That’s what my husband told me yesterday.
Does that sound right to you?
I think I (and possibly other women my age) was brainwashed with the idea that having kids was womanly, and that every woman should avoid it because its oppressive.
Let it sink in. I think he’s right.
Let me put it in context. We were talking yesterday and I was remembering over a year ago at one of my bridal showers, we did the game where my husband had answered a list of questions before the shower and then during the shower I was supposed to publicly guess what his answers were. And there was some sort of punishment involving bubble gum if I answered incorrectly (all I remember was massive amounts of bubble gum in my cheeks!).
One of the questions asked was “How many kids does he want?”
Just to keep it interesting, I answered X. It turns out his answer was X+1.
I found that hilarious and that was the one piece of bubble gum I was happy about eating, like it was some sort of display or how manly my husband was! (I promise his answers to those other questions were wrong!). He said he wanted more kids than I did! Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?
Anyway, I was recalling this event with him (again) and while I could originally think of a few reasons why at first thought I wouldn’t think having kids is “manly” (most obvious being “that’s woman’s work and a man should have nothing to do with it”),I couldn’t put my finger on it right away why having kids would be manly, although it felt right. Here are a few reasons I’ve since come up with:
- Having kids means the wife has to bear kids, enacting her “most womanly essence” (for lack of better words) which during pregnancy/birth is also a vulnerable state. Men must provide a counterpart by supporting and protecting her, and its manly to want to do that!
- Having kids means you’re leaving a legacy. Leaving a legacy is manly? ( I don’t know about this one)
- Having kids (more dependents) brings out the good qualities in a man because it motivates them to work harder at finding/keeping/advancing in their job to provide better.
- Having more kids means having to provide for more kids. Being up to the challenge and responsibility is an impressive characteristic and this type of courage is manly. Being scared and worried about how your family size will work out isn’t.
And I think these are the most profound:
- Looking at our biology as Jenelle posted here, a man’s anatomy literally sets him up to give – external (whereas women are receivers – internal). Giving is part of a man’s nature and embracing that fully (by literally giving life as much as possible for him) could be considered embracing his manliness fully.
- Being open to children, especially a lot of children, means that you’ll have to give out a lot more love, which involves being and acting more Christ-like. Yes, Christ-like is different than manliness, but its included in there so I think it might count.
Ok, so maybe all those reasons were similar. What do you think? I know its mostly women that read this blog, so what do the men in your life think?
*Just want to clarify that I am talking about the idea of being open to having kids/a lot of kids making you manly (as a man) and not necessarily the act of having them. I understand infertility is very real and we cannot control our biology. That’s like saying a woman is more womanly because she’s able to have more children. Not what I’m trying to say.