I have read a few things lately that have really left my head either spinning or have given me something important to contemplate. I thought it would be fun to recap a few of them and see if there are others out there who love to write and read equally.
Baby Gender Reveals
The first article that I came across the other day was called, “Dear Parents-to-Be: Stop Celebrating Your Baby’s Gender,” from Marie Claire magazine. I think the reason this caught my eye was because I am currently 37 weeks pregnant and I don’t know the sex of our baby.
I did, however, find out the sex of our other two children before they were born. So I wanted to see why the author turned up their nose at gender reveals. I will be the first one to tell you that I get the biggest laughs out of gender reveals gone wrong.
The article outlines how parents are using this phenomena of a gender reveal party to alienate a child into being either male or female. It discusses how parents should not expect a child to conform to the sex it was given at conception. As someone who studied journalism in college, I have a hard time bashing someone on their own personal views. So I am just going to say this: there is one point that I can take away from this article, and it is best summed up in one of the quotes.
“It’s important to be aware how much we project onto children, especially in terms of gender, because it can be so rigid, so harmful.”
I do agree that as parents we need to be careful about what we teach our children in terms of gender activities, colors, or ideas. For example, if my son wants to take a baking class one day, I do not want to tell him that a baking class would be an activity that only girls should do. I feel like that would be limiting a child’s abilities. At the same time, I am not willing to tear another person down for having a gender reveal party. If it doesn’t fit your beliefs, simply decline the invitation.
Swedish Death Cleaning
A few years ago, my father passed away. As long as I can remember, he had always been somewhat of a pack-rat. I say this lovingly, but the man kept things for no reason.
I’m not sure if it was a generational thing that was passed down by his parents who lived during the war or if there was just some reason my father thought he needed to keep things forever. One day, I came across an article published on businessinsider.com. The article is called “The Newest Decluttering Craze is ‘Swedish Death Cleaning,’ Which Hinges on the Fact That Friends and Family Won’t Want Your Junk When You’re Dead.” After spending two weeks cleaning out my dad’s store rooms, yes, that was plural, I decided maybe I needed to read this piece.
It was, in fact, just an introduction to an author who was writing a book about Swedish Death Cleaning. It was a funny article in a few spots. It brought up the fact that taking care of a loved one’s belongings after they pass away can be somewhat of a financial burden.
“And it’s something that many millennials and Gen Xers are experiencing today, sometimes paying up to $5,000 for people to haul away their aging parents’ furniture and other possessions.”
As someone who has experienced this first-hand, I think the article and maybe even the book would be something beneficial to read.
Lastly, I just finished the book Night by Elie Wiesel. I know that you are probably thinking that I read a lot of depressing things and maybe that is true. I would like to throw the disclaimer out there that I am an English teacher and this was one of the books I required my students to read. Since I have never read the book, I thought it would be a good time for me to do so.
Many young people I teach ask me time and time again why we learn about the Holocaust. I keep reminding them that it is so we do not allow history to repeat itself. They still have a hard time understanding how that applies to them. But I simply want to say that if we are not careful to read these things and share them with our children, then we are not doing our world justice. Simply raising children who are vaguely aware of the good and bad parts of history is not doing enough. They need to feel the extremes and understand why each of these events are important to the human race.
If you have never read Night, I suggest you do so. It is a short book about Wiesel’s experience as a Jewish man and what he and his family members endured during the German invasion during World War II.
What are some things you would suggest for other mothers to read? I would love some input!