A note from Big Nugget:
Happy Monday! I am grateful to share another post from my friend, Ricky Congo. His perspective is appreciated in a female-dominated space. To read his first contribution to my blog, click here. Comments and questions are welcomed. We want your thoughts too!
To learn about the “A friend of the Nuggets” project, click here.
As I began to write for the Nuggets and my good friend Jasmin, I didn’t have very many ideas. As I read more and more of what I have written, I have come to realize that I have a lot more opinions on life than I thought. I often laugh with Jasmin about it, actually. The first entry gave us an idea about another entry.
In this case, I had brought up the song “Miss Independent” by Ne-Yo. It is quite literally one of my all-time favorite songs. There are just songs that just make you feel a certain type of way.
Generally speaking, although that song was not from the 90’s, 90’s R & B just makes me want to love somebody. I don’t know about you, but I just feel super romantic when I hear “Cupid” by 112, “Twisted” by Keith Sweat, or “All My Life” by K-Ci and Jo Jo. When I listen to 90’s R & B, I don’t think about everything that I said in my previous entry about marriage. It makes me feel that good.
Transitioning back to “Miss Independent”…(sorry, I fell in love with an imaginary woman just thinking about the music). What I wanted to talk about was gender roles and how they’ve evolved. It’s an interesting dynamic because women used to stay home with the kids and men used to be the breadwinner.
These days, women are generally more well-rounded and much more successful. They can do a lot more for themselves, and it is a wonderful thing. I may be a little biased because my mom worked and she was a very successful business woman. Both of my sisters are extremely talented and have done extremely well for themselves…and are very much so the definition of ‘Miss Independent’.
When I was young and naive, I used to believe (partial thanks to my father, probably why he and my mother aren’t together) that women were to marry, stay home, and raise children.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that this idea was completely wrong. I don’t believe in gender roles anymore. People should be able to do the things they want as long as they can do them and are comfortable with doing them.
For example, I used to date a woman who is in med-school and has every intention of being a doctor. Naturally, I looked at how much I made, then looked at what the average Doctor made and decided, “Welp! Looks like eventually I’m going to be a ‘stay at home dad'”.
But I was actually kind of happy about it. I enjoy kids. I enjoy being at home, and man, the idea of staying home with the kids, playing video games with them, and eating Hot Pockets sounds amazing. Just kidding, we’d get McDonald’s and not tell mom. Just kidding, I would make the meals. Maybe.
The point is, I just didn’t feel passionate enough about anything in my life as she did about becoming a doctor. While I have a pretty good job, I didn’t really have an ego about it because at the time I really cared and loved her.
I think that we sometimes forget to do the things that we absolutely love, because we are so caught up in what other people think about our current situation. Yes, it would have been different if that relationship worked out and I stayed home with our children, but that doesn’t make it wrong. Often people get caught up in what others think with regards to gender roles and can even feel threatened, when they should just be confident in themselves to realize they’re doing what’s best for the family.
That’s why I don’t believe in gender roles. It kind of handcuffs a person in a place where they may not necessarily want to be. I feel like the stereotype is broken and there is no standard “mother figure” or “father figure” because we are built to grow with each other, to find a way to compromise and work as a team at the end of the day. Money is just numbers when you really think about it.