A few months after our son was born, my husband and I went to visit my grandmother. At some point, the baby needed a diaper change, and my husband whisked him away to take care of it. My grandmother looked shocked. “He changes diapers? I’m surprised he even knows how they work!” My grandmother raised her two daughters at a time when most mothers were the sole caregivers of their children. Those days might be behind us now, but many people continue to wrongly assume that when fathers watch kids, they’re more like babysitters and less like parents.
My husband isn’t our kids’ babysitter; he’s their father. But you know what? I still thank him for watching the kids when I’m out. Here are 5 reasons why I think it’s not only OK but also essential to thank your husband when he watches the kids.
1. Thank your husband because he’s giving you peace of mind.
Back when my husband and I both worked outside the home, we occasionally had to hire a babysitter to watch our son when our schedules overlapped. I trusted her, but leaving your child with a relative stranger is just not the same as leaving him with his father. Babysitters care for your kids because you pay them to do it (among other reasons); your husband cares for your kids because he loves them. I know my children are in good hands when I leave them with my husband, allowing me to really kick back and relax when I’m out.
2. Thank your husband because he made it possible for you to go out on your own.
I love spending time with my kids, but if I’m in a rush to grab a missing ingredient for dinner or run another errand, it’s much easier to do it without the kids in tow. Everything takes twice as long when you’re getting your kids in and out of car seats and through grocery aisles. I’m so grateful to my husband because nothing beats having the freedom to listen to my own music as I drive or sitting in my car in absolute silence.
3. Thank your husband because he’s saving your family money.
Some guys assume that if their wives are going out, it means they get a pass to go out as well. When a girls’ night out also becomes a guys’ night out, things add up quickly. If your husband stays home with the kids for the evening instead, you can save a good amount of money. You might find that you have an extra couple of hundred dollars in your bank account because you didn’t need to hire a babysitter every time you ran errands or had dinner with your girlfriends. Just think about what you could do with that extra money!
4. Thank your husband because he was willing to make the sacrifice for you.
Not all fathers find it easy to take care of kids, including their own. My husband used to care for our son while I worked, but when I left my job to stay at home full-time, my husband told me how stressful it had been. He hadn’t exactly enjoyed it, but I think it helped him appreciate me more. Being home with the kids isn’t easy on moms either, but we make sacrifices. Now my husband knows I need time away from the kids and he’s willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make that happen.
5. Thank your husband because you’re grateful.
Saying “thank you” does not turn your husband into a babysitter. It just means that you’re grateful. My husband regularly thanks me for caring for our children, and I do my best to thank him for working to support us. Gratitude is a virtue and saying “thank you” when your husband watches your kid is an opportunity to grow in that virtue. Maybe instead of restricting our gratitude, we should say “thank you” more often. Just consider any one of these 99 reasons to be grateful for your husband or your children.
Saying “thank you” does not turn your husband into a babysitter. It just means that you’re grateful.
How do you feel about thanking your husband when he watches the kids?