I'm a girl (aka, woman, but in my heart, I'll always be a girl). So you'd think I'd know a lot about being one. To a degree, I do. But I only have my experience. Our daughters share some similarities with me, but in many ways their personalities and character vary widely from my experiences. So I find it's best to find out about the experiences of other women so I can help them grow into who God means them to be.
And boys? Well, they are a complete puzzle to me. I had two sisters and no brothers. I learned about men from my dad and my husband. But, I am increasing in my boy-knowledge thanks to my experiences with three sons. But I want to help raise them into awesome individuals. They are very different from one another and even different from my dad and my husband -- so reading stuff from other guys is important so I know how to apply that knowledge to each of our sons.
I've read a variety of parenting books and stuff like that. All helpful in their way. I have our kids (especially the teens) read books about the differences between the genders -- Chad Eastham's book(s) has been one of S's favorite reads (repeatedly). But I don't always have time to read full books. So to keep myself current and informed, blogs seem to be succinct enough reading for me and have become very central to my increased sensitivity about the differences between boys and girls and how to parent them better.
The two blogs I follow in this genre that I've found really interesting and helpful are:
Neither seem to be based in any kind of faith message, but both contain a lot of elements that complement our Christian faith. Neither are parenting blogs, per say.
Darling teaches me about fashion and makeup (of which I know so very little because it just has never been my interest), but it also contains a lot of information to help me (and to raise the girls) to be more Proverbs 31-like. It teaches lady skills and character qualities. Which, in turn, helps me teach our daughters. They have a great mission statement.
I was inspired to type up this post today because of Darling Magazine's post today. I especially love this sentiment:
I'm all about this. That's why I love adventuring so much ... I think we know ourselves better because of our willingness to step out of our comfort zones and trust that God will meet us there.
And as far as the Art of Manliness, I love their philosophy and motivation. Being men, leaders, providers, etc. is sort of a dying art -- I like that someone has taken it upon themselves to educate young men (and older guys, too) to be more courageous and stand-up in today's world. As for me, reading this blog has truly given me new insights into the men and the men-to-be in my life. Super helpful. Besides, it's fun to learn a thing or two about the stuff that guys should know.
Their blog teaches a lot about integrity, manners and appearance, as well as important man-skills like how to shave (like your grandfather did), how to fix stuff and how to perform in an interview or on a date. They advise men about gift-giving and owning up to their mistakes. I love their illustrations and videos. They use a lot of biographical information about Jack London and others who exemplify the manly spirit. Their main goal is to help educate so that men will be better husbands, fathers, brothers and ... men, in general. I seriously know so much more thanks to the writers at AoM.
(AoM also has helped me appreciate a lot about the men in my life because they do live up to these ideals for the most part! They could be guest bloggers over there, I believe. If only they knew the head AoM bloggers better.)
So, check these out. When you start feeling confused about guys or girls ... find out how they're thinking. When you start feeling confused about your own role, refresh your memory by reading a few posts and refocus on the beauty of your place in the world. Your role. Your strengths. Your purpose.
Anyone else have other good gender-education blogs to share with us?
UPDATE: I just realized the illustrator over at AoM actually lives about 15 minutes away from us. How bizarre is that?! Small world. I wonder if he has a workshop we could tour. Hmm.
UPDATE 2: Okay, I just sent an email to the artist. I'll let you know if he will allow us to come take a tour! This is fun! Who knew he was so nearby? I'd never checked out his bio.