Monday, January 9, 2012

Raising Girls

Last October I had an interesting conversation with a friend regarding motherhood and raising daughters.  I should have just blogged it then, but I wrote it in my journal so I wouldn't stay up so late on the computer, which doesn't make any sense because handwriting takes so much longer, and now I have to type it up anyway!?

I'm still trying to figure out exactly how I feel about all of it, but wanted to put out the ideas for some feedback.

Just for background, this friend is a mother of slightly older children, including some of marriageable age.  She said that many of her friends with married sons and sons of marriageable age, are complaining about their daughters-in-law (or potential DILs) because these younger women expect their husbands (or future husbands) to go to school, work, cook, and if they have kids, help care for them in ways such as putting the kids to bed. She said the girls look at having a family as a burden (I suppose something to push off to someone else like their husbands) when it should really be an honor to care for a husband and kids.

She also said that she thinks a big change in the girls stems from girls' sports -- making them more aggressive.  Sports activities takes not only the girls out of the home, but also the mothers; therefore, the girls don't see the mothers being homemakers anymore, so they don't know what to do when they marry -- they don't see homemaking as their responsibility.  My neighbor did say she felt ballet and other feminine activities were okay, though, because they don't cause the aggression.

Later, she sent me an e-mail emphasizing how sacred this time with young children is, and that we don't need to be on the go all the time -- it's okay to be home and not be signing up to help with everything (I'm way guilty of that one).

Anyway, it was an insightful discussion, and I want to know what others think.  Particularly,

  • Is it a common attitude among young, married women to look at having a husband and a family as a burden and the care for them not primarily their responsibility?
  • Do you think sports and the aggression that comes along with sports is carried into a younger woman's overall attitudes and affects her relationships and marriage?
  • Do you think activities such as dance, although a more feminine past-time, could also have a negative impact on a girls view of homemaking because it, too, can take her and her mother out of the home so much?
  • How can we raise our girls with homemaker/mother/caregiver qualities, yet still help them be competitive academically/professionally (which can be very important as a lot of women don't marry)?  I had a really hard time valuing both roles, and favored the latter qualities.  I wish I could have had a better balance of the two.