Let’s hear it for the boys.

I’d love for this blog to become a real place of discussion.  A meeting place of opinions.  A modern-day senate of sorts.  And I’ve invited discussion already on all sorts of matters.

Today – instead of giving you a few things for you to think about, I’m merely going to state an opinion.  So take it – or leave it.  Agree or disagree.  But I need to say this.

I think its time that we as a generation of parents started sticking up for the many men in our lives who are doing an outstanding job at parenting, and who are being involved and hands on in their families lives.  I see far too much male bashing.  And I think that it is time for it to stop.

This morning I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and someone had shared a funny post about ’24 Reasons Husbands can’t be trusted to do anything right’  I’ve linked to the collection of photos and captions, but don’t take that as a sign I condone it.  Sure, its funny and I did giggle at a few of them – and I like a good laugh with the best of them, but there were also a few more crude words and stuff I’m not in favour of using….Anyway.  The post got me thinking that this kinda thing happens too much.  We, (women), find it far too easy to poke fun of men and the things they do – things that are sometimes easier for us as women to put our hand to.  And I think its time we stopped.  And time we recognised all the good that our menfolk do.  And be grateful for how times have changed. I, for one, am so very grateful to walk this parenting gig with someone as committed to it and as hands on as I am.

For a number of families, men are the primary breadwinners in the home.  By the very nature of this men very often see the ‘leftovers’ in their children.  They may see their little cherubs when they first get up in the morning, and then when they walk in the door, at the end of the very day……very often….they are walking into ‘arsenic hour’…….homework, dinner, evening activities, bedtime routine etc, with tired and scratchy kids and tired and scratchy women……

Men very often are on the receiving end of the worst in behaviour, attitudes and tolerance levels from their kids.  That’s rough!

Now I know I am generalizing big time here baby – big time – let me assure you I am not stuck in some time warp from the 60s……I know this isn’t the case for every family…..but for a lot – this is what they face.

Here in Brisbane there are an incredible amount of workers who fly in and fly out-of-town for their work in mines.  FIFO it’s called.  And yeah, again I know this is the case for men AND women…..I imagine this changes the way families operate.  The parent who is at home with the kids has to maintain routine and order for days at a time, and then when the partner is back in town…well…..more adjustments have to be made.  It can’t be easy.

There’s a phrase ‘all is grace’.  I think that’s most apt for what I’m talking about here, something that can help all of us with how we treat our men.

Juggling roles with the whole FIFO business?  All is grace.

Husband walking into the ‘danger zone’ and not quite helping little Johnny with his homework the way you would?  All is grace.

Going away for the weekend with some friends and leaving your man and kids to their own devices?  Doesn’t matter if you don’t come home to a sparkling clean and tidy house, as long as no-one has killed anyone, all is grace.

Man in your life dresses your kid funny?  Maybe not the best time to grab photographic evidence and Instagram it……maybe just thank the man for the extra ten minutes you had in the shower and remember…..all is grace.

Instead of pointing out that the Mr has done x, y and z wrong, how about thanking them for the one thing they did right.  All is grace.

There are a whole lotta men, doing a heck of a lot of good for their families:  working hard both inside the home and outside the home.  And I don’t think a new tie and a box of choccies on Father’s Day cuts it. I think a new attitude of gratitude would revolutionize a lot of families and a lot of marriages.  The whole ’24 reasons that husbands can’t be trusted to do anything right’, kinda article, while it may produce a few smiles and giggles, it does so at what cost?  People in general don’t keep trying things when their attempts are ridiculed.

Instead of put downs and pointing the finger, even in jest, what would it look like if we started to really love and respect men, and said ‘Thank you’? Thank you men for being intentional.  Thank you men for working so very hard.  Thank you men for being hands on.

I write from the perspective of being in a traditional marriage – but have many friends who are not in the same position.  This whole thought I have that we need to respect men more applies to all.  Even if you’re not in a traditional marriage, I’m sure there are men in your life who are doing their darndest to be positive influences, who really care about you and your children.  Thank them for what they do.

While we may well smile and laugh at photos of silly things that men do, I’d rather smile and cheer on when I see photos of men really walking the walk and talking the talk.  My husband sleeping on the sofa, after being kicked out of our bed by a sick preschooler.  The Dad I saw at the hospital the other night, watching hours of Disney Princess movies when his four-year old daughter was not going to be sleeping a wink that night.  Our neighbour, so besotted with his newborn daughter that he can’t bear to put her down.

There are heroes of fatherhood all around us.  How about we celebrate them and thank them for all they do, instead of focusing on the ridiculous.

Let’s hear it for the boys!

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Social media and show ponies?

If you’re a parent, then at some point along your social media path I bet there’s been some cutesy pic of an offspring doing something embarrassing, published by you.

I know I have clicked ‘share’ on numerous pictures of my little ones, or made a funny status relaying to my friends and family something funny that a child of mine has done.

And while some of this is entertaining and some of this is all good, clean fun – I’m all for fun and not taking life too seriously, and seeing the humorous side in as much of life as I can…..at some point there’s a danger that some of these social media things we share can actually be really embarrassing for our kids, and also, there’s the risk of turning our kids into ‘show ponies’.  Kids known for their antics .

I’m not into that.

So where can we draw the line?  How can we intentionally engage in all the good that social media can offer us, without our kids receiving the rough end of the deal?

Food for thought huh?

When I started this blog I promised my eleven year old I wouldn’t embarrass him.  He’s at the age when he’s interested in what I write and what I share on social media, so I need to respect that and try to be a good example of social media use, as soon he’ll be old enough to sign up for these things too.

So what are some reasonable ‘rules’ you have in your family?

I know some parents who will only post pictures of their kids with their kids’ permission. Is that something we should all be doing?  From what age do we ask permission?

How about funny stories?  When is it ok to share a funny kid story – and when is it not?

Let’s get talking about these things…I think they are important…….please share your thoughts and ideas here on this post…..