Yesterday my husband and I went to parent-teacher conferences for our daughter’s preschool. While there we found out everything we already knew—that she could be sweet, stubborn, shy or outgoing. That she does as she’s told—yet shows a comfort in saying “no.” We also heard that she loves to play “house”—busily taking care of many babies and cleaning, decorating, and just generally keeping house.
When her teacher said this, I joked to my husband, “Poor thing. She needs to play out the home life she doesn’t have.”
Of course I was only half-kidding here. I do, in fact, keep quite busy taking care of my “babies.” The other aspects of housekeeping? Let’s just say these aren’t my gifts. So I’m always intrigued by the ways my very “girly” daughter does play house. And, at home, she doesn’t play it as stereotypically as she does at school. Probably because they just don’t have the right equipment.
At home, she’s known to sit on the sofa and “nurse” her baby with her toy laptop at her side, typing away one-handed. Or she’ll be in the middle of cooking at her play kitchen and announce, “Mom. I gotta check my ’emil'” (as she calls it) and run over to her laptop (or mine) and start plunking away at the keys.
While part of me feels guilty (of course) that her image of a mom is that of someone not 100% concentrated on any one activity at a time (but when were moms like this?), most of me really likes seeing her play like this. I like it because she’s growing up with a fuller view of what a mom is—that some do keep busy and happy decorating and cleaning and others keep busy and happy “checking email.”
I hope before she’s a mom herself that she sees the wide array of ways we can be moms, and that she finds and is comfortable in the way God calls her to mother.