Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


To have a big Barney with partner about his use of the word childcare..

28 replies

claudib · 19/12/2019 21:09

Instead of parenting..
I was thinking from the feminist angle it was very frowned upon to use such removed terminology.
I think it sounds cold. He says it is a general term for anyone who looks after the child..
Our rows are often about division of labour and parenting so it just gets my goat.. let's see what you think. 😬

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

DrPimplePopper · 19/12/2019 21:11

Tbh I wouldn't be too bothered. If he said something like he was 'babysitting' our kids that would grind my gears!


WineGummyBear · 19/12/2019 21:13

I'm a feminist and alert to these things but we use childcare.

Babysitting no.
'helping' with chores. Also no.


Camomila · 19/12/2019 21:16

Thinking about it I think I use the word childcare more than parenting, or just 'watching/looking after DS'.
(I'm a mum and feminist).

I think I only really write the word parenting on mumsnet tbh - like if talking about parenting 'types'


BalanchineBallet · 19/12/2019 21:20

I rarely see “parent” used as a verb outside of mumsnet.

Childcare is fine- what’s anti feminist about it? I can totally agree with banning “babysitting” when it’s your own child!


FATEdestiny · 19/12/2019 21:26

Parenting doesn't have to be actively doing something in the moment. I can be parenting while watching TV with children chilling in their rooms. I'm there as a responsible adult in case anything comes up, so I'm "parenting". But not actually doing anything.

"Childcare", to me, means the hard graft of looking after the children actively.

As an example, I could be cooking a meal in the kitchen while DH is doing the childcare with the children in another room. We would both be parenting at that time.


merryhouse · 19/12/2019 21:28

I'm not sure it's got anything to do with feminism, but childcare sounds less involved than parenting.

Sometimes it's the right word to use - when discussing logistics, perhaps (you wouldn't say "I can't come because I have to parent" would you?)


merryhouse · 19/12/2019 21:29

crosspost with @FATEdestiny who has said exactly the opposite Grin


windycuntryside · 19/12/2019 21:33

I don’t get your beef ? Is that wrong too, Incase vegetarians/vegans feel upset Grin sorry in a funny mood.
Does it really matter? Someone has to look after the child/ren. “Can you take take over parenting whilst I’m ... doing whatever one needs?” does sound farty and little try hard to be on trend.


KipperTheFrog · 19/12/2019 21:34

Both DH and I use the term childcare. For example, DH is out tonight, so I wouldn’t be able to go out due to childcare responsibilities. It’s not paid childcare - that’s nursery etc, but I am caring for our children.


museumum · 19/12/2019 21:34

I think of parenting as the big overall things. Dh and I do all the “parenting” of our dcs even though others (nursery, school, after school club) do childcare.

Childcare is the nitty gritty being there feeding cleaning and entertainment bit.


sirfredfredgeorge · 19/12/2019 21:34

childcare, babysitting, looking after the kid, all of them are fine and mean looking after them for a specific period of time. Parenting is just confusing gibberish in the context of being in sole care of a child to facilitate another parent being away from the child.

Parenting is something you do as a parent, you're still parenting when you're booking your kids doctors appointments, or shopping for the food the child needs to eat.

I don't personally get why childcare is any better than babysitting, both are professional activities where you pay others to look after your kid so they're equivalent in my mind (other than one being more ad-hoc and the other regular) but then I don't find either odd when talking about your own - "looking after the baby/kid(s)" sounds most sensible to me.


OceanSunFish · 19/12/2019 21:36

I think childcare is OK because I use it about myself too. Babysitting - no. That's the test - would he/you use it if it was you doing it?

Tbh as long as he does it, it doesn't really matter what he calls it!


OoohTheStatsDontLie · 19/12/2019 21:38

I use both words (also hate babysitting and helping). To me, parenting describes the style of parent you are and is more about decision making eg routines, type of discipline, whether to sleep train etc- what kind of person you are shaping them into. Childcare to me is more day to day looking after them. So parenting would be deciding your children will be vegan. Childcare is fixing them lunch. But that's just how I use it and I doubt anyone else thinks the same!


chillykiwi · 19/12/2019 21:40

The one that really annoys me is 'I did the washing up for you '


itgetshardereveryday · 19/12/2019 21:40

In what way is the term childcare anti-feminist? Can you tell us what the context was?


HuloBeraal · 19/12/2019 21:41

I don’t care who calls it what. I always say I do the bulk of the childcare. DH though always always steps up especially when I travel and he does a ton of work at home. And from the moment he walks in from work he takes over with the kids. And I get lie ins without ever asking for them. And very rarely for MN, he has made career decisions that benefit me and the kids over him.
So if he called it childcare over parenting I wouldn’t give a rat’s arse.
If he was a man child who thought all domestic stuff was my domain, I would pull no punches. But having a bust up about this might be the wrong priority.


ColaFreezePop · 19/12/2019 21:42

Oddly the term that really gets both mine and my DP goat is "babysitting". Unless you are a paid person, friend or other family member then when it is your own child you aren't bloody babysitting them.

Childcare is OK to use when you are actively looking after your child but in reality you are parenting them.

Oh and those who do childcare tend to have some sort of qualifications and/or done some courses. A baby sitter can be anyone.


BonnyConnie · 19/12/2019 21:46

Parenting and childcare is different. You can still parent while delegating childcare tasks (e.g. to a nursery, childminder or, nanny). Parenting is about making high level decisions about the way your child will be raise (ethos, discipline methods, choice of when to wean, potty train etc., choice of educational method and so on). You don’t have to do everything yourself, merely make the decisions iyswim.


Hellofromtheotherside2020 · 19/12/2019 21:47

Haha relating so much to some of these comments!

Husband once (like 12 years ago) asked me if he wanted me to babysit so I could have a spa day with friends! He never said that again.
Also says stuff like "I've got the washing in for you"..... Mmmhmm.
I know it's just semantics and there's a lovely gesture behind it, but god, some men (and women) shluld think before they speak!


Ellisandra · 19/12/2019 21:54

I’m not surprised you have rows.
Unless you’re going to come back with a dripfeed putting that in fanning contact “I did the childcare for you today” then I think YABVU with an odd chip on your shoulder.

How can the word “care” be ‘cold’ and ‘removed’?


MerryChristmasUfilthyanimal · 19/12/2019 21:55

Why would you cause a problem in your household and for your children over something this ridiculous? It's 6 days till Christmas. Do you have nothing else to deal with?


sweeneytoddsrazor · 19/12/2019 22:00

Everybody I know irl uses the term looking after the kids as in I cant go to the pub tonight because betty or bert is out and I'll be looking after the kids.
Or I am going out so you are looking after the kids.


claudib · 19/12/2019 22:45

Haha thanks guys.. you weren't too harsh on me really.. but I guess the consensus is saying I'm taking the semantics a bit too far..I guess he hit a nerve at something deeper. I think his wording was
(..and possibly grumpily , he denied that though) "so do I have any days before Christmas when I am not doing childcare" cause he was trying to arrange a meeting with a friend. ( Christmas is my busiest time.. but mostly I do everything at home when I'm not working.. but anyway blah blah a bit of context..
I should probably have asked you all before I went off on my tirade..😩
oh and before you think he's a saint.. he then accused me of "nagging" .. 😱😱😱😆

OP posts:

Scarsthelot · 19/12/2019 22:48

Yabu. Both exh and I used the phrase childcare and babysitting about ourselves and eachother.

The word doesnt really matter. If things don't feel equal, that's what you should sort out. Not be picking at his choice of words.


Qcng · 19/12/2019 22:54

Ok in that context I see why you think it's a bit cold and removed, like he could have said "looking after the kids" or (something more close to) "fulfilling my natural tendency to be a good father to our beautiful children"...
I think what he said does sound a bit like there's some resentment there, which probably got your back up.
Talk to him!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?