Friday, January 22, 2010

Hammer Time.

I think it would be a stretch to describe me as a complete feminist. I believe in a lot of the principles of feminism and I certainly think women are capable of doing anything they want to do. I was however raised in a traditional household where the woman shopped, cooked and cleaned and the man worked. I default to that. Not because I think I should (or am expected to.) It's just habit and convenience - since I am a stay at home mom.

I am very aware that I am raising two girls though. One day they will be young women and I want them to see the world in terms of equal opportunity. With that in mind I have consciously tried to show them that I am capable of anything.
When something is broken I (try) to fix it. I lift and move heavy things. I show them that I understand the basic workings of my car and that I can maintain it. (Yes that is the sound of my husband laughing out loud.)

If I'm not able to do something I give a reason that doesn't involve gender.
"This is a two person job."
When there is a spider - I take it out.
I chase monsters from under the bed with authority.
We have gone away - just us girls.
I thought I was doing a really nice job.

At the infamous swim party a few weeks back, the six year old received a party favor.
It was a geode. Not familiar - neither was I.
The six year old reliably informs me "You smash it and there's a crystal inside!"
"Great!" I say "Let's do it."

We try with our hands but it becomes clear this won't do.
"Let's get a hammer." I say.

"But that's Daddy's job." says the six year old.

I am crushed, indignant, insulted and embarressed all at once.
My daughter thinks I can't handle a hammer.
Where did I go wrong?

What do I need to do around here to show her that I can use tools -
wear a hard hat and overalls?
As you can imagine that geode took the brunt of my indignation.
I showed it who could use a hammer.

Maybe Daddy needs to cook more dinners. Maybe he needs to take them to the supermarket, maybe I need to walk through the house carrying lumber on a regular basis.
Maybe I just need to accept that I am who I am and she will be who she will be.

I can tell you one thing for sure though. The upcoming birthday is going to involve a toolbelt.
It may be pink with flowers but it will have a hammer.


  1. Don't feel bad... I work outside the home and have a similar funny story. The other day a button fell off my daughter's shirt and she very quickly told me, "We'll have to take this to June's (my best SAHM friend) so she can sew it back on!"

    I said, "I CAN sew, you know" to which she replied, "But you work in an OFFICE!"

    Just can't win!!

  2. *L* Ah, kids...they have their very own pre-conceived ideas. Nothin' we can do....except maybe buy them pink hammers... ;O)

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog the other day.

  3. I think any woman who is able to make a choice about her life - whether it's SAHM, WAHM, working outside the home, whatever - can call herself a feminist. By that definition, it's no stretch to call you one - strong, raising her children with intelligence and good values, and allowing them to see your choices so that they can make their own.


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