October 19, 2011

Rob - The Estrogenization of One Man

As a married man living in a house of all women (including the dog), I must admit I have been thinking about my increasingly disappearing masculinity.  The very fact that I am not deeply disturbed by my wife’s blog on giving birth naturally has left me somewhat concerned.

It is not that I would describe myself as the manliest of men or a particularly Alpha male.  I mean, while I like most of the rugged sports like hockey or football (except MMA – I just can’t get into that one for some reason) and always enjoy a good action movie, I have also always appreciated the other side of things like an unusual work of art or reading a variety of literature, with the exception of romance novels (at least for now...).  I have tried to think of myself as someone who balances an appreciation for all that the feminine side of the species brings to the table meanwhile maintaining a good dose of testosterone. 

I’m fully aware it’s not a competition, but with the birth of our second daughter this past year and the passing of the only other male presence in the house, our faithful old dog Tassie, I have definitely noticed the balance of power has shifted.   I can already see that the older our kids get, the more things are going to sway towards female-centred activities like dance classes, ballet, ringette, and so on.   Funny enough,  the question I find I’m asking myself is not what can I do to inject more masculinity into this family but rather, is more along the lines of how far this is going to go and will that even bother me?

Now don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that lots of girls and women love watching and playing sports like hockey and football.  I have been trying to convince Cate for almost two years that she wants to play hockey.  She says she does but I think it’s kind of like when you tell the slightly senile old man something nice just to shut him up.  The conversation usually goes:
Dad: “Cate, look the Senators are on TV”
Cate: “Cool, can I go put on my pink Sens jersey”
Dad: “Sure.  Cate – are you going to start skating this year and play some Timbits hockey when you turn 4”
Cate: “Okay….Dad – can we change the channel?  I want to watch a girl show.”

I guess what it seems to be coming down to is wondering whether this change is more related to reaching a point in my life where I can accept the fact that the interests of my family are more important than my own likes and dislikes.  Maybe it’s not really about masculine or feminine activities, rather, maybe it’s about wanting to do things that I know my wife and kids are going to enjoy and trying not to assign a gender.  
I know society went through that whole metrosexual thing a few years back, but I’m not sure that I’m ever going to be okay with letting my daughters give me a makeover or paint my nails.  Further, if we decide to have another child who ends up being a girl (it’s almost guaranteed at this point), I am still reserving the right to create some sort of “man cave” in the basement.  Overall, I think I have come to the conclusion that I’m okay with my own increasing estrogenization.
For all the other Dads out there living in a house of women, or Moms living in a house of men - What do you think? How have you handled this challenge? 
For the rest of you who haven’t faced this challenge yet - is this even still a big deal in the world we live in?
P.S. This blog has been edited by a woman before being posted.


~AL~ said...

What about joining the girls when old enough into Scouts? Dads can participate there...

PS - Keep writing Rob!

Kataroo said...

Thoroughly enjoyed that...one thing for is the estrogenization has made you an awesome dad!

and I almost spit my tea out when I read the last part "P.S. This blog has been edited by a woman before being posted".

Chantal said...

From the perspective of a female in a house of all males (myself, hubbie, and 3 boys) - I definitely see where you're coming from!
I too, find myself taking part in a number of "male" activities, movies, vehicles, just interestes in general! For example, I can fully update you on what's going on in the pro-wrestling sagas!!
I guess most important is that at the end of the day everyone gets to take part in activities that interst them personally, be them "male" or "female."

We manage to keep everyones interests in mind and do the best we can to satisfy us all! Good Luck :)

Marilyn said...

I am one female in a house with two boys...hubby and 2.5 year old Connor :P I deal with an ABUNDANCE of maleness everyday. My house is full of cars, planes, and trains. We have "mud days" where they just go and get dirty outside...why? because they can. Laughing at all sorts of bodily functions. That said, I show Connor my interests too...he knows Mommy likes to sew, and will even "help" (for VERY short periods of time), and he and Mommy share a LOVE of books.
I just try to follow my Dad's example (as he was a lone man in an all girl house for almost 1/2 my childhood). Sharing the child's interests...but injecting a bit of masulinaty (in the case of my child hood) or female in the case of Connors. My dad was very into cars (a mechanic) and owned a very successfull garage in Toronto. He made dad/daughter matching t-shirts for wearing "on the job", and would bring home suprise "presents" (always some sorta car, toy car, model car, etc) and leave for me (he worked 14+ hours a day back then) which I would wake up to (wrapped in GIRLY wrapping paper...in a completely pink room, LOL). And looking back, and even today, those are some of my most valued childhood memories (a few I even managed to keep!)
...and the influence lasted...I married a car guy...and only ever dated car guys...LOL.
I know many times he thought he was going to be de-manned, but he he never was...and he made memories his daughter will always remember.

Sasha said...

I'm afraid I'd have to ask my husband, whose only testosterone-toting buddies in the house are a cat (one of two), and a budgie. And the cat is fixed - does he even count? No matter, the budgie is a horny little bugger and probably makes up for it.

PS your postscript made me *laugh* *out* *loud*.

Rob said...

Thanks to everyone for your wonderful and equally funny comments. While I didn't mention it, i grew up in a house of all boys, except my mom and so I can relate to your pain. I too remember forcing my mother to watch wrestling with my brother and I. You have all motivated me to keep on blogging. (let's just hope for my wife's sake you haven't created a monster)