Have you ever wondered where the phrases, “Daddy’s little girl” and “Momma’s boy” came from? And isn’t it strange that “Momma’s Boy” sounds derogatory, while “Daddy’s little girl” sounds all sugary sweet. Cripes! Even at that young age, we’re putting gender roles on our kids!
Anyway, regardless of the origin, there does appear to be some truth to them.
Before we had kids, if you’d asked myself or CareerMom what gender of kids we’d like to have and in what quantity, I think we’d have both said, “At least one boy and one girl.” That didn’t happen, and we’re probably done having kids so it’s two boys for us and we’re very happy with that.
I’ve watched my two sons grow and I’ve watched how my wife’s expectations for them has changed from when they were little and it got me wondering about my own expectations for our children and I realized that, when I DID dream of having kids, whenever I really thought about how I would raise my child(ren), I almost always did so with the picture of a little girl in my head.
Stick around, it gets worse.
I can’t speak for what goes on in women’s heads, but for me, and from the actions of many of the guys I know, it seems that a lot us guys dream of raising this beautiful little girl that we’ll fawn affection over and that we’ll hug and love and protect…hmmm, protect. Now that’s interesting. Most of the manly men that I know, myself included, are fiercely possessive AND protective of the women in their life. It’s a natural instinct–possibly even as strong as that “motherly instinct” we all hear so much about. But nobody talks about men’s natural instincts, but they are there. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my boys, but I gotta admit that I don’t feel terribly “protective” over them when they’re going about their daily activities.
– When they wrestle, as long as they aren’t near a sharp corner somewhere, I generally don’t worry about it.
– I encourage them to play in the rain.
– Wanna go fast down the hill on your bike? Eh…have fun.
With my boys, I don’t have any expectations…I just want them to grow up and be happy.
CareerMom on the other hand, has had to make some adjustments. I can’t tell you how many baseball hats she’s bought the boys in the vain hope that they’ll start wearing them. She has this idealistic picture in her head of a boy in a baseball uniform, and so far, it’s been a major disappointment for her.
She wants to see them dressed up in church clothes, sitting quietly for a picture. Hasn’t happened.
She wants them to just sit in her lap and enjoy being cuddled. Uh uh. Nothing doing!
Now, I know she would love to have a little girl that she could dress up and put little pigtails in her hair, but those dice weren’t rolled for us, so I don’t know what her expectations would have been; although, from my experience, most little girls these days aren’t terribly tolerant of all that attention either.
I just find it interesting how, at least in my experience, each gender seems to have greater expectations for children of the opposite sex. Maybe it’s just an experiential thing, or maybe it’s a natural desire to mold a young person into one’s own ideal of perfection (oooh, now that could be hitting very close to the truth).
Something to think about and maybe share your own thoughts…