Tuesday, August 9, 2011

choices NOT chains; raising our daughters

A blog post was brought to my attention through Twitter. It was very short but the message in it was very clear...and it thoroughly pissed me off.

I admit that I am passionate about the things I believe in but, for the most part, I have a live & let live philosophy.  Chris & I parent a certain way but, again, for the most part, if you do things differently it's not going to cause a rift between us.  I enjoy debating & discussing almost anything...not for the purpose of changing someone else's mind but for the purpose of understanding why other people feel & believe differently about things.

However, I do have my limits.  One of those limits is limiting the choices of women.  Even worse?  Limiting those choices before the girl even becomes a woman.

I am a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM).  I love it. I love that I am in a position that I could make this choice in my life, in Klaw's life.  I have spent most of my career taking care of other people's children as a nanny, through daycare, or as an educator.  For me, being able to stay home with Klaw is of the utmost importance to me and I am in a position to do it.  Not all women are fulfilled staying at home and not all women are financially able to do it even if they want to.

An involved & loving parent is an involved & loving parent whether they are at home all day, at work all day, or deployed.

You are probably wondering what pissed me off by now, aren't you?

Well, I've decided to not quote or link to the blog post in question.  Trust me, I'd like to.  I am really not that nice of a person but I do think it would be treading a delicate line of just being an ass on my part, at best.  At worst, it would direct more traffic to his site.

However, if you follow me on Twitter, I tweeted the link twice.

To summarize a very short post to begin with:  A dad stated that he was raising his daughters to be stay-at-home-moms.  In fact, he seems to believe that we should "groom" our women to be women.

First of all, I don't need to be "groomed" to do anything.  That's a terrible choice of a verb to use in this situation.  It's loaded because it often means the child is being groomed to be abused in one way or another. (I do not in any way, shape, or form believe this is the intent of the original author)

Second of all, forcing your daughter to be what you want her to be (in this case, a SAHM) is no better than the parents who pressure their children to join the family business, become doctors, become lawyers, etc.

What happened to raising our daughters to know their strength?  To know that they can be successful and choose what they want to do in life?

Are we failing our children if we teach them to find their own way in this world?

Chris & I may joke about Klaw becoming a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, but it's a joke.  Would we love it? Yes.  Chances are about one in a million it will happen but it would be AWESOME!

Are we going to be disappointed if he decides to become a teacher?  No.  A sailor? Absolutely not.  A stay-at-home-dad?  Definitely not.

Blame it on my women's college educated brain, I don't care.  I see no reason to limit our daughters' (or our sons') choices.  Raise them to value the roles of the SAHM, SAHD, working mom, & working dad and, more importantly, raise them to value themselves.

I want my child to face the world with strength, respect for self & for others, and the courage to forge his own path.

If Chris & I can do that, we will have succeeded as parents.

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