I know you are a rock-star dad and the perfect husband for me. I know that you are more than willing to do your share of the parenting and household duties—I mean, you have done all the laundry for a few years now. I know that you respect me and treat me with kindness and love. I know that you enjoy spending time with your boys and make it your goal to be the example of what type of man they should become.
Having said all of this, you do something that really bugs me, and I just cannot sit by and watch it happen anymore.
Please, please, quit using “girl” as an insult.
I know it’s probably the heart of a coach coming out in you. You have a standard of toughness, aggressiveness, no tears, and a walk-it-off type attitude. And you desire for your boys to behave as such.
When they cry over petty things, you tell them to “quit being a girl.”
When they don’t get what they want and pout, you tell them to “quit being a girl.”
When they have a little ouchie that they don’t want to just walk off, you tell them to “quit being a girl.”
When their feelings get hurt, you tell them to “quit being a girl.”
What you don’t see or realize is that girls are strong—as strong as boys.
Honestly, I think that you know that deep down. But every time you insult them with the word “girl,” you are implying that girls are weak, that girl’s cry over petty things, that girls are spoiled, that girls get hurt easily, that girls have feelings while boys don’t.
And your implications couldn’t be more wrong.
You see, I, your wife, am a girl. I have carried and given birth to four boys. I am not weak. I have loved unconditionally even in hard times. My feelings are not weak. I have had three C-section surgeries and then cared for babies the very next day. I do not get hurt easily. I can count on one hand the amount of times your boys have seen me cry, and none of them were over petty things.
I want our boys to know that it is likely that one day their feelings will get hurt, their hearts will be broken, and their dreams may be crushed. When that happens, I want them to turn to us, as their parents, with tears in their eyes and not hear insulting words like “quit being a girl,” but instead to trust that we will be their support when they feel like they are falling.
I want them to learn that getting through those hard moments will mold them into leaders.
I want them to know that they can demonstrate their strength in their pain, even if tears are involved.
I want them to realize that being sensitive and having emotions isn’t a “girl” thing. It’s a human thing.
And I want you to see that sometimes what you call “being a girl” simply just means that they care.
Your selfless, strong, tender-hearted, and sometimes “girly” wife