Anyone who has the privilege of playing the role of parent has at some time, I am sure of this, wondered what the impact of a hobby, friendship, activity, preference..insert any other I may have missed, will have on their child. I think often this is related more to boys than girls. A girl who likes to play rough with the boys is assertive, who like to use tools in the garage a future independent woman. But, what about the boy who chooses books instead of football? Or, will play baby dolls and house with his sisters. Is he gay? Soft? Weak? There are seemingly such positive connotations to the “tomboy” and not so positive connotations tagged to the opposite.
I have known moms who state that their husbands would never allow their boys to play with dolls, or dress up. I am thankful that I have a husband who has always encouraged the excitement of youth and creativity alongside me, and never let the opinions of what might be deemed a “norm” break the spirit of any of our children. He is also very eager to show the girls how to use any tool in the garage. I know that to some it may seem silly that this topic even has to be discussed, I agree, but we cannot pretend that norms are not still ever present, especially as parents.
There is no gender balance in our house, the girls outnumber 4 to 2, however that is where is ends. Our oldest daughter Raiven just last week had her first sleep over away from our house, her friend was a boy, I never thought twice about saying yes, I will reassess when she hits double digits! After my initial answer, I then felt the norms of society creep into the peripherals of my thoughts and wondered if this was “okay”. Luckily the mom of this boy was equally fantastic, she of course had invited R and we talked about what this means and if there was any harm in this sleepover. Now as a grown tomboy I have never thought that friends should be of same gender and that some friendships can be truly platonic . So R had a sleepover and had a fantastic time and has found a great friend, who can match her speed and enthusiasm. Who cares if he is a boy.
On the flipside, last weekend I sat down with a pile of felted wool sweaters from Savers, and was planning what fantastic homemade projects I could make from them, when Solomon asked if he could make something. Included in the task was sewing. By hand. With a needle and thread. Solomon spent most of his Saturday between reading the book of the day cutting, sewing and embroidering his very own felted wool glasses case. I have no worry that this will make him anything more than a well rounded young man.
Today is Sunday there are football play offs, Raiven has her Steelers shirt on and will be actively routing. Solomon will be reading, he has no interest.
I could not be more proud!!
Good for you! Gender roles should be a thing of the past, and truthfully never should have played a part to begin with. My exhusband could hem a pair of pants and sew on a button with the best of them. He is now an ob/gyn and uses that skill in surgery. My fiance cooks better than I do, and loves doing it. I would prefer to mow a yard than decorating our home. Diviersity rules!
By the way, my kids often have boy/girl sleepovers, and they are teens. I motitor them and whe they finally settle to bed, they are totally separated. They love it, and so do I. Friends are friends, no matter what gender.
Tina, so funny that you mention lawn mowing, I think in the 5 years we have lived in this house my husband has mowed the lawn 2 times, I enjoy mowing, over many domestic duties. Love to know there are other women out there like me. I always wonder what all the ‘burb men are wondering when it them and me;)
I will remember the sleep over tip when they are older, thankfully I have a few years!!