That wouldn't hurt enough.
If you treat mothers and fathers equally as parents... then I don't have any gripe. My issue is that society consistently reveres mothers and discredits fathers.
Err, well, there are two sides to that coin. Society also has higher expectations for mothers than it does for fathers and is quicker to forgive parenting mistakes made by fathers than by mothers. Not saying that makes it ok to revere one over the other, just that's how it is. I really don't know how you change something like that other than over time. More and more families choose to co-parent and many choose outright role reversal. As this becomes more prevalent societal expectations will change.
Let's respect and support parents.
As to whether or not there was insult intended, I've been the recipient of many compliments that maybe weren't, like "you drive like a man" or "you're good at math for a girl". I realize that they come from stereotypical assumptions and, unfortunately, I can't do anything about a vast population for which I am a minority. I can only continue to be astereotypical and hope that it catches on.
If that comment were made to a woman... Someone walked up to her and asked her if she was babysitting, it would be common place and expected that the person who said that would apologize as if it were an insult to assume other wise.
For a man? ... no..
Now that I would definitely take as a compliment. You mean I look like a college aged babysitter instead of a frumpy mid-thirties mom? Great!
im sure you are a sexy momma
they are throwin stuff at me..
I have always done my part and spent a lot of time with my children, changeed my share of diapers etc. etc. I don't feel I need any props, compliments or appreciation for it. It's what I'm supposed to do.
Anyone who gets into the parent business for the compliments and appreciation needs to rethink carefully and zip back up.
Question, ebrown -- if the word "babysitting" had been taken out of the comment, how would you have felt? If the guy had just said something like, "It's nice to see a dad spending time with his kids," would that have annoyed you?
BPB, I agree with you (except that there is a big difference between making kids and raising kids
) It is the excessive praise (as if I am doing something that isn't natural) that bothers me.
The word "Babysitting" is especially annoying to me because it connotes something you do as a job (as in paid help), not as an role (part of who you are).
Let me reverse the question... if someone came up to you in the park and said "It's nice to see a mom spending time with her kids," what would you think? I guess there are a couple of different ways to interpret the question.
It wouldn't bother me.
I do get the "babysitting" irritation. But the guy seemed to basically be approving. He seemed to basically be saying, dads spending time with kids = good.
I don't think giving him attitude helps anything, because I agree. Dads spending time with kids = good.
This is contrast to FreeDuck's example, where her mother-in-law is disapproving. I see this too, and I think it's far more damaging/ dangerous. (And I get her point about how it disses the mom, too.)
I don't know if you saw this, but in a recent discussion here about a kid riding the subway, I said something about how in the past, if some kid was out in the fields and was bitten by a snake, it'd be an unfortunate accident. Now, it would be the mom's fault. I paused over that and thought about editing it to "parents' fault," but decided to leave it, because no, it WOULD be the mom's fault. Not the dad's, unless he was a single parent.
This was reinforced in a recent NYT Magazine article about equal parenting (have you seen it? Very interesting). It talks about how, as a minor example, if dads get their kids ready and the kids' hair is a mess and clothes are mismatched, it's the mom who is blamed for the kids being so unkempt.
The article also talks about how very UNequal parenting tends to be these days, even if it's gotten better. Lots of stats and stuff I can get if you're interested.
There are exceptions, but the fact that there are exceptions doesn't mean that the exceptions can declare the norm doesn't exist, ya know? I completely agree that more equality in parenting is a good goal. I don't know if taking umbrage when someone praises you for spending time with your kids furthers that goal.
Oh and I just realized I have gotten versions of that ("It's nice to see a mom spending time with her kids"). It's mostly been in reference to the fact that I'm a stay-at-home mom. That isn't necessarily default or natural these days, and some people see fit to comment.
It can be done snarkily too, with a bit of context; "It's nice to see a mom spending time with her kids. Doesn't your daughter ever get tired of you? <insincere smile> My kids love all of their activities and they're proud of my hard work at [insert prestigious job title here] and I think they'd get bored of me if I was around too much <insincere giggle>."
Yep. No matter what choices you make or how you do things, someone's going to be insecure about their own choices.