Saturday, January 12, 2013

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times - Chapter 96

#96  “Don't let your sons push their sister around.  If you do, they'll treat their wives the same way.”

I stared at #96 for a long time, and I’m not sure why. OK, that’s a lie. I know why. I didn’t want to write about this lesson because this has been a difficult one for me my entire life.

By the time I came into the world, my parents were older and my siblings were grown and gone, so I had no role models for dealing with male/female aggression/submission. Then I was taught at church that women are subservient to men and a woman’s reward is not on earth but in heaven.  Between the religious dogma and the lack of role models, I allowed myself to be pushed around by my husband, and I allowed my sons to push their sister around.

When I was 28 I backlashed dramatically to become the woman who would never be pushed around again, plowing a 10-year swath through the male gender, showing them just how indomitable I was. I hated men and I hated myself. Thankfully, time and a patient husband helped me learn that it isn’t about dominance; it is about balance.

My children were probably damaged to a degree by my and their dad’s and society’s mistakes, but they also benefited from our triumphs and resilience, and from this they have learned that our lives are not measured by our mistakes, but rather by how well we learn from those mistakes and rise above them.

So mom was right. Don't let your sons push their sisters around. And I would add, don’t let your daughters be pushed around either.

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