When my kids were younger, I’d sometimes attend evening functions like bunco with friends, or an Air Force spouse’s group meeting. Invariably, someone would ask who was watching my kids. Um, hello, I have a husband.
And then when I mentioned that said husband was with them—is it really “watching” or babysitting when they’re your own children?—the other woman would express surprise, or crack a joke about men not being able to handle it.
Are we living in the 50s? In my experience, the only men who are too inept to handle being home with their own kids are the ones who choose to leave the day-to-day parenting to the mom, or the men whose wives won’t “trust” them to handle the parenting properly even when they want to.
The first time I stayed home full time, my oldest was 18 months and I was pregnant with Number Two. Woman and mother or not, I questioned whether I had the ability to properly care for my own son ALL DAY LONG. After all, I didn’t have training like his daycare providers did. (I know, don’t laugh.)
How would I entertain him between meals? What would I feed him for lunch every day? Would I provide the right kind of learning opportunities and environment? How would I handle two when Taz came along?!
All silly questions in the end. I just figured it out. Dads can do the same if given the chance, and if they’re willing to take the initiative. Give them the opportunity for an equal share of the responsibility. If they don’t take it, ask.
Maybe some women enjoy being the family martyr. In my opinion they’re shortchanging themselves, their husbands, and their kids.