Friday, 30 July 2010

Boy, girl...

At 22 weeks, I've been thinking a lot about whether we'll be welcoming a little boy or a little girl to our family in December.  I've said from the start that I think it's a boy, and I've been hoping for a boy.  I've always pictured myself having a boy first, probably since I always wanted an older brother growing up (instead I ended up with two younger brothers who are just much, much bigger than me).  I wouldn't be upset if we had a girl, but the more I think about it, the more I'm a bit intimidated about having a girl.

I've probably just been reading too much about gender roles and parenting on Offbeat Mama, but it's been making me concerned about if we have a girl, what kind of choices we should make in parenting.

I want my kids to know that it's okay if they want to dress up as a boy or a girl, despite what others might say.  I don't necessarily want to dress a little girl up in pink and frills all the time, nor do I want a little boy to think he has to be masculine and macho.  Puppies and trucks are just as much fun for little girls as they are for little boys, and rainbows and kittens are just fine for little boys.

I've never considered myself a feminist, but I find myself restricted by how gender-defined everything is for babies.  Why does everything have to be in either blue or pink?  And who decided that green and yellow were somehow gender neutral, and only okay for the very beginning until you know what you end up with?  I'm finding myself much more drawn to the gender neutral clothes, the ones in fun oranges with circles or a cool green with rocket ships but find it difficult to find them in larger sizes than 3-6 months.  What happens after then?  You have to either stick to the boys or girls side of the store?

I figure I wear boys clothes most of the times (at least I used to, when I could still fit into little boys T-shirts) and there's nothing wrong with me.  I hope my kids can grow up to learn that you don't have to fit into a box to fit in.

6 comments:

PMAC said...

Great post Ashlie! I swore my girls would be dressed gender neutral and avoid the lace and frills... that didn't happen! First, it's nearly impossible to find girls clothing without pink on it. Purple is the next best thing. As it turns out, Rylan is way more girly than me! She MUST wear high heels (I can count on one hand how many times I've worn high heels since she's been born)and dresses or skirts daily. We fight to get her in a pair of shorts or jean to no avail. I also said I would try to avoid matching my girls too often... that didn't happen either. Rylan insists that Tatum match her! It sounds like she gets whatever she wants, but she really doesn't! Sometimes it's just easier to let her wear her Christmas dress in July than argue. Good luck Ashlie, I can't wait to hear the news!

ashlie said...

Thanks, Paula! I'm hoping that we can just let the kid tell us what kind of person they'll be. If it's a girly girl or a real boy's boy, then that's just fine. I just hope that they can come to conclusions on their own without feeling too much pressure!

JW said...

Great post. I think people get too caught up in gender roles, too. I used to have my hair long, and kids would ask why I have hair like a girl. I would ask them why long hair is for girls, and they'd say, "my mom says so!"

ashlie said...

Exactly, JW! There is so much more I want to teach my kids than what someone says they should be.

Jenn said...

This is so interesting! My friend Christine, who you will hopefully be able to meet this August, has a son who is in love with his pink teddy bear. And secretly—I LOVE that he has chosen a pink bear to be attached to. I feel like it's a three-year old's way of sticking to the man! LOL

Cassie V said...

I think as long as you don't push things on your kids they will decide what they like on their own. Lucy loves to put on "mape-up" and play dressup with Aunt Britt but she also loves playing in the dirt, trains and dinosaurs. Sometimes people will make comments about that sort of thing but you just have to shrug it off. My mom hates it when I call Lucy "Buddy". She says I should be calling her princess or something. Well she is my buddy sot that's what I'm going to call her!!