On the random night when I have to work or get the chance to catch up with friends, I often get the question, “Is your husband babysitting the children tonight?” I chuckle and quickly respond, “My husband is home with them, but he’s not babysitting, he’s parenting.” Some people don’t appreciate the correction, but I think it’s really important that I don’t let others down play the huge role he plays in all of our lives.
Now, back to my chuckle. Please don’t my mistake my awkward humor as a brush off that I too think I left the kids in unqualified hands. I put this man through a seven year interview of being married to me before we jumped into parenthood together. Trust me, that’s a lot of interrogating. Rather, the chuckle is one of knowing how much fun they are having, how much they are learning, and how loved they are by the man they call daddy.
He’s one of those guys that knows how to turn the most mundane tasks into a game that my whole crew is eager to take part in. And he often sneaks in a life lesson about kindness or self-worth or independence that he instills in my kids without them batting an eye.
I know lots of dads who take a hands-on approach to parenting and parent just as equally as the mom. They may not keep up with the never ending to-do list, or remember that special thing they need for a school project, but in my case that’s more my strength than my husbands. I actually prefer to take on those pieces of the puzzle. When it comes to food choices, sports – both played and watched, as well as most every outfit my daughter wears, he takes the lead.
Knowing that we bring such different personalities and skills to the table, it makes sense that we are responsible for different aspects of parenting and of life. We both care about different things and being in charge of what we either have the most interest in or “need to have done our way” is typically how we divide and conquer. For us, it works.
Now, please know I hire very qualified babysitters who help us take care of our family, but make no mistake he’s not the babysitter. He is something much more special, much more loved, and a presence my children and I couldn’t do without!