I don't like feeling sorry for myself. Except when I'm feeling sorry for myself and then I'm pretty much okay with it. But I need to stop writing posts only while I'm feeling that way, cuz they're just depressing. So here's a post on a completely different topic.
So, I love that TV show about the Dug.gars. You know the one. (*cough* 19 K.ids and C.ounting *cough*) I understand that there may be some controversy over the fact that they have so many children. But I say they've got a good thing going and they know it. So good for them.
And I love Michelle. If/when I am ever a mom, I would hope that I can be just like her (except with a tad bit more personality, I mean, does she have any interests outside of her family and God?). She never yells at her kids. Ever. She gently asks them to do the right thing, or she takes them aside and talks quietly with them about their behavior. She follows the "praise in public, criticize in private" motto. Love. Her.
Okay, so why am I writing about the Dug.gars? Well, I was watching a show yesterday in the midst of feeling sorry for myself (you'd think this show would be depressing to me, what with all that fertility running around, but it actually makes me smile), and something in particular irked me. Now this is not to be a criticism of the Dug.gars specifically (like I said, I love those guys), but of our gender-roled society (I know, finally, the post you've been waiting for!).
What happened on the show was that Jim Bob decided to go on a father/son canoe trip with a few of his sons. They showed an interview with him where he was talking about how important it is to spend time with your children and how important his sons are to him, and then they showed the canoe trip: camping, setting up tents, finding spiders under rocks, canoeing down the river. And all I could think was that if I was a Dug.gar girl, I would have been so insanely jealous.
This episode reminded me of the time, when I was about 7, that my dad and brother, along with his boy scout troop, went to a baseball game. And I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to go with them to this baseball game. And I asked to go. I BEGGED to go. And I was told that it was only for boys. And I was so sad. And you know what? To this day I have never been to a baseball game with my dad.
On another episode of the show that I watched yesterday (okay, yes, I watched more than one episode, maybe even more than two...), Michelle talked about how the little girls liked to play with dolls and the little boys liked to play with trucks. And then she mentioned that little Johanna also liked to play with trucks. Now, I don't think the Dug.gars, although they are a conservative family, force their boys and girls into gender roles on purpose. And I don't think that they would, for example, take away Johanna's trucks just because she's a girl. But I bet that if Johanna were old enough to want to go on that canoe trip, and if she had asked to go, she would have been told that it was for boys only. And then what would she have done? Wait for the mother/daughter canoe trip? And would it have really spoiled the father/son bonding if a daughter who had an interest in canoeing had come along?
I suppose I continue to harbor resentment over being denied that baseball game (okay, yes, it's true!). But when I was a kid I was so often jealous of what the boys got to do.
So, to all of you mothers and mothers-someday out there, don't gender segregate your children: let your children participate in the activities they want to participate in regardless of their gender!
(Oh, and I've been canoeing with my dad a bunch, so I guess it's not like I was denied everything!)
Did any of you ladies out there feel left out of activities because of your gender?
Or does anyone disagree with me and think that boys and girls should participate in separate activities? (Or think that that Dug.gars have way too many kids?)
The Days Are Long but the Years Are Short
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