Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Who's the Man?

I am an extremely lucky woman. I am raising two hilarious, confident, aware and brave boys.

I'd love to take all of the credit for them. But I can't. I can't even take 1/2. Because of course even though their dad is absolutely as responsible for how wonderful they are as I am, we are only part of it. The thing we have probably done best, is pick the village that is around these kids.

They are surrounded by hilarious, confident, aware, brave people. People that inspire them, people that show them how being yourself is one of the best things you can hope to achieve.

And they soak it up ... It's fantastic to watch.

But something occurred to me this week. The vast majority of these amazing people are women.

Now I believe as much as the next woman that strong women role models in a boy's life are absolutely vital. And I can see that with what they are learning from the women in their lives they will become amazing men.

But men they will be, and they also need strong, independent, hilarious, confident, aware, brave men to learn from. And the older they get the more this will be something they need.

Their affinity with women became a topic of conversation when we were talking about Mother's Day. Hamish asked if they should get Andrews partner a Mother's Day present. He said that she wasn't his mum but she was like a 'kinda' mum and he was thinking it would be nice to get her a Mother's Day gift to celebrate who she is in their lives. I of course said if it feels like something he wants to do he should absolutely get her a Mother's Day present.

He then moved on and asked if I was planning on falling in love again. I answered honestly and said that at the moment I was very happy just loving them but yes one day in the future it would be nice to fall in love again.

He then said somethings that made me pause.

'Well mum when you fall in love can you make sure it's with a woman, I think I'd feel funny if it was a man'

Now a few months ago I had a similar conversation with his brother. Hamish wasn't around for it so this is either something they have talked about between themselves, which is doubtful or it's just one hell of a coincidence.

Jacks reasoning was that he likes being the man of the house and he can't imagine having another man in his home with me. Hamish's reasoning was that women are nicer and he likes having more than one mum figure but can't imagine another dad figure.

My reasoning for both of these conversations is that they don't have a heck of a lot of men around them. They have had so many women figures in their lives that are regular and loving but really only one man figure that does the same.

It's a funny thing being a woman raised by strong women and one strong feminist man, trying to figure out how to give these boys who will one day be men the male role models they need. I guess this is where things like Kung Fu, male teachers and friends fathers come in. Maybe instead of always asking my female friends to be the ones that hang out with the kids I should start seeing if some of my male friends want to do some child minding.

I'm sure that even if they were raised 100% by women they will still work out to be amazing men. But I can't help but think that in the same way as I try to make sure they have balance in other aspects of their development, maybe finding some better balance in this would be a great way of giving them a well rounded perception of not only men, but of the kind of men they want to be.

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