Saturday, April 9, 2011

Gender Roles

The other day, we brought Matt's lunch to him at work. While we were in the car waiting for him, a woman went into his office building, resulting in this brief conversation:

Seth: Mom, what is that lady doing?

Me: It looks like she's going back to work.

Seth: Hey, girls don't go to work! Only dads do!

What do I say to that? All I said in response was, "Both mommies and daddies go to work, just like I did before you were born and even when you were a baby." It was quiet, so I knew he was thinking about that. He was just being honest and speaking what he thought, but I have to say it stung a little bit, being someone who believes in and supports women working in whatever capacity they need or want to.

A few days later, we were dancing to music, and he said, "Only boys can dance rock n' roll, but girls spin around." (meaning ballet because he sees Lydia spinning around in her tutu)

We had a bit lengthier discussion that involved me asking questions, like what are other things boys and girls do. I'm understanding that he's at an age where he's starting to notice the differences between boys and girls and how he fits in. I'm glad he feels comfortable to ask questions and speak freely.

So, maybe he's trying to get a grasp on his little world. And maybe right now he doesn't see what I do as his full-time mom as "work" in the traditional sense of the word. I know as he grows, he'll understand more about how the world works, but until then, I'm content to keep him little, innocent, carefree, and asking questions as long as possible.

And there's a healthy bit of role-sharing going on around here too:

1 comment:

Terilyn said...

I love that he's so inquisitive and asks lots of questions...and he has to stop and think about what you're saying about boys vs. girls. He's going to grow up with a healthy outlook on genders and their roles (that they can do anything they want) with a mom like you! Love you, Jen! Looks like you're having fun! I miss those days--enjoy them while you can.