Its interesting to think about how different the dynamics of a large family are in a very religious home vs a non-religious one. Many of the Xtian books I was reading were all about training my daughters to be good little caregivers and house cleaners. My boys have always done plenty of chores too, but mostly outdoors or garbage related as suggested in books like "Created for Work." I realized this summer after we had been living without religion for a bit that this was clearly the wrong way to look at things. Why couldn't Everett bake cookies if he wanted to? I had previously told him this was too girly. Shame on me. Why can't Kayla take the trash out and water the dogs while Wyatt does dishes and Tanner scrubs the toilets? This is cross-gendered training according to several Xtian books. What is really is though, is hogwash! So back to the summer, I decided, the kids had to be rotating through ALL chores whether previously assigned "boy" or "girl." Everything has become gender neutral when it comes to chores in our home. Things like baking and knitting are no longer off limits to the boys if they should choose to try them. Kayla is free to ride dirt bikes and play in the wash for hours catching frogs with her brothers. I never told her she couldn't but I placed imaginary pressure probably to be non supportive of such things.
I am seeing how ridiculous most of the anti-feminism garbage, really is. They claim it ruins the family unit and causes societal problems. I think its quite the opposite. What if I kept Kayla inside all the time helping with household chores and acting as a mother in training? She would grow up burned out and angry and resentful towards me. She would likely not want any of her own children because she would have felt she already raised a brood. Now this is not to say she doesn't have to help out with babies or small kids or clean on occasion, of course she does. It does mean though that the boys help equally with those same responsibilities and I can guarantee you one thing, if they have kids, they will be great, hands-on dads who KNOW how to change a diaper and hold a newborns head up. They will know how to make a bottle and fold laundry. These skills are valuable to all the kids regardless of whether they are boy or girl. They will all grow up well rounded people with many skills and talents, some that never could have developed if they were shoved behind the fundamentalist label of Xtianity.
I'm proud of the way our family is evolving and the funnest part of our lives right now with the kids having started school, is seeing how their unique styles(clothing and personality) are developing. Watching everything evolve rapidly as the kids(and me) get up to speed with mainstream life will be what I will be writing about next time.