On Facebook, the following post has been making the rounds:
My house is not as clean nor organized as I would like, the laundry basket(s) are seldom empty, I’m not always well-dressed, and my hair often looks like I flew in on a Harley with no helmet. I can’t promise that I never swear, am quite sure that I’m awkward in some situations, and run short on patience on occasion. Sometimes I scowl, and not all of my words are kind. That grouping is not what I aspire to, but it is what it is.
Yet, I’m quite certain I’m not a man. I’ve given birth without drugs, and gotten out of bed the next morning to care for an infant and three children ages six and under. I can pick things from my backyard garden and make supper of it, with all the nutritional value needed for my family. Three of those four children — all girls, by the way — are in college or graduate school. All are mastering fields traditionally not thought of as women’s work: math, physics, and materials science engineering.
And they can all cook, to varying degrees. Alpha can sew, and Beta is learning. Delta can take apart just about any electronic gadget, re-solder the loose connections, and put it back together in working order. Gamma is very gifted with young children, especially teaching them to swim. I bet none have empty laundry baskets, but they manage to wear clean clothes every day.
Yet, any one of us can comfort a child, or an animal in need. Any one of us can prepare nourishment — for one, or many.
A “real” woman? That would be one who puts her family first, whether that means excelling in the domestic arts or bringing home the check that pays the mortgage. I guess the same would be true for a “real” man — one who puts family first, whether that is in the role of provider or caregiver. Or some combination of both, as is more common today.
Come to think of it, I have some more caregiving duties to attend before the sun rises tomorrow. Take care, and be real — whatever that is.