I was raised to be strong. I did push ups as punishment, I played many sports and spent many summers on gymnastic and jump rope teams. I was also raised to have a strong need to help others. Although being socially responsible and kind has its advantages (ie: people like you and think you are funny) it also comes with great downfalls. I experience some of those in my work and play today.
I am a female. I am a female who works in a male dominated environment. I constantly have to stick up for myself because people just assume I am weak and know nothing about rules of let's say, baseball, where big strong boys throw a circle thing. (Mind you, I hate football rules, I choose NOT to learn those...therefore, the football season is my weakness and big strong boys do ignore me. I have come to terms with it.) I surprise people when I can lift bleachers, carry 5 boxes at once, and can throw two bags of recycling up into the container. Hippy? Yes. Silly little girl? No. Its nice to make people realize that.
Anyway, back to how this affects my farm life (because that is what this blog is about). Now that Tyler and I are turning our lives into gardening, farming, and cleaning, there are definite gender roles. When I was little, I would help chop the wood, pick rocks, shovel manure, start the fire, etc. And...I HATED it. Now I am wondering why I hated it. Did I hate it because I was forced to do it or because I am a girl and boys are "supposed" to do those things and like it? My dad just didn't happen to have any boys so Claire and I were forced to fulfill that void. Maybe THAT is why Claire had a bowl hair cut and went naked from the waist up FOR YEARS. Anyway, to continue, having to do those chores in the past has left me feeling I need to do them and I need to help others when they are doing them. Because of this, I feel torn ALL THE TIME!
Right now, my life consists of working (43+/week), doing chores, and sleeping (throw "going to the gym" in there a couple times too). Tyler has different chores which include things like shoveling manure, hammering things, and using his tractor. I feel bad when I don't help because I feel like 1) my mom and dad taught me people always need help and 2) I can do them to prove I am not a girly girl.
I AM NOT DOING THEM though. Unless Tyler wants some help, I have decided I am not volunteering to saw, chop, and shovel. I will gladly do it when asked but I am no longer feeling bad about not doing it when not asked. Tyler doesn't clean the bathroom without being asked, so there! Maybe this is what happens when you finally are ready to live with someone forever and you realize you don't have to do it all yourself anymore. Hell, that's why my mom finally realized kids were all right.
So that is my new life altering revelation and something I am now accepting. If I need to blame it on being a girl, fine, but I think I am growing up. I am a delicate flower that cannot break a nail or get my high heels muddy.