I just realized that most of 2013 is already behind us, and we'll soon enter into 2014. That's just one year before Marty McFly travelled thirty years ahead in Back To The Future Part II. You know the one, where there are flying cars, hoverboards, voice operated electronics and fax machines in every room. Even with all those technological advances, did you ever notice that Marty's mom, Lorraine, cooked the 'dehydrated' pizza? Or Jennifer, his wife, was a stay at home mom, doing all the grocery shopping and worrying about how they'd make ends meet once Marty lost his job? Perhaps the writers didn't consider the changes in familial roles, focusing heavily on how our high-tech world would be different, as opposed to relationships. Or maybe they had it right all along.
Statistically, of households with children, 40% of those families have working mothers. So why then do we keep hearing and reading about these women rushing to get dinner on the table? Or finishing the laundry, cleaning the house, running to the grocery store? All while wiping runny noses, changing diapers or driving to after school activities. Even with so many moms in the workforce, there's a certain attitude about stay at homes moms as well. I'm lucky enough to have friends in both worlds, which got me thinking.
It seems that even with our real advances of smart phones, electric cars and wifi-cities, our gender roles haven't changed much. I was recently talking to another mom, a friend who had just given birth to her second child. She had a very rough pregnancy, and now requires surgery to fix the painful issue she suffered with for all those excruciating months. During our time together, she confessed that things were strained in her marriage because her husband wanted to have another child, but doing so meant that she couldn't have the surgery until she was done having babies. He essentially "put his foot down" on the issue and said it was a non negotiable. The thing is, even though I've never had such an extreme example, I deal with this kind of Man Rules the House attitude too. What's scarier is that I think I perpetuate it sometimes! I'm not talking about how we generally just go for missionary, either. I've caught myself telling the kids, "Just wait until your dad gets home!!" Or I naturally wait for MrMuffinTop to fix things around the house, even things that I am *capable* of taking care of, but it's not something that balances our roles of working dad/stay at home mom. When he's out-of-town, I don't sleep as well, which I really can't understand since even when he is home, I'm the one that jumps out of bed to investigate when I hear a strange noise. As a matter of fact, a few times he's hid behind me. Not very stereotypical male, if you ask me.
I've also thought about how this is perceived by my mini-muffintops. I've said from the get go that I wanted my son to become a communicator, in touch with his feelings. On the other side, I want my daughter to be strong and logical. So, I've bought dolls for my son, and cars and trucks for my daughter, but is that enough? They see their dad leave for work every morning, and mommy taking care of the house. How can I teach them it's ok for those roles to be reversed? That if my daughter wants to keep her career and raise a family, that's great...and if my son wants to give his up and be at home with his kids, that's great too? If I had a DeLorean and went 30 years forward from today, do I think that's what I'd see? What are your thoughts?
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