Skip Nav
This Mother's Reaction to Her Son's Fit of Anger Can Teach Us All a Lesson in Parenting
Kim Kardashian
10 Times Kim Kardashian Was an Over-the-Top Mom
Food and Activities
61 Food Art Ideas For Kids That Are Almost Too Cute to Eat

Mommy Dearest: Husband Won't Babysit

Mommy Dearest: Husband Won't Babysit

Mommy Dearest,
I have three kids — ages two, four and six. I love my husband, but he believes that it's my job to raise the children. He goes to their sporting events and attends parent-teacher conferences, but refuses to babysit if I want a night out with my friends or to go on a solo shopping trip.

The other day, I hired a babysitter so I could go to lunch with a friend. While our neighbor watched the kids, my husband lounged on the couch. We're not well off so I think it's a waste of money to pay someone when he could easily take over the duties. What do you think?

— Wondering Wife

To read the response from Mommy Dearest,


Wondering Wife,

Fathers don't babysit, they take care of their children. Using the term "babysitting" when referring to a mother or father just seems ridiculous. Being in a tight financial spot and hiring a sitter to supervise while your hubbie lays on the couch also seems nonsensical. Perhaps, you should sit him down and explain that it's 2008 and that is not how things work. Hopefully, he'll get the hint.

— Mommy Dearest

Submit a question for this feature at the Mommy Dearest Group on TeamSugar.

Join The Conversation
Maybe you should go on strike. Refuse to clean his undies and socks, then inform him that perhaps he should hire someone to launder them, 'cuz it's not your job. I mean, since you're a mom 24/7. Refusing to do the dishes won't work, and neither will refusing to clean. It's all about the underwear and socks... I've known men like this. Still selfish, and will more than likely remain selfish their whole lives.
supermommie supermommie 9 years
Guess what precious. You knew when you married him what type of guy he was. Even if you didn't know what type of daddy he would be, you could have gotten a sense. AND if you didn't, once baby number one came you certainly got a clue. I'm not saying its right. Heaven knows that daddy should take on the responsibility for his kids. However, I'd arrange a sitting swap with another mommie so you can have lunch dates OR have mom and me lunch dates with the kids. Then you can have face time with other friends. As for daddy, you are going to have to let him know how his actions are making you feel. Once you do that give him all the free time he needs. You and the kids do things on your own. Have dinner several times at friends houses. Don't cook anything that he likes, in fact, have meals that he doesn't like but the kids enjoy. Let him know that if he can't participate in the activities with the kids he needs to get his own meals, laundry etc. That was a deal breaker for me. That's why I'm the sexy, SINGLE super mommie. SM
bealotus bealotus 9 years
He is not being a father at all. What an A-hole.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I dont have any sympathy, obviously the man didnt change diapers or do anything else for the first one, so the second isnt going to make him father of the year, this woman knew this man was like that and now thinks she can change him. good luck.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
Asia84, I usually enjoy reading your comments. But this time I think you're kind of wrong. Most men think they will be great dads and have all these expectations of themselves. Once they become fathers it all changes. I don't know if you have many friends that have children, but you should see and hear the way the fathers act. Oh they can't WAIT to do this, and that and blah blah blah. It last a couple of weeks or so after the baby is born with most of them. Then the thrill is gone. This is what I dealt with through our first. But then I whipped him into shape and he got the picture. Our second is going to be 2 this month and he's a wonderful father and and does a lot. I have him working on training his newly fathered friends!
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
This is an on-going joke in our circle of friends. We've had children the longest. All of our friends are just having kids and my BF and I always laugh at how the men always say they baby-sit their own kids. Shouldn't even be allowed as a term for a parent taking care of their own child. Anway, you need to seriously put your foot down. I'm sure he has no problem yelling out to you, or just "letting you know" he's got to run somewhere and wouldn't even give a second thought at to who would take care of the kids. So, try it. Do it to him. Drive around the freak'n block if you have to just to see how he really WOULD react. He's taking advantage because you LET him. Then sit down and have a serious talk about it. This would be war in my house. If you don't make it stop at some point, it never will. Don't stand for that. Don't let him win this game he's playing with you. Don't be a fool!
JennyJen2 JennyJen2 9 years
My biggest pet peeve is when a parent says he or she babysat or watched their own kid!
hottdana hottdana 9 years
the father of my son calls it babysitting but he doe it just to bug me! he doesn't give up an opportunity to have one-on-one time with our son. there are lots of men that need an attitude adjustment when it comes to caring for their own children. This man need a talk and and eyeopener!
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
Parents don't babysit! I hate when people say that. Unless you live in the 50's there is no reason why he should not be watching his own children so you can get some alone time. I can't imagine babysitting kids while their dad lounges on the couch!
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Well you should have knew this from the beginning. A big fear of mine as well but hey, I would just leave one day and stay gone the whole day and let him parent for the day. Let him make the meals and entertain. After you return, sit him down and tell him the lay of the land.
macgirl macgirl 9 years
My ex husband was the same way when we had our son. He then wondered why I didn't want to have any more kids and eventually we divorced.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
2 of my biggest fears: poppin' free kids (kids out of wedlock) and having kids with a jerk, who expects me to sit around and pop babies for him. you should've found out his view points and values BEFORE you even married him. men who think like that don't change over night . . . now, you're stuck being a 24/7 mommie. Enjoy!
Dbtabm Dbtabm 9 years
What a loser. I work evenings right now to save us money and my husband takes care of our daughter every night. He's wonderful. This guy needs a kick in the balls.
maybeimnot maybeimnot 9 years
That's crazy. He's a parent. The end. I know as a babysitter I would be really really uncomfortable with that anyway. Reminds me of when I was hired to 'babysit' when the divorce-in-progress dad was visiting (Granted, he was on-call as a doctor, but still) and it just is weird.
karlorene karlorene 9 years
this is ridiculous... someone tell this loser to get a clue, if he wants kids, he'll have to man up and face some responsibility... if he's watching so much tv, he might have realised that a woman :::gasp::: is even running for president these days!!!
clareberrys clareberrys 9 years
this is ridiculous....does he not want to spend some quality time with his kids as well as be a responsbile parent?
Kalle11 Kalle11 9 years
I am so glad to read sugars answers and the other comments. I swear if the responses were any other way I would've stop visiting this site all together. You guys are so right! The father is the father, a parent, and the year is 2008. His behavior is unacceptable.
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 9 years
give me a break. That guy needs some serious help. I wouldn't have had more than one kid with the guy!
LiLRuck44 LiLRuck44 9 years
This can't be for real.
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 9 years
And this is why I refuse to have a second child. My husband is not anything like this guy is, but I do worry how well my son is being supervised while I'm gone. Go figure...some men are just a$$holes when it comes to kids.
Jessie-M Jessie-M 9 years
He honestly refuses to spend any time alone with them until they are old enough to 'watch' themselves?? This man is ridiculous!!! Children are the responsibility of *both* parents to raise-not just 'pop in' whenever it is convenient, like during sporting events or parent teacher conferences. If he honestly beleives he is not responsible for taking care of his own children...just leave them with him and go out somewhere, shopping or to lunch. What is he going to do??Yell at you because you didn't hire a sitter so he can sit on the couch uninterrupted?? Better yet, invite a friend over and have her there to witness you telling him that you are going out and he has to watch the kids. He won't be able to say a bad word about that while she is there ;) and while you two are gone he may just realize he enjoys spending alone time with the kids! And if he does get upset... maybe its time to give up the 50's housewife routine and give him a peice of your mind! If it is *your* job to raise them, and not his (as he seems to beleive), I would be curious to see his reaction if you told him you were raising your kids with the values of female equality and encouraging them to beleive that men need to take on just as much responsibility with their children as women :) He doesn't agree? Too bad...they are your kids to raise, not his :P
jessie jessie 9 years
Sorry, but I'd be a total *itch, make sure things were laid out, snacks , etc. And take off like a bat outta hades. Then call him from Starbucks and not tell him which one. Buts thats just me. It took both of you to make these wonderful kids. Its not just YOUR job its BOTH of your jobs. This is 2008, not the 50's. Now is the time to pick your battle...this is one of them. Best of luck to you.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
yeah, it's called parenting not baby sitting. the thing is though if the dad doesn't take the job seriously are you really going to leave the kids with him? anything could happen w/o a responsible adult in charge. if he hasn't taken ownership of the "daddy" position by now, i think you need to wait till the kids are older, or get a sitter.
Best Birth Photos Ever Taken
What Is Nurturing Parenting?
Before and After First Day of Preschool
Questions to Ask Your Kid About Their Day
From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds