Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It's Called Parenting

SwingDaddy was on the road most of last week, so I had a stint at what some might call “being a single mom.” My BlogHer roommate, Kimberly (Solo Mom), spoke about how it drives her nuts when people appropriate that term.

To paraphrase: Sure, you might be doing all the hands-on childcare for a period of time, or even most of the time, but that’s not being a single mom. Is your partner coming back home later this week? Do you still have a partner to call when you have a big decision to make? When you need to take your child to the hospital? Are you the sole source of financial support for your child? The only person keeping a roof over your heads? Taking on the bulk of the child-care duties is in no way the same thing as being a single mom.

Of course, Kimberly was much more eloquent than my words above, but I certainly gained perspective on the responsibilities of parenting, and how fortunate I am to have a full partner in raising Q.

Speaking of partners, the phrase that drives me nuts is when men talk about babysitting their own children. Mom-101 and Gunfighter have written about similar situations, where the father is addressed as "the mommy" or "the babysitter" when he's out with the kids. Frustrating and incorrect. He's "the dad." It's not that complicated.

There are certain more traditional fellows at work who say they’re being “Mr. Mom” when their wives are out of town. I've made several pointed comments in return about “being Mrs. Dad" when SwingDaddy was traveling, and one of them seems to have replaced the phrase with saying that he had quality time with his kids instead. Progress!

In any case, it’s called “parenting,” and I’m glad to do it.

12 comments:

K goose blog said...

I had my stint of guest solo parenting last week... a lot of work... so much more fun with both parents... which zoo park did you go to? sf?

YF said...

totally. how's that for eloquent?

mayberry said...

WTG Lady M -- changing attitudes with subtlety and grace!

Occidental Girl said...

Yeah, I hear ya on the dad's "babysitting" thing. What, are they getting paid and saving their money for gum and "Tiger Beat" magazine??? Drives me crazy.

yh said...

I have yet to experience this... and I'm looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time...(parenting, I mean)... :) I hope I am as good a parent a lot of people I see online.

my minivan is faster than yours said...

Well said!

Gunfighter said...

Thanks for the link, Lady M!

Binkytown said...

I have to say, parenting when my husb isn't around is often easier, but I think that has a lot to do with the fact that I know he's going to be around again sometime. Glad you enjoyed your solo time.

kittenpie said...

oh yes, it's true. I like to call the solo parenting stints "going it alone." And Misterpie never babysits, he looks after Pumpkinpie. He does it a lot, though, since I work two nights a week and every other Saturday, so it probably helps when it's not such a rare occurence.

Mom101 said...

Rock on, divine Miss M! Beautifully put.

Alex Elliot said...

I like that! I'm going to use that the next time my husband is out of town!

Lady M said...

Haha, saving up for issues of Tiger Beat!