As a stay-at-home mom, and home pre-schooler, I often like to ask my daughter questions to find out what she has observed about the world. In my post with all of the funny things Leah has said I mentioned that she announced to me one day that “Daddy pees standing up!” He has been much more careful about locking doors since then. I was curious, however, to see if she noticed any other differences in gender. I asked her the other night what the difference between boys and girls is. She shrugged.
I asked, “Well, what makes boys different from girls.”
Leah, looking bored, responded, “I don’t know. Girls are just girls.”
Giving it one last attempt I tried, “Okay, but do boys do anything different from girls?”
All of a sudden Leah’s face lit up and I could see a light bulb go off in her head, “Yes!” She exclaimed. “Boys go to work!”
I nearly died laughing. If the year were 1950 she would be absolutely right. It has been her experience, though, that this is true. I stay home with her and Daddy goes to work to “make the monies”. She stays with her one Grandma while I go to school and she knows that Grandpa is at work. She also hears that her “Papa” is at work all the time when we are at my mom’s.
It’s an old fashioned notion that the men go to work while the women stay home, but it’s one that I have always liked. I think I struggle with going to school and deciding what I want to do, because what I truly want to do is stay at home and raise my children, keep a clean home, cook, bake, do the laundry and the marketing. Heck, I even sew!
As she grows I will tell my daughter that she can do or be whatever she wants to be. But I will also teach her that choosing to take on a traditional gender role is admirable and if she wants to stay home and take care of a family, that is okay. As women, we are now expected to go to college, have a career, and bring in another income. That is all well and good if that’s what you want. But to be honest, I don’t want it. I resent how difficult it is to be able to stay at home in this era. I hope that my daughter will have the choice to do whatever she wants, whether she wants to be the first woman president, or a homemaker. Both jobs could be equally rewarding!