I have been thinking about writing this for some time, but because I don’t like the idea of offending anyone I have held off. However, recently so many things have pushed my buttons in relation to this and I feel the need for a bit of a rant and as it’s International Women’s Day, I have linked up with the wonderful Lulastic and her International Women’s Day 2016 blog link up.
I have three children, who just happen to be of the female variety. At the end of the day they are CHILDREN, and children to a point all behave the same. I get really annoyed when I read the posts about the things only mums of boys would know and wonder if the people who write these really believe these things to be exclusively male traits…
I am not writing this to compete (you won’t hear me saying that spending my days in and out of minor injuries is because I have boisterous girls – although I think it probably is because I have boisterous children!) rather to put another point of view across. I do feel strongly that the posts claiming ‘boys will be boys’ are just reinforcing gender stereotypes – I am fully aware that many are written in jest, but then so was the comment ‘a woman’s place is in the kitchen’ made by someone I know recently, in front of my three young, impressionable girls, who I am trying to bring up with the strong belief that they can be anyone/thing they want.
I am constantly reassuring the Ps that they (and their friends) can do/wear/be/play whatever they want and I struggle that they already have some of society’s beliefs ingrained, such as daddy needs to mow the lawn, boys can’t wear skirts, girls should have long hair, etc, etc. I think that their limited time in school and minimal television viewing both have had a negative impact on their perceptions of the world. I am also aware that it is impossible to shelter them completely, and they do need to understand the world that they are growing up in, but I do find myself questioning these viewpoints whenever I hear them!
Gender inequality is still a major issue in the UK, with women being paid, on average, 20% less than their male colleagues. Really?! The Stinker and I got talking about this and how society sadly still reinforces the idea that women can’t do the same as men, and this starts with people labelling their boys as loud and boisterous and girls as quiet and calm. I am not claiming that there are no differences between males and females (aside from the obvious few!) but it saddens me that people still talk about men’s jobs or needing a man for heavy work. It also saddens me that our government is so lacking in female members and we still have to have a minister for ‘Women and Equality’ in 2016 – surely by now equality should not be a problem!
There are even groups on Facebook trying to address these issues at the basic (children’s) level. Let Toys be Toys and Let Clothes be Clothes are both aiming to allow children to just be children, wearing what they like and playing with whatever makes them happy 🙂
Ok, this has ended up heavier than I planned on it being, but I guess I needed to rant more than I realised!
So to end on a lighter note!
To all the parents/relatives/family friends of young children,
Here are my top five things you should know:
- Wherever groups of children are there will be noise, whether it be laughter, screaming or shouting, be prepared for noise!
- Child-free spaces no longer exist! We often try to keep our lounge as a grown up room but they always manage to sneak a few toys in or leave random items of clothing lying around (Right now I am sitting on the sofa looking at one sock, a skirt, a pirate ship and a naked baby doll lying on the floor in front of me!)
- The clothes are lying around because they love to get naked – at the slightest opportunity children remove all of their clothes, even in the middle of winter!
- Your local Minor Injuries Unit nurses will know you very well! We have visited with all three of the Ps on more than one occasion – I was chatting with my cousin the other day about how the Ps are never ill, but she reminded me that we get our money’s worth out of the NHS with our frequent MIU visits!
- They will have you tearing your hair out in frustration one minute and beaming with pride the next. Whatever their gender and personality children will give you all the emotions under the sun and that’s what makes being around them so great.
I hope it is clear that I am not being competitive in any way, nor am I angry with the parents who have written these posts. I think that, sadly, gender stereotypes are so ingrained in our society that many people don’t even realise they are doing it!
12 thoughts on “5 reasons why having CHILDREN (not boys or girls!) will change your life…”
I love reading your blog, all of which makes my life appear to be similar to those who have children. Anyway getting to my point, when people ask how are my children keeping. When i respond with, Joshua likes to climb on everything and run about, their response is ohh he is a typical boy then. I then think to myself, what does that mean?. As Eloise also likes to climb and run around and do what people think only boy’s do. Eloise prefers super hero costumes to a princess dresses whilst Joshua likes to wear Eloise’s pretty shoes. I just see them as two individual children who make me want to scream, laugh, smile and cry all at the same time. Look forward to the next instalment Lorna x
Yes my point exactly 🙂 Even though I only have girls they are individuals but are all boisterous and love to climb,fight and get muddy! Glad you enjoy reading xx
Great post!! My little one is only 7 months old but I’m so fed up of receiving pink clothes!! She has quite a character so I’m curious to see how she will act as a toddler.
Too true! Out of my three girls only one likes pink (but it’s my husband’s favorite colour!). As for personalities, again they are all different but definitely all very strong! ! 🙂
I didn’t realise how strong the stereotyping still was until I fell pregnant – it was so hard to find unisex baby stuff that wasn’t white (newborns and white are not a good mix…). All the nurses kept asking if I had been expecting a boy because I’d gone for lots of colourful prints in the end – robots, animals, zig-zags, etc!
Too true, and how ridiculous is that?! Sadly, my 2 year old told me yesterday that her baby doll (who is a boy) couldn’t wear the pink onesie because ‘pink is for girls’! I was so upset because I’ve been so conscious not to stereotype, especially colours. I managed to persuade her it was fine by reminding her that pink is actually Daddy’s favourite colour, whereas mine is blue…
Oh heck yeah! So well put! This is definitely one of my own bug bears! It drives me UP THE WALL!
Happy International Women’s day! Cx
Thanks Lulastic! I’m so glad that I’ve found lots of like-minded friends through blogging and home edding! 🙂 x
Good on you! You don’t need to apologise or justify your thoughts! Not challenging these things is acceptance so GO YOU! x
Thanks, I will stop apologising and just let rip next time 😉 xx