Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thoughts on Raising A Baby Asher and Growing Him Into a Self-Compassionate Adult

Ever since I found out I was having a boy, I have been pondering how a little boy is going to emerge from this family: A family that does fit into the societal gender roles of our time (which is what I LOVE about the dynamic of our family.).   Luke and I both do what we love.  I work as Teacher of the Visually Impaired/Assistive Technology Specialist/Photographer and Luke makes organic pastries at the neighborhood coffeehouse down the street at Foundation Grounds and does a variety of culinary things at the local store that sells European Olive Oils at Vom Fass.

Luke stays home with our little girl a few days a week and is the most domestic male I ever met (which is a real gift because I absolutely hate housework).  I work 5 days a week (sometimes from home) and take on technology contracts for the state of Missouri for a few months here and there and show my photography in local art shows from time to time which brings in a little extra profit when I sell some work. 
As a family, we value creativity, faith, humor, hardwork, honesty, self-compassion, and above all else our community and friends.  I know that Luke and I have created our little bubble of positivity amongst the people we surround ourselves and children (I am getting used to the plural of that word) with  We surround our kids around people that view life has an open book, accessible to love and nurturing because they value humanity.  I love this bubble.  I NEED THIS BUBBLE.  However, I know that we live in a world that is cruel.  I know Shyla and Asher will both, unfortunately, experience this cruely with different pressures thanks to their genders.  Shyla will be told by a cruel society that she is only loved if she is "small, sweet, and quiet" and Asher will be told that he is desired only when he shows "Fearlessness In the Face of Weakness" know manliness, warlike mentalities.  That is hard to swallow for both challenges, male and female.  Luckily for Shyla and Asher, Luke and I have both faced those same challenges that each of our children will face and live as wholehearted people that love life and our gifts in genderless defining roles.  We do what we are passionate about and what we love.

As I read Daring Greatly, Brene reminds me of the same thoughts I had in my head the second the sonographer told me that she saw a scrotum.  The first thing I thought was: how am I going to teach my son that it is ok to be afraid, vulnerable, fearful, and (god forbid), human in a world that tells men that you need to be an emotionless machine......And then I look at my kid's daddy......

.........................................and I realize that Asher is going to be balanced by the world's disillusioned pressure for "Emotionless Machine" by having a father that fully embraces his vulnerability and gives "gender roles" a slap in the face by saying "Hell Yeah, I am going to bake some cookies. Man baking!!!"  Asher is going to be home with Luke and Shyla two or three days a week.  I feel lucky that my kids are exposed to a father who believes in humanity, love, compassion, and vulnerability during their week.  I have no doubt in my mind my children will be well rounded people.  What they do with all this flair is going to be the real fun party of parenting with vulnerability and self-compassion.

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