Today in class we had group presentation day. Luckily I had already gotten that out of the way. I am not a fan of group projects. I would must rather do it myself and do it like a speech. But anyway one of the presentations today was about divorce. As a child of divorce a lot of interesting things were brought up.
I am one of the 1.5 million children with divorced parents.
My parents divorced when I was in high school. It was not an easy one, however my brother and I saw it coming from miles away. My parents marriage was not a pleasant one. They screamed at each other….a lot. It was really wearing on everyone in the family. When they finally decided to divorce they still lived together for a couple months. It was then placed on me to decide on whether or not my dad would move out. He called me into this office at work. He then told me that he wasn’t going to leave without my brother and I. It was a hard choice but I eventually decided to go ahead and move out to make everyone’s lives easier.
Statistically 75% of children are in their mother’s custody after divorce. I am in the 25% with their father. It was always weird for me when I hear that children are sent with their mothers. In today’s society women are still paid less than men, for doing the same job. Generally men are seen as the “breadwinner” wouldn’t it make sense to put children with the dominant breadwinner of the family to provide for the children’s needs? In my case my dad got custody because of my mom’s mental disorders. I mainly live with my dad and my brother. College presents an even bigger problem it seems. When I go home for the weekend, who do I stay with? I generally stay with my dad, though it makes my mom upset sometimes it’s where I see home.
A positive outcome of the divorce is that my brother and I are really close. I took over a protective role when my parents were still married and fighting. I would help him with homework when my parents were to preoccupied to help. I would go into his room and play video games with him to drown out the yelling. The divorce affected us both differently but it brought us closer as siblings.
My mom most like lives at the poverty line or below the poverty line. She was a stay at home mom. It was hard for her to find a steady income after the divorce. She has a lot of health thing that require medicines and those are not cheap. Not only does she have a lot of bills and payments but she has to buy her medicine.
After divorces there is generally role strain on parents. They maybe didn’t realize exactly what the other one did to have a functioning house. It could be cooking or cleaning or whatever it is it’s new. For my dad that wasn’t really a problem, it was a huge problem for my mom. My dad was used to having to clean and cook because he did pretty much everything around the house anyway. My mom didn’t do a whole lot around the house when they were married. She had a lot of role strain after the divorce.
Divorce sucks. The process is long and hard. But in the end it is generally for the best. My parents relationship was not a healthy one. Now that they are divorced they are both in relationships with people they both really like. It’s definitely something I wish didn’t have to happen but know it’s for the best. I sometimes wonder what if the divorced happened when I was younger, I was in high school when the divorce was finalized. It’s definitely something that has shaped my life.
I love the TV show How I Met Your Mother. Love it. Can’t get enough. When I am just chilling on the couch all day chances are I will most likely be watching How I Met Your Mother. The concept of the show is that this dad is telling his children the story of how he met their mom. Apparently the story is so long it takes nine whole seasons. This show is filled with things we have talked about in class.
One concept is gender roles. I know I have already wrote about gender roles but it’s something that I really like learning about. Ted, the father who is sharing the story, is so focused on starting a family. He believes in destiny and looks everywhere for the girl he is going to marry. He just wants to settle down and start a family, that is his main goal. His best friend Robin is really focused on her career. Now these are not typical gender roles. The stereotypical gender roles are boys and careers, girls and families. Obviously that is backward from this show. I think it’s awesome to have a really popular TV show showing non-stereotypical gender roles.
Another concept we talked about in class is heterogamy in the relationship. This is when people marry someone of a different race, religion, etc that affects their marriage. Lily and Marshal showcase this in How I Met Your Mother. Lily grew up in NYC. Marshal grew up in small town Minnesota. When the two were married and talking about where to raise their children, it causes a bit of a tiff. Marshal wants to move back to Minnesota while Lily wants to stay in NYC. Those are obviously two totally different places to raise children. Eventually they settle on raising their children in NYC. Toward the end of the show they have a child and the family lives in NYC.
Dating is the final concept that I’m going to talk about. While it’s not exactly dating per say, Ted’s friend Barney has ridiculous rules for dating. One that comes to mind is the “Lemon Law.” Generally the lemon law is something used when buying a car. Barney uses it for dating, saying that within the first five minutes of a date someone can call off the date with no repercussions. He also has the hot crazy scale. It’s a graph with a positively correlated line of best fit and ideally one would have a girlfriend above the line. This would mean hot but not really crazy. Not only does he have crazy dating rules he also have “The Playbook.” This is a book full of ways to get girls. It’s an insane way to portray the dating scene. Maybe I’m just a sheltered suburb girl but I am pretty sure that is not how the real dating goes.
How I Met Your Mother is a fantastic show for a lot of reasons. First because it’s an awesome show. But also because of the reasons I just mentioned, things like challenging gender roles and showing examples of heterogamy. I don’t know exactly how Ted meets the mother of his children because I haven’t seen any of season nine, SO NO SPOILERS! But overall the show is all about how someone starts a family, so of course I will include it in my journal for The Family.
Gender roles have always been an interesting topic to me. Coming from a christian background there is some debate over what gender roles in a relationship should look like. This has spurred my interest in gender roles. That and my family growing up.
My mom was not super present in my childhood. We had no idea that my mom had a psychological disorder when I was a child. She would lay in bed for months, never leaving the bed room. My dad on the other hand did basically everything. My dad had a 8-5 job at the local bank. He would wake up going to work then come home and do what most call the “second-shift.” Typically the second shift is referring to women. In my life the second shift was for my dad. He would come home and cook dinner, do laundry, help us with homework, clean up our messes, etc. When my parents got divorced, which was when I was in high school, there wasn’t a role strain for my dad. He was already used to doing all the things women are typically expected to do.
This does not fall in line with what most people think of as “typical” gender roles. When most people think of gender roles in the home it’s the woman doing the cooking and cleaning and the man bringing home the bacon. Maybe the mom does have a job, it seems pretty common that she is supposed to be the one who does the cooking and such. This is typically what the media or TV shows portray.
Superhero movies are all the rage right now. (Which I love because superheroes are awesome.) However, they follow the typical gender roles. A majority of the superhero movies right now are the guy is the hero and the girl needs saving. Now I understand the movies are based on the comic books, it’s not the director’s or writer’s fault. But the fact that the comic book is written that way is also pretty bad.
Last semester I took Psychology of Gender. One of our assignments was going to a toy store or toy section of a store and looking at the toys. What I found was actually kind of shocking.
I went to Target. The toys for the ages of 0-3 had a yellow backsplash. Yellow is typically seen as the general neutral color. As soon as the toys started to be approved for older children they were separated. The girls toys had a pink backsplash and the boys toys had a boy backsplash. The ages of about four to six is prime developmental time, exactly when the toys start splitting into “girl” and “boy” toys. The “girl” toys I saw where things like a baby doll set, complete with stroller and baby changing station. The “boy” toys I saw were things like tools and superheroes. There was considerably more boy toy isles than girl isles.
We look at gender roles and think well women have come so far. Some people might even wonder why it’s still the woman that needs to be “in the kitchen.” Perhaps we are still conditioning children to fit into gender roles with the toys they play with or how kids see their parents.
Whatever the case gender roles are interesting. Who knows maybe I will come back and write another entry about this.
Yup. So one of my classes has a project where we have to write a journal.
I decided to publish mine on the interwebs.
So people can comment and give me more ideas for entries.
While I am a pro at writing twenty pages of entries (thank you high school writing journal) I will probably need some help thinking of new things.
This is journal is all about family issues and such.