I've seen this pop up on both the SP and BM boards.
Actually, I am one Mom who desperately wishes, for the child's sake, that the father would step up to the plate and actually DO the job of parenting. She needs him. My child's father is not doing the job of EVEN a babysitter. He disappears. He simply wants her under his roof so he feels in control and to not have to pay CS.
It's frustrating, we have joint custody, equal time with the child. I would gladly care for her 24/7, but he does whatever he wants to, and has his new wife do the childcare, driving to school, homework for our dd. My daughter is not happy with this. Neither am I.
Bailey,Double standards like that are a big pet peeve of mine, and not just with DH. BM enjoys all of the benefits of my financial involvement (like paying for extras for the skids that they couldn't afford) but I am not supposed to have a say in the decision. Uh, it's MY money. Not letting DH be a part of the decision to sign up the skids for activities on HIS time. That's a big one.
So if the biodad is "just" a babysitter & his role in the kids' lives is being marginalized (he's just the sperm donor), then why should he parent? He's not being treated like a parent at all by the BM.
Personally, I don't think of Ex as a "babysitter" but as a "visiting dad". He doesn't parent. Sure, maybe he makes sure they are not hit by a train on his time, they are fed, etc, but he doesn't schedule, go to, or even inquire about dr. appointments, nor does he take the day off to stay home with the puking kid, or buy shoes or winter coats. He picks them up on Wednesday nights, has dinner, plays, and brings them home, where homework and baths are done, AT HOME... where they LIVE. His weekends, are filled with playing, bowling, movies, etc.
As much as it p*sses me off, I am happier that I am the "decision maker" and "in charge". I've also come to realize (a lesson some of my friends here on Ivillage are teaching me) that a bad dad might be better than none. He is what he is. Not responsible, but loves to "spend time". They will grow up feeling loved, maybe to realize that he neglected other departments, but they had fun, and were loved.
I don't think DH is "just" a babysitter to SD at all. Even though he has her only 1/3 of the time, but he still parents, he's actually more of a disciplinarian then BM and he attends EVERYTHING and volunteers at the school and helps with sports, etc. However, I would say BM takes the lead in many areas, for example she would be more on top of things like doc appointments, paperwork for school, etc. But my guess is that's the way she wants it and DH obviously allows it.
I have no idea how BM views him, I sure hope it's not as "just" a babysitter! That is so insulting! If he's the babysitter then how come HE is paying HER?!
You are too funny! I could have written the very same words.
Do you think that a BD can ever just WANT to be a "babysitter"?
I received an email from BD saying he was no longer paying child support (a whopping $150 per month) due to his needing to focus on his relationship with his fiancee and their upcoming marriage. In DD's 3 years of life, he as visited her 20 times, 6 of which I drove HER to HIM, and 5 of which were during the period of time where we were dating, and gladly let my parents watch DD while we went out on dates, to the beach, etc. spending very little and limited time with DD.
His most recent visitation (at his mom's house) he didn't show up until midnight (his mom had her starting at 1 pm), woke DD up just to say "Hi", left to go hang out with some old high school buddies, returned at 2:30 am, woke DD up AGAIN to let her know he was "home" and wanted to play with her. He then went on to sleep with her (in his old high school bed), something (co-sleeping) that hasn't happened since she was 6 months old.
The next morning, due to his late night, he slept in until 11 am while his mom watched DD. His mom then took DD to his sister's basketball game at 1, to which BD decided not to go, and to stay at home.
His behaviour, IMO, is similar to that of an over-eager 12 year old babysitter. Wanting to cuddle and play, but actually not doing any work. His mother takes DD to the potty, gives her baths, tucks her in, feeds her, etc.
BD has never wondered how DD gets medical insurance, or has ever wanted her overnight except for the week of his wedding.
DH and I really do view BD as a free babysitter. He has no clue developmentally where DD is (continues to treat her like a 6 month old), doesn't dress her, support her, etc. I have closer relationships with my uncles and cousins than she does with BD.
All of this is unfortunate, and DH and I are very concerned for her emotional well being some day, and pray that BD grows up and decides to be a parent instead of a babysitter.
But until he takes charge (he doesn't even own a carseat for DD, and has already broken our only stroller from when he borrowed it) and begins to parent, he is really only a babysitter (in our eyes, obviously not DD's), and not a very good one at that.
I have a rather strange take on this topic, so hopefully it comes across how I intend it to. LOL.
I know that SD's BM sees my DH as a "babysitter" because she has said so on numerous occasions. However, that is how she chooses to feel about *her* relationship with her Ex. She also does see DH as SD's DAD and wants very much for the two to have a good father-daughter relationship.
I have no problem with the way she feels. IMO, it's more or less her way of feeling OK about not seeing her DD EOW. That's where the babysitting comes in. When it's time for parenting(decisions about school, medical, moving, extra-curriculars, etc) she definitely co-parents with DH at least by way of giving him a chance to have a voice.
So yes, *she* does see him as a babysitter, but only to herself. She also knows that to her DD, he is DAD.
Does that make ANY sense at all????
For the record, in many of the contexts this topic has arisen, I am very strongly against it and think that it very sad for the kids, who will *surely* pick up on the attitude even if they never hear the words...