It all started as an innocent conversation between mother and son.
“Why do you have boobies, mommy?”
(Okay, maybe it wasn’t so innocent. And maybe, I had no idea how to answer his question.)
“Er…” I replied. Feeding and nourishing babies? A sexual organ? To fill out a tank top?
“I know why!” he interrupted. “It’s so you can look pretty!”
My son was just three years old at the time. And at his tender, sweet, pre-school age – he had already started to objectify women; making breasts an essential part of a woman’s attractiveness.
Okay, I’m being a little tough on him; especially taking into consideration his age, innocence and lack of exposure to music videos. But it got me thinking just the same about the types of attitudes my boys will eventually have towards women. Will they see us as strong, smart and savvy? Will they respect women and accept women for all our faults and fabulousness?
There are many responsibilities I have as a mom of two boys, but there is none I take more seriously than instilling a healthy attitude and reverence for women. My boys can be:
Tweens that understand girls may be smarter, neater, faster or stronger – and that’s okay. In fact, it’s awesome.
Teenagers that respect a girl for their kindness, vibrant personality and spirit – not the length of their skirts.
Young men who realize that external beauty is temporary and fickle; it’s a woman’s inner beauty that is steadfast and needs to be worshiped.
Men who seek out before all, an equal; someone who will complement and champion them in every aspect of their lives.
Fathers that will teach their children the value of hard work, the courage to chase dreams and the power that comes from loving yourself.
That is what my boys can be. But to expect them to get there without a little (or a lot) of help from me is unreasonable. I can be:
A mom who leads by example. A woman who is rational, acts with purpose and intent, and loves fiercely.
A capable parent who does not conform to traditional “mommy” roles. I can paint the nursery, caulk the door frame and change a pot light.
A woman who understands that frolicking around in a bikini with your MUCH younger boyfriend, in front of your children, should (and will) be frowned upon.
A mother who takes time to do things for herself; who recognizes that passions, abilities and interests did not end when I had children.
A parent who understands that befriending your children is optional; parenting is the first priority.
Yes, I have boobies – and they do make me pretty. But I’ve also got a good head on my shoulders and two wonderful little boys with limitless potential. Together, we can be.