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Government Disses Parents by Classifying Dads as Babysitters. What are your thoughts?

Posted by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 9:39 AM
  • 54 Replies
2 moms liked this

Government Disses Parents by Classifying Dads as Babysitters

Posted by Amy Reiter

dad in playgroundYou want to hear something crazy -- something that, if you're anything like me, will get you hopping mad? In a report about childcare in two-parent households, the U.S. Census Bureau considers mothers who care for their children -- while the fathers are working or, well, whenever -- as a child's "designated parent." Fathers who care for their children while the mother is working or attending school, however, are considered to be part of a "child care arrangement." In other words, as KJ Dell'Antonia points out in The New York Times' Motherlode blog, as far as the Census Bureau is concerned, mothers who care for their kids are parents, and dads who care for their kids (as a rapidly increasing percentage of them do) are, essentially, babysitters.

In her blog, Dell'Antonia rightly expresses outrage about this ridiculously retrograde classification, which a Census Bureau spokesperson told her was based on "gender norms." (I know, it just gets worse and worse, doesn't it?) "Mothers -- just call us 'designated parents' -- are on the hook every time," she writes.

But there may be an even bigger loser than moms in this "gender norm," "designated parent," "child care arrangement" debate, which goes way beyond semantics: fathers. The idea that fathers, when they care for their children, are essentially hired hands or second-class citizens or anything other than parents, caring for their children out of love and dedication, is just unbelievably insulting.

As I write this, sitting in front of my computer, trying to make a buck and support my family in my chosen field, who is -- right at this moment -- picking up my (our!) children at school and taking them to the playground for a little afterschool air and sunshine, laughing with them, playing with them, giving them a snack, and comforting them if they skin a knee? Their father, who is every bit a "designated parent" as I. To differentiate his care for them from mine is to deny him his rightful status -- and to deny our kids the understanding that they have two parents who are equally able to love and care for them. The U.S. Census Bureau ought to be ashamed! And I don't need a survey to back that up.

What do you think of the U.S. Census Bureau's classification of mothers as "designated parents" and fathers as providers of "child care"?

by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 9:39 AM
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Replies (1-10):
auroragold
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 11:37 AM
2 moms liked this

Absolutely ridiculous!  I hope there's tons of backlash on this one.

Stephie849
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM



Quoting auroragold:

Absolutely ridiculous!  I hope there's tons of backlash on this one.


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fineyouguyswin
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM

yep

Quoting auroragold:

Absolutely ridiculous!  I hope there's tons of backlash on this one.


psych_mom
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Fathers need to be just as outraged. I agree. Ridiculous!
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DropZoneMom
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 1:31 PM
4 moms liked this

Personally, I think it's much ado about NOTHING.   Semantics.   Wording.   It's means NOTHING -- doesn't give you tax breaks (or take them away).

I'm more concerned with jobs & the economy & the homeless, etc.

jaydensmomma707
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM
2 moms liked this

wow this is the dumbest thing i have heard, and sad part is so many families think that way. I have actually heard dads say they are babysitting THEIR kids. I have also scene on this women who WON'T leave there own kids alone with their dad? Are you kidding me you agreed to procreate with a man you can't even trust to watch your kid while you go get milk.

angie19134
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 2:10 PM
1 mom liked this

As a woman this outrages me! It is not only a fathers right to be a "designanted parent" but also a RESPONSIBILITY! To me the term "babysitter" brings to mind someone doing me a favor by watching my children if I can't. Their is a difference between baby sitting and parenting. It reminds of the time one of my friends, who is a SAHM decided to have a girls night our for herself so the childrens fathers watched them and the next day when she talked to her MIL she said to her "I heard he babysat the kids for you last night- wasn't that nice of him?" Get real! As stated earlier, children should know that they have TWO  parents that are capable of loving them and caring for them. I find it sad that it is 2012 and we still have sexist crap like this! 

Adelicious
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 2:26 PM
2 moms liked this

It's silly to call them something different, just as silly is at is that I always feel I have to ask my husband to "watch the kids for me" if I go out, but it doesn't work the other way around. I know this trend is changing, and I agree whether it's a mother or father staying home, each one is a designated parent. I have to say, though, of the couples I know who operate under this arrangement, the SAHD is NOT a homemaker. These guys I know whatch the kids while their wives are at work, and then when she gets home, she gets to do all the laundry and cleaning that she would have done during the day if she was a SAHM.

EcoModernMom
by Member on Feb. 12, 2012 at 3:02 PM

 i hate when people say their baby daddy is "babysitting", it is not babysitting when it is YOUR child.

Blue_Spiral
by on Feb. 12, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Once I left my son with my husband so I could get an hour of work done on the weekend. I guess he wasn't expecting to have to watch his child so he got fuming mad at me and screamed

"I'M NOT YOUR BABYSITTER!"

I'll never forget that. Nope, you idiot, you're his FATHER. 

(we're getting divorced, btw)

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