This last weekend was P-R-O-D-U-C-T-I-V-E. Whoa. My folks were in town and we all went full-throttle on some home repairs/upgrades that required the expertise of my dad's handyman skills. My husband, Josh, and my dad truly went above and beyond. They put up bead board, assembled a dresser, built an entire playground in our backyard, fixed a mower, and the list goes on. If there had been a camera crew here, it would have been "Home Makeover: Pardy Edition" no doubt.
When Josh had to go back to work, I took over a couple chores with my dad to finish up some of the smaller tasks. We hung doors to our laundry area, installed a dimmer light, and hung curtains. But, when my dad stepped outside to look at the mower, I decided to tackle some simple shelving for myself!
In the spirit of March being Women's History Month, here is my feeble attempt at addressing feminine empowerment. We live in a privileged age: amazing women before me have gone to great lengths to provide paths for voting, education, and work equality that I take for granted daily. I don't necessarily consider myself a feminist, but I certainly consider myself privileged to be a woman. (Roar.)
As a married gal (going on 8 years, woot woot!) I conveniently defer difficult, "icky", or muscle-requiring tasks to my husband. While our marriage is rather egalitarian, it's practical and easy for us to slip into traditional gender roles when it comes to chores. He takes out the trash, I do the cooking, that sort of thing. No bigs, whatevs, it works for us. *shrug*
But, this weekend I was reminded at just how long it had been since I had picked up a drill and hung my own darn shelves. A LONG TIME.
I love that I have a husband who will hang shelves for me. I love that I can count on him to care for me through acts of service that help make our house a home. But, I also love the fact that way back when, my daddy taught me how to use a drill, hammer a nail, and learn the difference between bits and pliers and nuts and bolts. So...this weekend I hung some silly shelves all by myself and high-fived my feminine self. (Yes, drilled, anchored, screws and all - and perfectly level and centered. This might not impress you, but I am proud, so let me have my moment!)
The thought occurred to me that as I am raising two girls, they should see their mother hang some shelves now and then. It's awesome and important for them to know that they can depend on their daddy and to see his skills at work; but, if I always defer to him in my need, how would they ever even learn the fact that I could, indeed, hang the shelves if I wanted to?
I want my girls to grow up with several skills in their toolbox for life. I want them to witness and learn many things that they decide to develop for themselves. I want them to understand that skills like empathy, compassion, and forgiveness are vital to relationships. I want them to feel worthy, valued, and understood when it comes to being well-rounded humans. And, I want them to know that they can learn any skill they like, and the fact that they want to learn is far more important than how good at the skill they actually are.
Ladies - maybe you are the "handywoman" of your home and your children get to witness those kinds of skills daily. Or, maybe you are like me and there are some foreign areas of your life and skill-set you haven't visited in a while because you got stuck in a rut! Regardless, I hope that this little reminder serves as an example of how important it can be to step outside our comfort zone and show our girls that we weren't always people who waited for someone else to take out the trash. And, let it be a reminder to us that it's okay to let our hubbies off the hook now and then and step up to the plate.
We've come a long way, gals. Let's continue to make steps (even tiny, baby steps within our home!) that help raise up another generation of strong girls who will care well for themselves and others. One of the greatest things we can give our girls in their tool box for life begins with empowerment at home.