Breaking The Babysitting Norm As A Father

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Times are changing ( Just in case you haven't noticed ) and will do so until the end of time, but as a father, I've noticed certain things about fatherhood that makes me wonder. We are now in the age of the modern father and it's completely different from what it used to be. From the times where a woman was held responsible for the household duties and rearing the children while the "man of the house" brought home the bread, to today's time where we have equality and there is a mutual raising of our children.

I'm a young father, at only 22 years of age, and no matter how much I prepared for parenting, there was nothing to put me up to par with the reality of being a dad. My wife Ashley can attest the same. We prepared as much as we could and yet we were running into some old parenting problems.

I've run into certain situations where I'm waiting outside a store at the mall (like some other men do casually) and someone says "guess you're babysitting today" or "how's babysitting going". The honest truth is that as a father is there isn't such a thing as babysitting, it's almost as saying you're there partially and it's a temporary deal. Is it because some people are stuck in the old days where men didn't really get down and dirty? (yes, it gets pretty bad sometimes). Or is it that men simply don't feel as if there are duties they are exempted from? I'm sharing this with you today because these are some of the things I've witnessed in these last 7 months. 



Our Princess Camila

In modern parenting you can see both parents doing their part together and creating a stronger bond between both parents and the child/children. When Camila was born, she went through the NICU, but when she was released I was the first one that changed her diaper and cleaned her up, because my wife couldn't (you can read Camila's Birth Story here). I know fathers that stay away from doing so because " my wife does it better", " she's a girl, I don't want to touch her" or " Makes me uncomfortable", the list goes on and the excuses are ridiculous.

So breaking that babysitter norm of what a father used to be by simply being involved and helping out your significant other with the baby duties. My wife and I alternate the baby carrier when we go out, or take turns pushing the stroller without even thinking of losing some manliness. Don't be afraid to change a diaper, I admit there have been times where I've been intimidated but after I tackled the task and got it done as fast and neatly as possible and then continually doing so it became easier and I got more comfortable with it. You can also help by putting the diaper bag together, making a bottle before going out and one of the hardest of them all, putting the baby to sleep, there is nothing more rewarding than having Camila fall asleep on my chest.

There will be many times of frustration, but it is all part of the learning process. Remember we grow as the baby grows and learn from each other. Break that norm and be a super dad, you'd be surprised how many dads stay away from some of these responsibilities. But who knows, it can also be because of selfishness or ego. Whatever it may be, there is someone that needs us and we are there to help them and give them love and affection.

Asleep on the go!


So next time someone comment to you about babysitting, just remember, you're not babysitting, you're simply being a Dad.



Sincerely,

Jeff Segura


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