Posts Tagged ‘
gender roles ’
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
2 years, 5 months.
When I starting writing yesterday’s The Thought Of A Male Daycare Worker Weirds Me Out, it was meant to be a simple story about you calling me “Miss Daddy.” Instead, it took a random turn by the 5th sentence:
I broadcast my opinion (which has now proven itself to be unpopular and undefended) that the thought of a male daycare worker is weird.
In case it matters, I am referring specifically to a (hypothetical) full-time male daycare worker in the 2 to 3 year-old classes.
The main reason this concept is “weird” to me is because I find it strange that a man would choose to work full-time with children who are still potty training, but who still need their diapers changed.
It just seems like there wouldn’t be that many men wanting that job.
However, I could totally see a part-time storyteller/music man/entertainer who “floats” around to all the classes, regardless of a child’s age group.
Technically, a person’s opinion can’t be wrong. But there were definitely some things I predicted about how other people feel, which I realize now, were wrong.
I was wrong to think that a lot of other parents feel the same way as I do about this. They don’t.
Here’s a quote from yesterday that is completely off with reality:
“I think it’s one of those nearly irrelevant conversations that could cause quite a stir on Facebook, but in reality, I would bet most moms and dads would agree that they wouldn’t feel comfortable with a male worker at their kids’ daycare.”
Wrong. That’s not true. That’s not how they feel.
That’s how I feel.
And honestly, it’s not a belief I am passionate about or am interested in talking about again.
Back in college, I worked in after school programs and taught elementary school during the summers. I am so in favor of men having an active role in young children’s lives.
Even so, for me personally, the thought of a man working full-time in a 2 to 3 year-old daycare class seems a bit bizarre. But who cares? After all, I’m referring to a hypothetical person who doesn’t work at your daycare.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming about dinosaurs and monster trucks…
Add a Comment
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
2 years, 5 months.
Sometimes you call me “Miss Daddy.” Slightly less funny is the fact you call Mommy “Miss Mommy.”
Given that most of your daytime hours are spent at school, it’s easy to understand that how natural it could be for you to want to call me “Miss Daddy.”
(That’s somehow a pretty fitting term for you to use, considering Mommy and I just bought you a pink sports coupe with a silver skull on the front, named Bone Crusher.)
It’s not like there are male teachers at your school, to familiarize you with the term “mister.”
Actually, I’ve never thought about it before, but my honest feelings about there being a male teacher at a daycare… that would be pretty weird and I wouldn’t feel comfortable with it.
But hey, that’s all speculation anyway. I suppose it’s simply me being gender biased in that I only feel comfortable with the thought of female teachers at your school.
Now that I’m thinking about it, though, I would imagine that if your daycare suddenly hired a male teacher, there would instantly be a good number of parents pulling their kids out and moving them to another daycare.
I think it’s one of those nearly irrelevant conversations that could cause quite a stir on Facebook, but in reality, I would bet most moms and dads would agree that they wouldn’t feel comfortable with a male worker at their kids’ daycare.
A lot of people would like to believe that gender equality in the work force is always an attainable thing, but the free market tends to decide otherwise. I predict that male daycare workers are bad, or at least a gamble, for most daycare businesses.
I’m sorry, but I’ve been conditioned to distrust men I don’t know around little kids; especially my own. If I wasn’t weirded out by the thought of a male daycare worker, then I would be weird.
P.S. I published a follow-up to this 24 hours later called How I Was Wrong About Male Daycare Workers, which discredits much of what I said here.
Add a Comment
Sunday, October 21st, 2012
In this economy, it’s no secret that you should make yourself more valuable by learning new skills. The idea is to make yourself the go-to person for certain exclusive things.
I translate this same concept to the home life.
As the dad, one of my main exclusive roles is putting our son to sleep for all his naps and bedtimes. Without me, bedtime is not a simple event. It’s a long, drawn-out, nerve-racking experience.
Another thing I’m exclusively good at is transporting our son to and from daycare, being the mediator between his daycare teachers and my wife, and challenging our son both physically and kinetically during playtime.
While my wife and I share many duties, it’s really important to me that I do certain exclusive things.
This Christmas, I am planning on buying a foldable extendable ladder and a drill set. I want to increase my handyman skill set ASAP.
But wait, there’s more…
As the title infers, I also want an iron and an ironing board. Here’s my masculine reason why:
For my day job, where I am basically the Employee Relations Specialist, I assume the role of HR in the office. In other words, it’s very important that I present myself as very professional… above reproach.
I’ve always been the guy to wear ties and jackets to work anyway, even though I’m pretty much the only one who does. But now I feel that’s not good enough, in my own mind.
That’s because my clothes are a little on the wrinkled side.
I could easily convert a few of my “Sloppy Saturday” shirts, like the one I’m wearing in these pictures where I was made into a “Mummy” at my son’s daycare Open House over the weekend, into “Tidy Tuesday” shirts if they were simply ironed.
That’s not to put down by wife in any way. I can vouch for the fact that with all she does for our family, she definitely doesn’t have the time to iron, too.
Regardless, we don’t own an iron and an ironing board.
Even if we did, I want this job. I want ironing to be my thing in our household.
Call me a classic 1950′s American man, but I think men ought to care enough about their appearance not to represent themselves as slobs. There should be no shame in taking extra time to look handsome.
I’m thinking right now of those Men’s Wearhouse commercials: “You’re gonna like the way you look.”
As a non-metrosexual, I want to be like a former military guy who takes pride in his appearance enough to still iron his clothes like he had to when he was in the service.
Yes, I think it will be pretty cool to not only iron my own clothes for work, but to iron my wife’s clothes, and eventually, our son’s.
It’s pretty masculine if you ask me. I’m not turning into a “Mummy.” Instead, I’m manning up… once I get my iron and ironing board, that is.
Add a Comment
Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
Today a fellow coworker announced to our office, “Who wants a new coloring book?”
“I’ll take it,” I instantly replied. Evidently it was a gag gift, having been cleared out from the desk of a recently fired employee.
What made this the ultimate goofy prize is that it was a pony fairy coloring book. For little girls.
But I figured, what’s the difference? I would just hand it to Jack when I picked him up from daycare and he would think I was some hero for getting him a new coloring book for no reason.
It’s not like he would care that the thing featured dozens of girly, winged ponies.
And I was right. But how exactly did he entertain himself with this princess pony coloring book in the back seat of my car?
By ferociously grabbing the pages and ripping them out like a T-Rex to his prey.
Jack does not like fairies.
Similarly, as Sesame Street plays in the background at our house during playtime on the weekends, Jack will stop what he’s doing and say, “Elmo? Elmo!”
That means the “Abby’s Flying Fairy School” segment is on. We have to fast forward to the next part of the episode that features Elmo, or at least a more traditional Muppet.
Again, Jack does not like fairies.
Well, except for that ball he has. On one of their more recent trips here to Nashville, my parents treated Jack to a trip to Target. He found this little dark green ball, about the size of a racquetball. So they bought it for him.
After getting back to our house, they took a closer look at this ball they perceived as a toy for little boys: “Disney Fairies.” Yep, there was Tinkerbell doing her fairy thing.
And speaking of less than masculine toy balls, there’s the fact that last week when Jack and Jill were visiting family up in Pennsylvania, Jill wanted to buy Jack a soccer ball. So she let him pick one out.
Which one did he chose? A pink miniature Nike soccer ball designed for little girls.
Jill swapped it for the red, white, and blue version.
So Jack likes to play with sports balls; even if they’re pink. He doesn’t discriminate. And you may be able to get away with sneaking Tinkerbell on the ball as long as the rest of the ball looks masculine enough.
But fairies in a coloring book or hogging up Sesame Street air time? That’s crossing the line.
For me, it’s interesting to sort of stand back and watch him on his own discern what is too feminine for his liking.
At 20 months old, his instincts are already guiding him as he figures out which toys are for boys, which are for girls, and which can be for both.
But this he knows: Fairies in plain sight are always for girls.
Add a Comment
Monday, July 2nd, 2012
You mean there’s a difference between girls and boys? Who cares.
Best I can remember, girls didn’t get the Cooties until I was in preschool. And by Kindergarten, I stopped caring.
As for Jack, he’s far from the “Cootie awareness stage.” I’m sure he recognizes that boys are different from girls in some subliminal way, but I think it’s mainly because of the different playing styles of the two genders.
Because boys play more rough. Put Jack in a group of girls and he escapes from the crowd, looking for the loudest, most dangerous adventure possible.
This weekend before we dropped off Jack at the nursery at church and were printing off his name tag, I noticed some “Allergy Alert” stickers.
Without thinking about it, I grabbed the pen and wrote ”Girls” on the sticker and slapped it on his shirt.
So clever and witty, I am.
Interestingly, it turned out that there happened to be 10 boys his class and only one girl. The sticker ended up being appropriate, after all.
Something Henry’s dad was telling me about recently is how Henry can tell if a person is a man or woman; no matter their age.
How does a kid know? I’ve never thought about it before.
Sophie’s mom and I have joked about how, by default, Sophie is sort of a tomboy right now at daycare: She’s always right there in the mix of whatever hijinks that Jack and Henry are into.
And this is interesting to me, because Sophie is the girl Jack is around more than any other.
So clearly, Jack hasn’t yet developed any preconceived ideas about girls. Sophie is just as cool as Henry… for now.
Add a Comment