Wednesday, February 20, 2008

She's so cute or Mommy's got a new job?

It's not often that Oscar gets mistaken for a girl, but it does happen, usually when he's in fairly gender neutral clothes. I don't mind - I usually don't even bother to correct people. But normally, Oscar is in very "boy" clothing so there is little chance of mistaking his sex.

When he was first born, a few people asked me if I planned to dress Oscar in all gender neutral clothing. I decided not to for a few reasons. One is that as any new parent can tell you, well meaning friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers love buying baby clothes. In fact, we've gotten so many gifts and hand-me-downs that we haven't had to buy much for our little guy. And most people do not buy gender neutral clothes for a baby they know to be a boy or a girl.

Secondly, I like little boy clothes. I just do. I love puppies and bugs and cowboys and pirates and cars and trucks and dinosaurs and I even like the little sports clothes. I don't really worry that Oscar wearing boy clothes will make him feel pressured to conform to a certain gender identity, particularly at this age. And even when he's older I don't think the fact that I put him in jeans as opposed to skirts teaches him about gender roles. I think kids learn about gender roles from their families and from TV much more than by wearing navy as opposed to magenta.
As such, I worry a bit about what Oscar will think about gender roles based on the fact that his father works outside the home and his mother is a homemaker. Nelson dose help out around the house, but I am the one who does the majority of the cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc. I'm sure because I'm hyper aware of this issue we will make sure Oscar knows that there is not "men's work" and "women's work," that some Mommies stay home and some go out to work and that some Daddies stay home too.
I brought this up to Nelson a few weeks ago and he said, "But you'll be going back to work eventually. Right?" And to tell you the truth, I hadn't even thought about it. We never really discussed how long I'll be home. We've certainly discussed that my being home for now makes sense because I really want to be and because we plan on having more children fairly soon. But, Nelson's comment made me realize that he sees my being at home as temporary, until our kids are back in school, and I've never even thought about it.
I had figured on having another baby in a year or two and one or two more once Oscar is five or six. So, if we end up having four kids, that'd put my last one being about eight years younger than Oscar (I'll be in my late 30s, so we'd be pushing it.) By the time our youngest started school full time, I'd be in my mid to late 40s! Not that that is at all old, but it seems pretty crazy to think that's how old I'd be when I re-enter the workforce. Then again, who's to say that in a few years I won't be itching to get a job out of the house?
There are still a lot of years between now and when I return to work, so we certainly don't have to figure out what me working outside the home looks like right now. I'll probably only work part-time but I can't even imagine what I'll be doing. Right now, I just feel so lucky to be able to spend time at home with my little guy, and with Susanica's little guy and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it.

No comments: