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...

When I was around 16 a single mother neighbour asked if I would babysit her two young daughters who were then I guess 6 and 8. I ended up doing it every few weeks when she went out. I never had girlfriends over, or spent hours on her phone, or ate her food, or made a mess and she always paid me very generously.

The kids thought it was cool having a "boy" babysit them. They never played me up. Easiest money I ever made!

TiggyD Wed 01-May-13 08:37:37

"And most men don't gravitate towards young kids" Unless that child is extremely fat! (Physics joke)

Childcare is still 98% female, 2% male. Don't see that changing much. Partly due to attitudes before you enter the profession, and partly having to work in an environment with just one sex in it. Only 2% don't like the idea of a man looking after their children, but one suspicious rumour out of 50 positive ones is enough to make somebody think twice about doing the job.

"Gut instinct" Is the best way to gauge suitability? Hmmm. And they get to do jury duty. hmm

CRBs aren't perfect, but is there a better way?

NumericalMum Wed 01-May-13 08:28:51

If someone told me I couldn't do my (very male dominated) job because I am female I would be livid. I am female and it would be a cold day in hell before I became a primary school teacher. Nothing to do with my gender but caring for other people's children does not appeal to me. Does that make me male? Or does it just prove that women and men can't all be grouped into buckets because of their gender. What would the European Commission say if they read this?!

stella1w Tue 30-Apr-13 23:47:35

It is something about opportunism...

sweetestcup Tue 30-Apr-13 23:44:27

Well thats different because that's got nothing to do with his gender then. In that case I don't get your distinction between being wary about a man looking to babysit compared to being a childminder.

I can definitely say my house isn't a mess, I'm fed up with the stair-gates because we don't have young kids and hes never forgotten to look after any of the children he has in his care. Plus he does all the housework such as cleaning, the washing and ironing. I'm lucky that way smile

MajorDivvy Tue 30-Apr-13 23:40:20

Also - of I was a paedofile who hadn't been caught yet - you could bet your life on what sorts of jobs I'd be looking for!!
Let's face it, men who want to work in childcare or babysit are in a minority anyway and the proportion of those who are paedophiles are a very very small minority - there have been many cases of female childminders etc being arrested for offences against children too. It's all down to good old fashioned gut instinct - yes that can be wrong too, but IMHO, as long as you have got to know that person a bit over a bit of time, it's about as reliable as a piece of paper.

stella1w Tue 30-Apr-13 23:39:20

I seriously considered a male childminder but decided against because his own mother said he was chaotic, hi house was a mess, no stairgates, and he forgot to show any interest in my infant. However i suspect his strength is working with older kids.

MajorDivvy Tue 30-Apr-13 23:35:34

Haven't read all of the replies but......

I think it's all about what you and your DD's think of this man, getting to know him first and seeing how they get on. We had a really brilliant male babysitter when our DS was a toddler and there is a brilliant male nursery nurse at his nursery. Yes this man could be anyone but
can people please remember that all CRB checks etc prove is that the person hasn't been caught! it does not prove they are not a pedophile in the same way that not having one doesn't prove you are!
This, unfortunately, comes from personally knowing someone who had a clear advanced CRB held for (and renewed) for several years, and who has recently been sent down on 3 charges of pedophilia one of which from before their first CRB. (Luckily they were never alone with my DS.) I'm not saying don't ask to see one, or whatever, I'm just cautioning against them being such a big factor in the decision.

It really boils down to what you think of them, but you can never tell.

elastamum Tue 30-Apr-13 23:28:05

We used to have a male babysitter. He was Ds of the people who lived opposite.

My DC (boys) really liked him and we knew his mum was just over the road if he needed help. If you know the person I cant see the problem really

sweetestcup Tue 30-Apr-13 23:28:03

Does this waryness apply to men who seek out work in childcare such as childminder then?

stella1w Tue 30-Apr-13 23:26:51

I am wary of the small minority of men who seek out babysitting opportunities. I have happily had men babysit.

sweetestcup Tue 30-Apr-13 23:23:38

And most men don't gravitate towards young kids

You have said this twice - but equally most women dont gravitate to working with young children either do they? Its called having a choice.

5madthings Tue 30-Apr-13 23:23:33

I don't think you are entitled to be wary of 50% of the population just because of their gender actually.

stella1w Tue 30-Apr-13 23:19:44

I am entitled to be wary. And most men don't gravitate towards young kids. Not all who do are paedophiles, true. But all paedophiles try to gain the trust of young kids and their parents and get access to young kids. So i would be wary and understand where the OP's other half is coming from.

5madthings Tue 30-Apr-13 23:19:14

All those male...

5madthings Tue 30-Apr-13 23:18:47

Very sad yes sad

Can't understand why people think males who want to work with children must have an ulterior motive, all this female teachers, and the ones that runs sports clubs etc, they cant possibly be doing it because they like it and are good at it... hmm

I'm also getting angry tbh sweetestcup/5madthings. I'm also starting to wonder if I have done DH a disservice by encouraging him to try and become a childminder.

Since we had our DD (and since our friends started having children too) it has become blatantly obvious that he is incredibly good with children. They gravitate to him, and he's one of those people who just naturally entertains them. It's hard to explain - do you ever see someone and just think "wow, they are great with kids?" Well, in our family that someone is a man.

He contemplated going in to teaching (primary) but in all honesty isn't sure if he wants to so the sheer amount of slog to get there, and there is massive unemployment in NQTs around here. I suggested childminding - he really liked the idea but was worried people wouldn't be comfortable leaving their child with a man, would assume he was weird/a paedo etc etc. I told him not to be daft, to try and do something he was good at, that it's the 21st century...

Who was I kidding?

sweetestcup Tue 30-Apr-13 23:16:24

Very sad isnt it madthings? Sad that some people can have such a negative opinion about half the population of the world.

Is it in womens genes then to "gravitate" to child care careers I wonder compared to men. hmm

5madthings Tue 30-Apr-13 23:14:01

My dp works in a children's home....he is obviously a paedophile as he gravitated towards working with children, never mind that he is bloody good at it, he can't just be a normal nice bloke because he chose to work with children...

sweetestcup Tue 30-Apr-13 23:10:03

Stella its people with views like yours that stopped my DH registering as a childminder for ages before he did. I will let him know then that hes odd because he has "gravitated towards looking after young children". Either that or a paedophile.

5madthings Tue 30-Apr-13 23:09:22

Oh fgs what crap, any man who offers to babysit must be a paedophile...

Our male babysitter also babysits for a friends three children, a boy and toddler girls (twins) and yes huge has offered to babysit as he is a friend and knows dp and I need a break. He has also changed nappies and bathed our children, puts them to bed etc.

sweetestcup Tue 30-Apr-13 23:07:05

olga Why would you be suspicious about a man offering to babysit? I'm really struggling to control my anger now at some of the sexist shite posted here. Any particular reason you bolded the word women is there?

stella1w Tue 30-Apr-13 22:57:36

I don't have anything against male babysitters per se...had one last night but i would be very wary of a man who offered to babysit. Most men don't gravitate towards looking after young children. Sadly paedophiles will take any chance they can get to be around children.

Love how you have bolded women olgaga - you do know that the absence of a penis doesn't instantly make them a better person.

5madthings Tue 30-Apr-13 22:49:32

You would be suspicious about a man offering to babysit, how sad.

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