When friends told one mom it was "dangerous" to hire a male babysitter, she took to Reddit to ask for a second opinion.
It's not always easy to find a babysitter. And over the past 14 years, we've had our serious share of sitter fails. There was the one who fell asleep in our bed. The one who showed up drunk. And, of course, the one who never showed up at all.
Some people are just made to take care of children. Others are not. And while there are many things that make one candidate more qualified as a caregiver than another, gender definitely shouldn't be one of them. In fact, all three of those scenarios I just described involved female sitters, while one of our very best kid-watchers to date was a recent college grad who just happened to be male.
Still, apparently not everyone is down with the whole notion of hiring a "manny." Which is why Reddit user Yuioir recently posed the question "Is it odd to have a teenage guy babysitting my kids?" over on the site's Parenting section.
"My friend told me that she'd never hire a male, especially a teen, to babysit, because it's too risky and dangerous," she wrote. "Several of my other friends agreed with her, saying that they only hired women to babysit their children. Is that the general consensus on male babysitters? Why does it seem that being teen boy automatically makes you dangerous to kids? Shouldn't we judge people based on their characters, not their age or gender?"
Yes. Yes we should. And it was amazing to see how many stay-at-home dads—many of them former babysitters themselves—showed up in the comment section to echo the sentiment.
"I was a teenage male babysitter," wrote one. "Now I'm a 38 year old stay at home dad. I'm biased, but we are wonderful."
"Also did a fair share of babysitting way back in the day," added another. "Today, I work from home and watch my daughter on Wednesdays. It's usually the best day of the week."
And finally, from a third: "I am a 23 year old male. I work in a licensed daycare center. I babysit. I change kids. I give them baths. I put them to bed. I make them supper. I do their laundry. And I am in turn absolutely adored by countless kids that I provide care for, both at work and out. I have been judged, laughed at, called a pedophile, told I 'shouldn't' do something more times than I can count, and obviously been discriminated upon in the field because I have a penis hanging between my legs. Do I care? Nope. My ability to succeed when working with children totally trumps any f*cks I could give about someone else's judgment of me based on my sex. If the kids are happy, I am clearly doing my job right."
So. Much. Yes.
Also...can someone get me that guy's number?