When the toilet breaks I fix it. Laundry is done by my wife. I fire up the grill and my wife washes dishes. This was how it was before kids and how it will be throughout my kid’s lives.
My son’s are young but show the traits of liking “boy” things. Our house is a clutter of cars, trains, and fake tools. Most of the toys were bought for them by family and friends. When we go to the store and they see a toy they like, which is usually a toy car or tool set, we buy it for them.
They have never shown the slightest interest in the color pink. Killian is a fan of green while his brother shows an affinity for blue.
They like to play in the dirt, eat it even, and you can’t stop them from wrestling with each other.
They are boys, who do boy things.
Is there something wrong with that?
I don’t think so. My wife doesn’t do the things she does around the house in some sort of gender defined role. For some families, it isn’t about something being a man’s or woman’s job; it’s about what works. My wife does the dishes, because she doesn’t like to eat off streaky plates. I grill because it is something I enjoy doing. My kids like what they like, because, well, cars are awesome.
I don’t let the thought that something might be a “boy thing or girl thing” factor into their lives. If they wanted a Barbie, then cool! But, they don’t. That stuff doesn’t interest them. There is nothing wrong with boys being boys.
In this day and age I feel almost pressured to get my kids dolls, just to show how much my family “gets it”. The truth though? My boys do boy things, My wife does things like prepare us lunch and bring me drinks and I do things like fix appliances. We are a mostly traditional household, and there is nothing to be ashamed of in that. There is nothing wrong with having a household set up a way that works for your family.
This isn’t an attack on those trying to break down gender roles. Quite the contrary. This is respect. I respect parents who love their kids and want their kids to be happy no matter what. I respect families that do things in the way that benefits their family most. It really should only be about making it work in your family, not other’s issues with your family model.
I want my little boys to do little boy things and it isn’t because they are boy things. It is that these are the things they enjoy. I enjoy having these common interests with them, I won’t lie. If they wanted to play in pink tutus though you know where I would be? I would be at the store looking for a tutu my size just so I could share in the joy with them.
Nothing my family does is under the guidelines of whether this is a male or female thing to do. Before taking a look at our life for this piece I didn’t even think “I am fixing this because I am man and man good with tools.”. My wife doesn’t busy herself at the sink thinking Mrs. Cleaver would be proud and my boys don’t race their cars under the premise of doing guy stuff. This is just how our life lines up. This is us. This is my family. We are happy this way.