Saturday, March 16, 2013

Babysitting Fathers

As I get larger and discussions about the twins come up, one topic always leads to the same questions:  who will keep your kids when you go back to part-time work?

The same person who does now: D, my husband, the babies' daddy.

Responses range from:

He is going to keep four kids, alone?

You are going to leave him alone?

Who will help him?

He babysits?

Why aren't you hiring a real babysitter?

Wait, won't you have four when the babies get here? Men can keep four children?

Yes, D is an exceptional father and person in every way.  We co-parent, copartner, we are a team.  That's the best way I know how to put it.  There's nothing the man can't do, and in many cases such as loading the dishwasher, making meals look appealing, and teaching our children about the specifics of zombie hunting, he does much better than I could ever dream of.

So I am a bit confused as to why people are in shock that he will be keeping all four of our kids for a few hours on some days of the week.  He's a competent adult; he's their father; he's not a babysitter because I do not pay him to watch the kids he knocked me up with.  You shouldn't have to pay your spouse for that.

On the flip side, I'm a bit concerned that no one asks how I will feel about being alone with them almost every day for many hours while recovering from having them and shooting milk every which direction from my boobs. Great that everyone is confident in my abilities because I have lady parts, but seriously?  Is it only stressful for men?

I know men and women are different and that women, I assume, are supposed to be more capable in the nurturing department.  I guess I just find it offensive to the men who are out there pulling their weight in the parenting department when someone asks me if I wouldn’t feel better paying a random individual an hourly rate to watch the kids, the assumption being that this random individual would somehow prove more competent than my husband.  Though the one time Wren tried to nurse off of D while he was sleeping was not a success, he has everything else covered.

I do get to go home at least once a week and tell D how I have once again defended his honor against those who expect him to be a clueless, blubbering idiot who misplaces the children and feeds them dog food (not even the gluten-free kind!) anytime he is left unsupervised just because he does not possess a uterus.  I’m glad I can be his knight in shining armor that way.  I just really hope he doesn’t start asking to be paid for his child care services.  I can’t afford him.

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