Welcome to “World Tour” where we feature a guest post from around the world, here, at World Moms Blog. Today, we’re in the USA and talking gender roles with father, Scott, from the blog, Three Five Zero.
There was a time in America when the color of your skin determined which schools you could go to, where you sat on a city bus and what careers you could choose, among many other things. That time long ago passed.
There was a time in America when your gender determined whether or not you could vote, among other things. That time long ago passed.
There is still a large part of our population that believes that only certain genders of parents can do certain things, and that some genders can’t do some things at all. Only Dads can be little league coaches. Only Moms can go bra and panty shopping. Dads can’t soothe babies. Moms can’t do their own home improvements. I really want this time to pass.
I happen to be a single dad, and because I am a single dad, I learned to do things I never imagined I would need to do. Bras and panties, for example. I’m an expert, and I don’t really care who dislikes my presence in those departments in the clothing stores. My kid needs them.
I used to be very self conscious in those situations. Not anymore… I go get what I need, and I don’t even pay attention to who else is there, or whether or not they notice me. Just like picking up a gallon of milk.
I know lots of single moms, too. Want to meet guys? Go to your favorite home improvement store. Men are likely to offer you help whether you need it or not. I’m happy to help anyone who asks for help. I won’t offer help based on any assumptions about what tasks your gender makes you capable, or incapable, of. I’ll assume you know what milk you’re buying, too, whether you’re male or female. If you don’t ask for my help, I’ll assume you’re able to paint your kid’s bedroom all by yourself.
This list of examples could go on and on and on. In fact, I hope you’ll leave comments regarding your (least?) favorite story about something another parent assumed you couldn’t do just because you were Mom or Dad. I’ll chuckle along with you, and if the story is topped with enough sexism, I’ll get just as annoyed as you were when it happened.
When my kids are grown, I hope that all of these archaic stereotypes have long passed. I hope that they raise kids in a family unit of some sort, but if either of them ends up raising kids on their own, Grandpa Scott will be there to hack away at those gender biases and stereotypes, along with any that might still exist about what grandparents can or can’t do!
Family comes in all shapes and sizes. Do kids need both male and female influences? I absolutely believe they do. If you’re a good parent, you’ll make good choices about who those influences will be, and it will all work out just fine in the end. It doesn’t matter whether you’re Dad or Mom. Good parents do whatever their kids need them to. Period.
Help me out? The next time you see a single mom or a single dad, look at them differently. Think about any assumptions you had about him or her the moment you saw them. Then erase those assumptions from your thought process forever. Look at him or her as a parent, and only a parent, and assume he or she is a very good one unless you know otherwise.
Do you have a favorite story about something another parent assumed you couldn’t do just because you were Mom or Dad?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog. Scott is a single dad. He didn’t plan it that way, but he did rise to the occasion. You can find Scott blogging at www.ThreeFiveZero.com
Photo credit to the author.
Hey Scott, good to see you here!
The only story I have to share is that it’s me that does all the rough and tumble play with our boys. They know that I can pin them down and they now I can throw them on to the ground. Like you, it’s not something I really chose to do but I’m pleased I can and have.
I’m guessing soon those boys of mine are going to be too big to toss around, so I’m making the most of this time. Short years…
Karyn! Isn’t it amazing how small the Internet makes the world? Ezra will be a teenager in only a few weeks and I’ve had to learn to deal with the fact that he’s faster and more coordinated than I am, leaving my only rough and tumble advantage in my size and ability to take a punch! These are the things we’ll be glad we took the time to do once that time is up…
Great post, Scott! I hike with my 2 sons often, and I inevitably run across someone (usually an older male) on the trail who is concerned over my presence. They ask me if I have been here before and give me specifics on trail conditions. I take their advice in the positive spirit in which it is offered, even though I researched trail reports ahead of time, packed the 10 essentials, and have a network of folks who will be ready to call the ranger should I not report back at a certain time.
I wish you luck in the bra and panty department!
Hi Tara you make a really great point… it is probably often well-intended help that’s being offered. Now and then, we have a Mom (or Grandma) offer us help when we’re clothing shopping. I’m always polite and even learn a thing or two occasionally. However, I have yet to have a lady approach and offer help in the women’s underwear department! My little girl isn’t so little anymore and we shop in the women’s section more often than the girl’s nowadays!
Great post!! When it comes to my children, I can and will do anything they need me too. I think you are the perfect example of how parenting sees no gender divide. If you can shop for bras then I certainly can play ice hockey!! THANKS for sharing!!
If you learn to play ice hockey, you’ll be way ahead of me!!!
I love your stories of stepping out of your comfort zone to get the job done, Scott. Fantastic post and thank you for lending your perspective to World Moms Blog!
It’s my honor to be here today! In some ways, being outside of my comfort zone is where I’m most comfortable these days… if that makes any sense?
I taught my daughter to ride her bike without training wheels. This is something I assumed my husband would teach her in addition to how to swing a bat. Turns out b/c biking is his passion, he had not patience to teach her. I often remind her that I am the one who taught her so that this story in her life never changes 🙂
Excellent! Nothing should be off limits or reserved for either parent!
Lol. I offer help to everyone male and female and everywhere. If someone looks like they a confused I ask if they need help. That’s just me.
And I am a master driller and handy woman. The drains would be so stuffed if not for me.
On the other hand, I really hate the bra shopping lol.
You might enjoy something I wrote a while back: http://12most.com/2012/07/25/skills-mothers-teach-sons/
We would make a great team- I’ll do the bra shopping if you do the drains!
lol. I’m game. I put together furniture too.
I really enjoyed reading your post Scott!
I remember as a young girl, a good friend’s dad would do all the food shopping in their house – including buying the sanitary products the women (wife and two daughters) in his home needed on a monthy basis. That just blew my mind because that is not what I had grown up knowing – the idea of a dad doing the food shopping (never mind buying pads or tampons) seemed completely foreign!
Sometimes it just takes one person to help you start seeing things from another perspective! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks Eva! There are lots of things that my kids see very differently than other kids just because they’ve never known any other way. Things like play dates and PTA functions… My kids have grown up seeing Dad in those roles just like kids of single moms have always seen their Mom in traditional Dad roles. I hope that all of those barriers continue to blur as the next generation takes the reins…