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or is DH re us using a male babysitter?

(116 Posts)
Carikube Tue 30-Apr-13 12:06:43

Background is that we have no family nearby so are on the lookout for babysitters that we can use occasionally. I mentioned this at a playgroup that I take DD2 to and one of the dads there said that he would be willing to do it if we would return the favour.

I told DH this when he got home and he has categorically stated that he is not having a man babysit the DDs. I think he's being ridiculous but he won't budge. It's not a question of him not liking the idea of using someone he's never met as where we used to live I was a member of a babysitting circle and he had never met some of the other women that were members but was happy to accept the fact that I had met them.

DH canvassed opinion amongst some other dads when he went out the other night and they apparently said that they could see both sides of the argument and that neither of us are BU as they realise it is a bit sexist but that they would be a bit uncomfortable with it as well.

So I told DH I would put it to the MN jury and see what the result was...

LEMisdisappointed Tue 30-Apr-13 12:26:30

Why not pay for a registered childminder?

Bogeyface Tue 30-Apr-13 12:28:42

I wouldnt use him, but it has nothing to do with his gender. I would be happy to let any of our close friends babysit, male or female, but I wouldnt leave my children with a random stranger from toddler group whatever their sex!

So he is BU to say "no men" but YABU to leave your children in the care of someone you dont know.

Carikube Tue 30-Apr-13 12:29:10

I don't think this man is 'just anyone' - I've met his DW when she came along one week and have met his children on numerous occasions so it's not like he's kidnapped some kids to make it look like he's legit or anything hmm

Bogeyface Tue 30-Apr-13 12:30:21

You met him at toddler group and have met his DW once.

That is not enough to know if they are suitable child carers.

Bogeyface Tue 30-Apr-13 12:31:38

I know what it is like to be desperate for child care, especially for social stuff, but you just have to suck it up sometimes. Until you know people very well I really dont think it is appropriate to leave them in sole charge of your children.

Xiaoxiong Tue 30-Apr-13 12:34:36

I think if you feel you know the person enough to trust them to babysit, then the gender should be irrelevant.

We're about to hire a male au pair though so I may be biased!

mrsjay Tue 30-Apr-13 12:35:21

I know I was being very dramatic in what I said but would your husband feel strange if buy any chance he would have to look after another girl outside his family , I think because he vetoed the idea speaks volumes he does not trust men to look after girl children.

mrsjay Tue 30-Apr-13 12:36:15

I think if you feel you know the person enough to trust them to babysit, then the gender should be irrelevant.

Exactly I do think you need to know whoever is baby sitting really well

XiCi Tue 30-Apr-13 12:36:24

You don't know him well at all then do you. Anyone who thinks having a male nursery nurse who is crb checked and trained is the same as allowing a male you know briefly from playgroup to be alone in the house with your child is crazy.
There is no way I would put my child in this situation no matter how statistically unlikely you all think it is, and that would go for a woman I hardly knew as well.

Littlehousesomewhere Tue 30-Apr-13 12:36:44

I have the same issue with my dh.

He wouldn't allow dc to attend nursery with male carers either. He doesn't trust males to care for pre verbal children at all and nothing anyone could say would change his mind.

He would never say anything to anyone and cause offence but that is his belief.

He is wrong to be prejudiced but I blame the peadophiles who have created this collateral damage.

Iggi101 Tue 30-Apr-13 12:37:00

I would not be keen in your situation, but have used a nursery with a brilliant male nursery nurse and would consider a male childminder. Difference being what they have had to go through to get those positions.
Would also depend for me on the age of your dcs.

freddiemisagreatshag Tue 30-Apr-13 12:37:44

Threads like this make me inordinately sad for my sons

Carikube Tue 30-Apr-13 12:38:39

Blimey, it looks like it's not so much a question of either of us BU,just that we are Bad Parents. Just as well I haven't gone in to any detail regarding some of the childcare we've used over the years...

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Tue 30-Apr-13 12:40:12

My 18year old son babysits for little girls but he is very careful to be appropriate and to be seen to be appropriate. My DD baths the girls if she is babysitting for them but my son doesn't. I completely trust my son, and the girls parents obviously trust him but I prefer for him not to be put in any potentially sensitive situations. IYSWIM I realise this isn't that logical but that is what we do.

I still think that your dh is being unreasonable in the sense that his objection isn't to the issues being highlighted by others ie crb checks or not knowing him well enough. His objection is to the fact that he is s malesad . and for that HIBU

Bogeyface Tue 30-Apr-13 12:43:20

I am sorry if you feel got at OP its just I am always amazed at people who would leave their children in the care of someone that they wouldnt, say, lend their car too "in case something happens to it". Aren't your children worth more than a car?!

sweetestcup Tue 30-Apr-13 12:44:11

Regardless of whether you know him well or not it sounds like your DH has a problem not because of this but ebcause hes a man. Which of course is sexist. I think for a lot of people - men and women - its conditioned into then about childcare (of any description) being a "womans job" and some really cant think why a man would want to do it - and then all the stupid assumptions start.

statistically My DH is a childminder and is really busy - hes got so much energy, enthusiasm, time and patience for the kids he watches. In fact it was Mums at the local toddler group where he took our own DS to that encouraged him to do it. of course hes had negative comments, but not as many as you may think. One believe it or not was from another CM who told him to make sure the little girl he had was dressed before she was dropped of! He was quiet for ages but has slowly built his reputation up, his gender is now irrelevant. Thankfully the Dads of the children he watches, including 2 baby girls and a baby boy dont think like your DH OP.

Carikube Tue 30-Apr-13 12:45:25

But regardless of how well I know this man, DH has said he wouldn't be happy with any man (even friends) babysitting, which I was really shocked by

Bogeyface Tue 30-Apr-13 12:46:40

For that reason he is being VVU, I totally agree with you there.

OurPlanetNeptune Tue 30-Apr-13 12:48:22

I am sorry if you feel got at OP its just I am always amazed at people who would leave their children in the care of someone that they wouldnt, say, lend their car too "in case something happens to it". Aren't your children worth more than a car?!

Amen Bogey

I would not do it. I would never use a childminder/babysitter/nanny who was not CRB checked. Sex is irrelevant.

A properly vetted man occasionally looks after my children. We have known him for years.

Iggi101 Tue 30-Apr-13 12:49:21

Iiiiii strangely I would be happier having your son babysit for me than a middle-aged man. (Is that sexist and ageist?!). It is either statistically the case that most child abuse is committed by men, or it is not. If it is the case, then it is "riskier" using a male babysitter than a woman. Otoh I suspect there is very little recorded abuse carried out by men working as nursery nurses etc, but I have no evidence for that! I imagine the risk of a babysitter not knowing how to deal with a medical emergency (choking or whatever) is much greater.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Apr-13 12:50:50

Oh dear, what will your H do if your dd's get to have male teachers ?

that's really good to know sweetestcup. He has only just finished registering and trying to go to more groups etc to meet people.

sweetestcup Tue 30-Apr-13 12:56:23


One tip I would give is get a good website set up, it has been invaluable. Being in a small town of course a lot of his business has came from word of mouth and people seeing him at the school etc but hes had a few now through parents googling and finding his website. If your DH wants a look at it, or indeed any advice from my DH, pm me and I will send a link later, am at work just now smile

OurPlanetNeptune Tue 30-Apr-13 12:57:36

I was recently having a conversation with a man who is worse than your husband, OP. I am pregnant with a girl after having 3 sons. This man was giving me 'advice' on raising and protecting my daughter. He has a 4 year old girl and he restricts the number of men who visit his house. Will not leave her alone with any man for any amount of time and will not allow her to kiss or hug male friends and other family members. She is not allowed to sit on the lap of any man. I think this is so very, very sad. Goodness know what happened to make him like this. I did have to tell him it wasn't healthy.

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