Im quite independent now and do not plan on showing differences between my children when I have them.
My brothers both worked on outside chores, and I had to help my mother around the house. I had to make meals, clean the house and do other “womanly” things. My brothers worked with my father in the garage and barn, fixing up the car and equipment. They also got to spend a lot more time playing outside than I did. When we became old enough to work outside of the home, they went to a job and I did not.
Other activities were also different for us. They went to more of the athletic events and played more sports. As a result, they spent more time with my father growing up, and I with my mother. I had music lessons, girl scouts and tennis lessons. They went out on dates a few years before I did. My father was pretty strict about who I could see and how late I could stay out. Ironically, however, I am the one who ended up going to college, and they both got jobs right out of high school. I have a lot of ideas planned for when I graduate, and they plan on staying near home and raising their families. Although we still joke that we were raised differently, Im quite sure that they will raise their children in a similar way as they were.
Both my parents are very emotionally strong individuals. They do not show their emotions, although I know they love me and my brothers very much. I have inherited this introversion to a large extent. I am not as physically demonstrative as other women I have met. That does not mean that I care any less; I just do not show it as much. I would like my children to be more open and caring toward each other and hope that I can instill this in them. As noted, I do not want to raise my children with as many gender differences as I had while growing up. Especially in todays generation, there is no reason for such a distinction.
Because of that, I probably will not marry a man who has a different concept of gender treatment than I do. I cannot imagine living in a situation as my mother did, with my father being responsible for specific tasks and her others. I believe that a relationship should be shared, and each parent doing all of the tasks from washing dishes to plowing the snow (and we get a lot of that!). There are so many opportunities for both boys and girls now, that I would hate for any of my children to lose out because of their gender.
I do hope on carrying forward the German and Irish culture and traditions, however. I think it is important to know ones heritage and what made someone and his or her family as they are. Im sorry that I have lost the languages and hope to some day learn some German and Irish to pass on to the next generation. Of course, I do not know if I will be living in Minnesota after I graduate. If for some reason I do move to another state, I expect that I will hook up with other people with German and Irish backgrounds.
Of course no one likes everything about the way he or she is raised, and there are some things I would have changed in my upbringing if I could. However, I am very fortunate to have been raised by two parents who love me very much as well as two loving and very protective brothers. I should be so lucky when I meet my husband and have my children some day..