I feel I was raised in a pretty typical "traditional" family dynamic. Dad worked, but so did mom. Mom cleaned, did laundry, cooked. Though as I got older and Dad was home more he started to cook. Mom knew how to fix little things around the house, Dad knew who to call to get something fixed. We went out to eat where Dad wanted to go, ate what Dad liked and watched whatever he wanted on TV.
I was a hard core feminist in high school and challenged anyone who said I couldn't do something because I was a girl. Arguing with teachers and classmates was my specialty. I also made sure that during recess that I was allowed to play football or soccer with the boys even if I had to "tattle".
I knew that getting married to someone would sort of ruin my image of myself as some independent, traveling, feminist rocker, but Dan was able to make me settle down.
We have been together now for almost 11 years. He knew when he asked me to marry him (I had a huge problem with him asking me and asked him a few times, but it never took) that I wouldn't be into doing all the housework myself or watching just what he wanted on TV. Luckily we have been happily married for almost 7 years and have learned a lot about what we want in a marriage, let alone our relationship.
Dan does the laundry, cleans up in the kitchen and builds/fixes anything we need. I like to cook, clean the rest of the house and paint stuff. In the end our roles are not that ground breaking in the ending of gender stereotypes.
Having a child though does make you reevaluate a lot of things. Specifically what we want our parent styles to look like to our child.
Being a teacher automatically makes me more knowledgeable about children. Having a little sister and constantly babysitting other kids growing up helps me feel comfortable around children. Dan however still feels a little lost thinking about how to discipline or even communicate with a child. However he is great at dealing with teenagers and their sarcastic tendencies (surprise, surprise). I know he will have more patience than I will, especially if I become frustrated or angry. He is just better at keeping his cool.
I like the idea of our boy having a childhood that is full of love and examples of what a healthy person, a healthy relationship, and a healthy family looks like. That is what is most important to us. Making sure we raise a boy who respects women, knows how to cook and do his own laundry is just icing on the cake.
I know we will make mistakes and have problems come up. Being able to step back and ask ourselves, are we raising a contributing member to society will help keep us focused on the final goal of raising a child.
So, this all started as I sit here and watch the Colts/Broncos game while Dan cooks us dinner. I have always liked sports more than Dan. I played on a bunch of teams growing up and had a Dad who was very sports oriented. We knew if it was football season that any and all games were going to be on the TV that day. I sort of laughed at thinking about how different our relationship is compared to my parents and other couples. But I really love our family dynamic and it works for us. Plus, he is turning into a much better cook than me. Proof:
I am not eating enough protein and he heard quinoa had a ton, so he just found the
best recipe on the internet for it! He even looked up plating techniques. This guy!
It was a busy weekend for me, though I left Dan at home since it was his first weekend off in FOR-EV-ER. I headed over to Indy on Friday night and then mom and I went to IKEA on Saturday to get the crib and other furniture for the nursery. We spent the day shopping for the baby and got a ton of stuff. It was a great time! I got home late Saturday night and then headed to church Sunday morning.
Dan and I got to tour the labor and delivery floor with our doula Sunday afternoon. Then we came home and worked some more on the nursery. We got the crib assembled, the bookcase, Dan got the video monitor working and we started unpacking things into the better areas. Very exciting stuff for us!
Dan had fun with the directions from IKEA for the bookshelf:
Dan says "Best instruction manual for a baby I've seen"
We ordered the crib mattress and it is on its way. Now we just need to get the changing table and closet doors painted, hang up some art, order some new lighting and paint a few more things. Then we are READY!
Realized I haven't done one of these in awhile! 32 weeks