Frustrated Dad Sets The Record Straight: “I’m Not Babysitting”
There are tons of great dads out there. Jeremy Martin-Weber is one of them. So how come every time his wife leaves him in charge, people constantly praise him for “babysitting” his 6 kids? The frustrated dad took to Facebook to point out he’s not babysitting — he’s just doing what a dad’s supposed to do!
Jeremy and his wife, Jennifer, have six girls — ages 5, 7, 9, 14, 16 and 18. The two are a well-oiled parenting machine, and they blog all about it at Beyond Moi.
Jeremy knows the people who praise him aren’t trying to be rude. But he’s tired of folks viewing his awesome dad skills as the exception, rather than the norm. It plays upon a widely accepted stereotype in our society of dads essentially being nothing more than a playmate to their kids. Moms are the superheroes who keep everything together, while dads are just one more “big kid” under mom’s care.
“I’m Not Babysitting”
Jeremy addressed the issue in a recent Facebook post, which featured a photo of his wife at the airport, heading out of town for several days.
Jeremy questioned who was going to do all the “mom” things, like feed the kids and get them to school. Who was going to kiss the boo boos, resolve sibling conflict, listen to the details of their day and model appropriate behavior?
"Me. That's who," he answered. "Because I'm not the babysitter. I'm not just their playmate. I'm their dad. And looking after them and guiding them and caring for them is my responsibility. And I love it ― with all of its challenges."
But when mom leaves, everything falls apart, right? Wrong.
“No the house will not fall apart or be trashed and the kids will not be ruined because dad is in charge,” Jeremy goes on to say.
And that’s how it should be.
Yet, Jeremy and Jennifer come up against this stereotype often. And that’s why the frustrated dad decided to set the record straight.
"The assumption that I can't handle the responsibility of parenting my kids in her absence and that I'll just be hanging out with them as more of a sitter has been mentioned to my face many a time," Jeremy said. "Her trip seemed like the perfect opportunity to share about how that's not how I function as my children's father, and to challenge that widely held belief about fathers in general."
Jeremy made it clear his rant was not some plea for a pat on the back. It’s an attempt to debunk this myth of one-sided parenting, which really isn’t fair to dads or moms. And his wife completely agrees.
"Moms don't get those kind of comments," she said. "It is assumed they can and will always be the ones responsible for childcare and the home, but dads are somehow heroes for doing the same thing. I want people to realize that dads taking care of their kids as equals in parenting isn't extraordinary, it's normal. Or should be but we've lost sight of that"
Jeremy’s post received more than 3,000 Facebook reactions and over 1,400 shares. Clearly his message struck a chord with parents everywhere.
We applaud both Jeremy AND Jennifer for being excellent partners and parents!
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