called “parenting”)’ and this guy posted a picture of himself proudly spreading the word. The group emphasizes that dads that stay at home to be the primary caregiver for their children are not a “Mr. Mom” and aren’t “babysitting.” They aren’t doing “women’s work,” they are just doing work. It’s a stigma that they are trying to fight…because obviously, the year is not 1950.
He posted the picture, not really sure what the reaction would be. The responses he got had a lot of people gaining a new perspective of what it means to be a parent – regardless of if its mom or dad staying home with the kids.
Single dad here. It’s even worse when my 7-year-old daughter wants to have a sleepover. She brings home the parents phone numbers from her friends, and I call the parents (usually moms). I explain she wants to have a sleepover and “your kid is invited!” Then the awkward question: Will her mom be there?” And when I explain that there is no mom here…there’s that long pause. I’m sad to say that to this day, my daughter still hasn’t had a sleepover for this reason. Every single one of the parents always say no, they’re busy, etc. She doesn’t understand why, and I’m left apologizing.”
It hurt really bad when I was a new “stay-at-home dad: and people would say or ask about me “babysitting.” My wife’s job had 70% travel and she’s going back to school for her masters, and we were in a new city with no family and only a couple friends, so I was “on” 24/7. I didn’t go out when she came home because she came home to do homework. I was with my daughter all day, every day. I became super territorial of her. I was the main parent. Then some jerks (even my grandma) would ask about me, “babysitting.” It really made me almost cry sometimes because it was like they couldn’t see me as a caretaker.”
The bar has been set so low by previous generations that literally anytime I take my kids somewhere in public people will say “Wow you’re such a great dad”. This weekend I took my kids to a park, literally 1 hour out of my day and the moms were all over me. You should see them when I tell them that I get my kids 3-4 times a week. So I’m enjoying this whole single parenting thing. But seriously stop telling me I’m a great dad. I’m just being a parent.”
“Aww, it’s so nice of you to babysit and give mom a break.”
He wants to end the stigma that a dad can’t be a stay-at-home dad. When more and more moms have jobs that provide better benefits or income, it makes sense for the other parent to take over at home. And this dad is fed up with being called a “babysitter.”