Treating Dad Like a Babysitter Is a Lose-Lose for Both Parents

“We are saying men can’t do sh*t and they aren’t capable, and women don’t deserve to be anything or have any other identity but a mother.”
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profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
January 24, 2019
serious dad holding baby and looking into the distance
Image: Raw Pixel

Moms spend the majority of their time one of two ways. You’re either monitoring your kid’s every move, or micromanaging your partner who is left to monitor your kid’s every move when you physically can’t.

If you’re wondering when moms get a break, that’s just it—they don’t. And it’s easy for wives to chalk it up to their husbands’ lack of natural parenting skills, but it’s a two-way street. Dads need to take joint responsibility, but–here’s the real kicker—moms have to let them.

Just ask popular blogger Laura Mazza. As a natural multitasking mom, she can’t help but spoon-feed her husband every time he takes care of the kids. But by doing so, she’s only setting them both up for failure.

“You know what’s crazy? Every time I leave the house to go anywhere and leave the kids with my husband, I treat him like a babysitter,” the mom admits. “I make sure snacks are ready, I lay out pajamas, I ask him three times if he will be okay [and] I take an extra 15 minutes to leave to run down things for him.”

But when her husband heads out for a night with pals, he doesn’t bat an eye when it comes to prepping his wife.

“Not because he isn’t amazing. Nope, quite the opposite—because he knows I’m a functioning adult, and—I know it might sound a little crazy to people but here it goes—he knows I’m their mother.”

It’s the nurturing mindset that we can’t help but instill in ourselves.

“This is plugged into us so much that we even make our husbands believe it. If I hang out the laundry, there’s no standing ovation…But if my husband does it, it’s ‘oh, what a good man!’”

Putting it frankly, Mazza says “we need to stop this bullsh*t.”

“We are emasculating men and treating them like little boys, and in turn putting an enormous amount of pressure on women,” the mom says. “We are saying men can’t do sh*t and they aren’t capable, and women don’t deserve to be anything or have any other identity but a mother.”

Of course, there are partners—both male and female—who expect their significant other to do all the legwork of parenting. If you fall into this category, remind yourself that parenting in a relationship is a two-person gig.

“Mummy is a parent, daddy is a parent and together we are responsible for our children, and babysitters are someone you pay $25 an hour when you need to go out, eat a meal without someone banging forks on the table and spend the whole night talking about the same kids you just left.”

If you find yourself guilty of treating your partner like a babysitter, you’re not alone. Lots of us do it, but it’s time we break the mold. A recent study proved moms handle the brunt of parenting and household roles at the expense of their own happiness.

Don’t carry the weight of your family on your shoulders. Just half of it.

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