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Traditional Gender Roles

October 25, 2010

Traditional Gender Roles

Traditional Gender RolesWas it really that bad back when men were men and women were women? We are all told without the feminist movement women would have no rights, but is that really true? When you look back at history, real history not the practice repeat drivel the government teaches our kids in public school, it seems that women had it pretty good for a long time without the push from the woman’s rights movement.

Before everyone freaks out and leaves or posts nasty comments take a minute to think this through. Was your mom home when you got out of school? Are you there for your kids when they arrive home? Compare the national scores, even in standardized testing, back from when it was traditional for moms to stay home and from today. Are we hurting are kids?

How clean is your house? Do you find yourself working extra hours to pay a maid? Or giving the kids extra responsibilities just to get things done? Wouldn’t it be nice to feel like keeping a home and raising the kids was enough?

By no stretch of the imagination am I trying to say women do not belong in the workplace. Being a successful working woman, prior to my diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) that ended my days in the rat race, I truly believe I was an asset to my company and that I worked just as hard if not harder then my male co-wokers to reach my career goals. Women are just as capable as men and should be paid the same as a man for doing the same job.

That said, I have to bring up the fact that things were easier when women were not looked at as equal in the work force. Long gone are the days of successful one income families and the sense of pride for keeping a clean home and baking cookies for the kids when they get home from school. We have come a long way and made being a woman a lot easier then in days gone by, but was it worth all we have lost?

Everybody wants the white picket fence and the grass always looks greener on the other side, but would it really be that bad to reclaim some of the good things we left behind for video games, hectic schedules, and job titles?

Like or hate Obama he had something right. This country is in desperate need for a “Change”, and that change is long over due. We will never go back in time and many people are so overwhelmed by keeping up with the Jones’s today that change seems outside of their reach. I however disagree. I feel that with a few small changes we could make a big change in steering our country in the right direction.

1. Become a one income family. For many this might not be realistic. Today’s American carries so much debt retirement will not be an option until they are over 70 years old. Try working out a budget that would allow one or both parents to work part-time. In today’s world it really doesn’t matter if it is a housemom or a housedad home to help with the homework, all that matters is that someone is there.

2. Tuck your kids in at night. Whether it’s a kiss goodnight, a bedtime story, or a bended knee prayer putting your kids to bed is something that they will treasure as they grow. It allows for children to feel a sense of security knowing their parents love them and are there to protect them while they sleep.

3. Eat dinner at the table. You’ll hear this advice everywhere form diet plans to self help books but the bottom line is it is repeated because it works. A strong family unit starts at the kitchen table. If you don’t have a traditional table, that’s okay too. When my ex and I were starting out we had such a small place there was no room for a table and chairs. We often ate in the living room. The important thing was that during dinner all the days clutter was removed from the coffee table and we ate with real plates and silverware even if all we could afford to eat was a burger from McDonalds. The point was, it was a place and time for dinner that we shared as a family.

4. Go to church on Sunday. This can be harder then you think. Many families today are comprised of mixed religions or Sunday itself is the only time we get off work so getting up early does not seem like an option. I know that not being Christian my faith does not offer a place to worship so Sunday church seemed out of the question. The bottom line is that it does not matter what religion you practice, or the day and time you choose to participate, as long as it is consistent and the whole family participates. You don’t have to be a Christian to go to church and hearing people of any faith speak passionately about their beliefs are never bad for anyone. Just make sure the basic values and morals of the church you choose line up with your own.

5. Have a “family night” at the same time every week. It doesn’t matter if you enjoy watching movies, playing games, or going out to dinner. All that matters is that at least once a week you all gather together as a family and spend time together.

6. Read a book. Turn off the TV an hour or two earlier each night and read. You can read out loud to your kids or just for yourself, but read something with the intention of learning something new. A book is a gateway into another way of thought but magazines and newspapers can be just as stimulating.

7. Vote. Now when I say vote I ean more then just showing up and pulling a handle. Most campaigns to get out the vote just want you to show up, but I want you to do more then that. I want you to really understand who you are voting for and why you want them in office. Teach your kids how important politics are in America by setting a good example. Ask your kids their opinion and talk with them about values and morals.

8. Recognize the housemoms and housedads in your life. If not in your own home then in your neighborhood or child’s school there are brave moms and dads that have sacrificed a career in business to create a career in raising kids and keeping a home. Don’t treat these heroes as people who are uneducated or poor decision makers, many of them have more experience then you would ever believe. Seek them out and support there choices, maybe even start a support group to let them know they are important.

9. Help your kids with their schoolwork. It is a proven fact that children with involved parents do better in school. Keep in close contact with teachers, most have email now-a-days, and review your child’s homework each and every night before they turn it in the next day.

10. Teach what you know. If your grandmother was a great cook but now she is gone wouldn’t you like to have had her recipes? If your father was a master at the stock market but now he has passed wouldn’t you want his tips? You may not have the time to teach a class and the young-in’s might not show much of an interest in their teen years but you have knowledge that is your duty to pass on. Keep a journal and write down your life lessons for future generations.


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