Father Criticised for Refusing to 'Babysit' His Own Daughter

Gillian Sisley

Is it really babysitting when it's your own child?

A father on the internet is being harshly criticized for confessing that he isn't interested in 'babysitting' his daughter while his wife goes on a trip abroad for her birthday.

The now-viral Reddit post has already collected 12,200 and 4,600, and was published on November 24th.

The man turned to the internet asking if he was in the wrong for refusing to babysit his own child, and readers were quick to give him a savage wake-up call.

Stay-at-home parents deserve a vacation now and again.

The man, who goes by username u/Octolohy, explains that he finds himself in a bit of a dilemma,

"I bought my wife two tickets to visit her grandma in Italy next week. The other ticket was for our daughter [4-year-old] since I assume she'd be taking her. She said she wants a break from kids on her vacation."

Rather than being understanding of his wife's request, the husband made an unexpected response in return.

"I told her that was unfortunate, since there's no way that our daughter cannot go if she goes, because I have work and don't want to take time off to babysit our daughter for an entire week."

The father then went on to suggest that someone else could watch their 4-year-old, but he explained that nobody lives close enough by who would be willing to watch her.

Is it really 'babysitting' when the child is yours?

The man explained that he absolutely loves his daughter, but he didn't want to "take a week off to babysit her".

He clarifies that his wife is a stay-at-home mom, and he is the breadwinner of the family. While the man can take a week off, he wouldn't be paid for it.

With this in mind, research and psychologists agree that fathers spending time with their children outside of is necessary to strengthen their parent-child bond, and help with the child's overall development through activities involving play.

He tried to justify his actions with,

"I have to work so that we can have a place to live. Imagine a co-worker tries to take a week off work on a few days' notice so that he can, 'give his wife who's a stay at home mom a break from caring for his daughter while she visits her grandma like she wanted to'."

Justified, or absolutely unreasonable?

The man concluded his post by saying that the lack of his child care responsibilities were a trade-off for the financial responsibility he had for the family instead.

He wrote,

"We have an understanding. I'll never expect her to contribute anything financially, and she doesn't expect me to contribute much domestically. I'm fulfilling my end of that."

With this in mind, psychologists still recommend that the working parent of the pair take on childcare duties as well, rather than placing all of the oneness on the stay-at-home (SAH) parent. SAH mothers are at a higher risk for mental health struggles, such as depression, if they are not given a break from childcare to focus on their own self-care. With 1 in 5 households in the US having a stay-at-home parent, this research must be taken into consideration when deciding the logistics of partners managing their household.

What are your thoughts? Is this father in the right for refusing to look after his child alone for a week, as he is the breadwinner of the family? Or should he step up and let his wife have an actual vacation for her birthday by taking care of their daughter while she's away?

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