When a couple split up, the divvying up of possessions starts. He gets the sofa, she gets the dining table and chairs. Neither of them really want the vase they got as a wedding present from Great Aunt Issy, and there is a short disagreement about the artwork they bought on honeymoon. Deciding who gets what is the easy part – where it gets really difficult, and often distressing is when it comes to the children.
In 90% of the cases, the children stay with their mother. Like it or not, our society is built on mothers being the main care-givers, regardless if they are doing this alone or with the support of a partner. What does it feel like to be one of the 10% – the non-resident mother. Lyndsey knows only too well, and has agreed to share her experiences with us.
I’d like to think of myself as a feminist. I try, in my day to day life, to espouse feminist principles: I teach my three year old son about enthusiastic consent, I challenge everyday sexism when I encounter it, I
maybe probably definitely talk my husband’s ear off about the sexism in the world.
I do have one teeny tiny problem though – my husband and I are both horrible horrible gender stereotypes. He likes comic books and superheroes, cars and bikes, mechanics, woodwork, sports, STEM subjects and steak. I like knitting, baking, sewing, frilly clothes, makeup, arts, writing, babies. My husband goes out to work and I stay at home.
How do you model gender equality to your kids, when you live a gender stereotype?
According a survey, the average British person will say sorry 1.9m times in their lifetime. We say sorry for stepping on toes, sorry for having our toes stepped on, for bumping into people and for being bumped into. Can you get through the day without uttering that word? I doubt it. How and when do you teach your children to say sorry, and is it right to make children apologise?
This is a question that my father would answer with the words, “How long is a piece of string”. There is no right age to start wearing makeup, but there is the age that is right for you and your daughter. The question is – are you in agreement?
When Lynn Schreiber, our esteemed editor and chief, asked me to write a piece about how to raise a confident child I sort of went: um, I dunno!
My son is, after all, not quite six and recently diagnosed with ASD.
But he is, despite not being quite six and with ASD, very confident.
Now to figure out how I did that.