Monday, April 14, 2008

It's not called babysitting!

Can I share a frustration with you? I'm often asked who babysits the kids when I'm at work. I reply that my husband and I alternate our schedules so that either he or I can take care of the children. "Oh, that's so nice that your husband is willing to babysit." What??? Back up the train! It is not called babysitting when your husband watches his own children. It is called being a dad! Seriously!

I will preface this by saying that I am blessed with one of the best husbands ever. He is an active participant in every part of parenting. He changes diapers, gives baths, makes meals, cleans house and kisses boo boos. Last weekend he even took all five kids to Chuck E Cheese all by himself (with the baby in a sling!). And nearly achieved sainthood in the eyes of my mommy friends for doing so.

I am appalled at how low the bar is set for fathers in this culture. Because so many fathers are little more than sperm donors, any father that sticks around and does anything for his kids is considered a good dad. And good Christian fathers like my husband Philip are anointed as superheros.

Shouldn't involvement and care be the norm for Christian dads? How is a man supposed to be priest of his home and disciple his children if he is not with them? Our culture has sold us a lie in the form of "quality time". That whole idea is baloney. Kids spell love "TIME". Deuteronomy 6:4-8 says, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." How is a man supposed to do this if he is not involved in his kids' lives? Is he supposed to share Biblical truths during the commercials on ESPN while he watches his game? Or is he supposed to be active with his kids, teaching them day in and day out? Teachable moments come up often when you spend time with your kids, just doing life together. Trips to the park, chores around the house, handiwork in the garage and meals at the table all serve as springboards for discussions of the depths of God's Word.

Philip says that men who don't spend time with their kids are missing out. I agree, and I'm glad to have a husband who doesn't want to miss out.


Janet said...

Amen to that! My friends were in awe when I went to see Tricia for three days and left him with the five kids. He even taught the babies the Hokey Pokey while I was gone :)

MamaKimberly said...

LOL! The bar is even lower here! People say "Keith doesn't smoke? And he doesn't drink grain alcohol on a daily basis? WOW, he is the best husband!!"

Is that pathetic??? What's saddest is that they are serious!

Pam's Pride said...

AMEN!! I actually had a comment the other day..."how did you get out of the house without all the kids. Is your husband watching them?" I said Uhhh....THEIR DAD is with them! They are his kids too!
If it was 'babysitting' then I would be RICH!!!