Why We Need To Stop Separating Boys and Girls

Two amazing parents I follow on social media have recently shared their child’s struggles with finding a place in varying daily childhood activities. Personally, I have been struggling with the same concepts as I prepare for my twins to enter kindergarten this fall.

Again and again I see children split into two categories, whether in school, for activity groups, sports, you name it. These categories, more often than not, are “boys” and “girls”. If we stop to think, what are we telling young children?  Separating boys and girls at such a young age is the equivalent of screaming at them “you are different and should be treated that way!”  When I think about this I think about my own son Michael.

While Michael does identify as a boy he relates more to girls and enjoys more “girl” activities.  Telling a gender creative child  like Michael that he must be with the boys is like a giant slap in the face; telling him he shouldn’t like to hang out with the girls and it’s not ok that he relates more to the opposite sex.  The issue is further compounded by having to be around boys that he may not relate well to and who very well may be teasing him.

Gender Split

Splitting children into boy groups and girl groups are not setting our children up for effectively co-existing with the other sex later in life.  Society is incredibly diverse, most women work at some point in her life, even if choosing to stay home at one point to raise babies (same goes for dads too!).

In competitive settings such as sports or spelling bees, separating girls and boys implies that only one gender can be better than the other.  Keeping teams or groups mixed implies to children they must work together for better productivity and cohesiveness both in the workplace and at home.

To obtain a culture that eliminates gender biases and inequality then we must start teaching children at a young age to coexist.  We can not set an example that it’s boys vs girls by always dividing them.

If it’s necessary to split children up into smaller groups just get creative!  Who likes ice cream and who likes cake? Who likes to color who likes to paint?  There are many ways to segregate that isn’t based on gender, race, religion, etc.  In the end our children will learn to be more inclusive and work together in life leading to a society that promotes equality between genders.

 

I Got a Tattoo.

You’re like, “yeah, and?” I know I know. And like many of you I have two already. So it’s no biggie.

But really, it is. At least for me. I have a list of tattoos I want. Nothing big. Just some small meaningful ones. I have been wanting them for years. Years.

That’s why it’s a big thing. I did something completely for me without giving a care or thought to what anyone else thinks. That’s a huge thing to do. Admit it. Is there something you want to do so badly but buried deep in side the only reason you haven’t done it is because of a fear of what people might think?

I’m not even sure of what I was worried they would think.  Personally I could care less what people do to their own bodies so why was I so concerned with what others might think about what I did to mine?  It became one of those things that holds you back from getting what you want in life.  Whatever small it may be if you’re holding back due to a fear of what others might think you are jeopardizing your happiness.

I always consider myself my own person but there are still things that I must overcome when it comes to caring what others think.  So step by step I am.  Let me tell ya, it’s freeing, you should try it.

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Are you prioritizing YOU?

Women are busy.  Throw a kid or two in the mix and you have the perfect recipe for a personal tornado.  But are we doing ourselves any justice?  Are we mindful that we come first?

When I became a twin mom to two premature babies my self-prioritization went out the window.  I firmly believed that those two nuggets were the only thing I needed to focus on.  And honestly, between doctor’s appointments, pumping, moving, work, and on and on I didn’t really have much free time.  Or so I thought.

None of us truly have extra time.  I mean really?  We are busy.  Life in this century is busy and dramatically different from life 50 years ago.  Everything is constantly moving at a crazy fast pace.  However, we need to learn to prioritize.  One of my favorite quotes is from Christy Wright, “We don’t have a time problem, we have a priority problem!”  Amen sister.  Think about it, if we actually WANT to do something we are pretty good at finding the time to do it.  Take working out or going to the gym.  Not many of us WANT to do that.  It easily becomes one of those things that we simply cannot find the time for.  If we turn our mind set around and make getting that gym session in a priority we will find the time.  Make it a have-to.  Schedule it in.  Write it in your planner or on your Google calendar.  If you start the day saying “I’m going to try to get to the gym” then you won’t.  If you say “I’m going to the gym at 4:00 pm today” then you will.

I’m willing to bet most of you have heard the saying “happy wife happy life”.  Well it’s true.  If mom ain’t happy then nobody is!  But it goes a lot deeper than kids behaving and your hubby bringing home flowers.  YOU need to figure out and do what makes YOU happy.  Is it a weekly meet up with your girlfriends for coffee?  A bi-weekly  mani-pedi?  Daily gym session?  A quiet 30 minutes a day to read or do a daily devotional?  Perhaps (and most likely) it’s a combination of things.

I found that I had lost myself very easily after the twins came.  Adjusting to motherhood and where that fell in the rest of my life was rough.  As it is for most women I assume.  Then I realized I was just not taking care of myself.  When they were about 1 1/2 it hit me and I realized I needed to refocus and get back on track with a life that made me feel great, not just good.

Two things for me are working out and reading with some girlfriend time a couple times a month.  If I don’t read daily it throws me off.  I always read before bed, for around 30 minutes.  All this involves is me going to bed a little earlier.  It also helps clear my mind and gets me away from electronics for a while before I shut down for the night.  I also take my book to the boys lessons and such so I can sit and read while I wait for them.  As for working out I would love to do so seven days a week but it’s honestly more like five due to the family schedule.  I’m still good with that though!  Life is a give and take.  And I refuse to wake up earlier than I do to work out!  I’ve gone through bouts where I can’t work out regularly and boy do I know it!  I don’t sleep as well, I’m more irritable, and just don’t feel like me.  It’s amazing what a few days a week of mindful exercise can do.  It’s important to find what you love too.  I hate running.  I mean hate.  But I know a lot of people who love it so that’s their thing.  For me it’s Pure Barre, some Beachbody home workouts, weekly dance class, and occasional gym cardio sessions.  Find what works for you.  I can’t stress that enough.

So, what do you love?  What brings you peace?  What allows you to recharge and be the best you?  It can be anything!  But do something.  I promise, you will be a better wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, employee, boss, whatever roll it is you fill (and I’m sure it’s many) you will be better at it.  Stop losing yourself in your busy. In your kids. In your career.  Once you find yourself and focus on yourself you will find that you like yourself more and you are much better at wearing all those hats.