One of my pet hates is when mum’s or dad’s say that ‘dad is babysitting’. You don’t babysit your own kids or so I thought! I babysat for a friend last night and it made me think about this. As a teen I used to do a lot of babysitting. One of my most memorable jobs was babysitting for magicians with pink hair and their dog was pink as well. As a single parent my mum had 3 jobs at times and one of them was in a bar and they were one of the acts.
Anyhow, when I used to babysit, it meant I had kitchen privileges. I could help myself to anything in the kitchen, sometimes this included the liquor cabinet (tsk tsk), and I’d sit on my butt all night watching telly, only getting up to settle or check on kids if necessary and usually fall asleep on the sofa in front of the TV only to be woken up by the parents when they came in.
When I think about it my husband doesn’t do much different when he looks after Madame. He’s normally asleep on the sofa in front of the telly when I come in. So maybe I should call it babysitting?? It’s not like he takes the opportunity to do a bit of tidying, laundry or anything else helpful. The only differences I can see is I don’t pay him $2.00 an hour and hopefully he doesn’t sneak his boyfriend in! ;-)
As a first time mum I’m sure I’m making loads of mistakes, but there is one thing that I think I got right! I gave my husband the opportunity to find his own feet. I had to go through a huge learning curve and there was the danger of me swooping in and elbowing him to the side as ‘mummy knows best’ (not an expression I’ve ever used)
This wasn’t an altruistic act, but in fact very selfish: the more confident he became with looking after Madame the more freedom I could have. I can go out with my mates if I want, he takes her cycling on a Saturday morning so I get some ‘me’ time and I can go away for a weekend and not worry, which will come in handy when I’m away in June for the Gower Challenge.
This didn’t happen immediately and took me awhile to figure it out. I had to teach myself that he does things ‘differently’ not ‘wrong’. A mantra I have to repeat to myself often. Yes, he dresses her in ghastly outfits; he can’t predict dangerous situations and feeds her crap.
We’ve had a discussion about the clothes; I’ve given him one simple rule: you can either have patterns on the top or the bottom not both! I stop myself from even thinking about the dangers as I know he loves her dearly and will do his best to keep her safe. And for bacon sandwiches, it’s not going to kill her and she’s spending quality time with daddy.
I know I give him a lot of grief, but he really is a brilliant dad and I’m very lucky. Shh! Don’t tell him I said that.
I came across these images when writing this post and they had me in stitches. They originally came from David and Kelly’s Safe Baby Handling Tips, which can be purchased from Amazon.
I’m self-employed so if I don’t go to work I don’t get paid! Fortunately, this has only been an issue 2-3 times in the last couple of years since Madame was born. We decided that I would only go back 3 days a week so I could be a bit more involved. I have a great work life balance as my job is not that demanding and I still get to take her to swimming, dancing, toddler groups etc. However, in this move to part-time work somewhere along the line my job has been devalued in our house.
A few months ago our childminder called in sick. It’s the only time she has ever done it. Panic set in! I called everyone I know and even approached friends who didn’t even know how to change nappies. I couldn’t find anyone. I even contemplated taking her with me to work but thought the school may frown upon this. In the end, I had to cancel the training session.
In hindsight, what I should have done was call hubby at work, stomp my feet and demand he come home. He could’ve taken it as a sick day, still got paid and I wouldn’t have let the school down. It seems obvious to me now but in my panic state I didn’t see it.
It happened again this week, this time I was poorly and really needed for him to stay home but again but he didn’t!
I can assure you it won’t happen again!
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. But fool me three times…..