So, my first book is out and marketing continues. I am hoping to get on a few podcasts. I am researching and writing up a book proposal for my next book. And my wife is growing a tiny baby girl inside her right now. This is SAHD (Stay-at-Home-Dad) life.
Welcome to SAHD life.
I am so excited to have a baby girl. It is a life goal of mine to play tea-time with my daughter. My other life goal for my children was to have them fall asleep on my chest (nailed it with the first one). I am excited to experience the world through her eyes. My son has a robust view
I am not ready for this girl. I am excited, but I am terrified. My SAHD life is about to blow up! I have no idea what to do with girls. Yes, many people have told me it’s mostly the same in the early years, and I imagine I will catch on pretty quickly with her, but there is so much more to women than I have any way to wrap my head around.
Surviving SAHD: Raising a Woman
How do I shape and form and guide a girl to womanhood as a man? Is it just one long mansplain monologue? With my son, I had spent years reflecting on my own experience and others experience, to learn how to shape a young man. Every time a pastor, preacher, speaker, or parent would talk about raising boys, my ears perked up. I always knew I was going to be a big part of my son’s life even before I was married and expecting children. You know who I didn’t account for, my future daughter(s?).
As a SAHD, my future daughter has become one of the most pressing things on my mind. Over the past few years, it has become incredibly apparent that women are devalued in our culture (really any non-white straight male is devalued). What is a SAHD to do when the dominant voices of our time put down our women? This was something I reflected on as I traveled to Colorado for a wedding this past weekend.Over the past few years, it has become incredibly apparent that women are devalued in our culture (really any non-white straight male is devalued). What is a SAHD to do when the dominant voices of our time put down our women? Click To Tweet
I love Podcasts. If you subscribe to my email community, I feature at least one podcast a month. I downloaded a ton before heading out west because I knew I would be driving at least a few hours and flying many more. I downloaded several leadership, theology, and marketing podcasts. You know what I didn’t download? A single podcast hosted by a woman. Not one, but you know what? The Lord works in mysterious ways because you know how many podcasts featured strong prominent women that I listened too? All of them featured incredible women. Lysa TerKeurst and Annie F. Downs were my favorite, both featured on Carey Nieuwhof’s podcast.
As I listened to Nieuwhof marvel at the achievements of these women I reflected on whether I would have ever known about them otherwise. Maybe if my wife had mentioned them in passing, but do I listen to my wife when it comes to podcasts and awesome women – not really. I mean I file it away for useful sources of info should I need it, but do I actually incorporate their voices in my head? Not really. Do incorporate their voices in my theology? Even less. Do I seek them out for the wisdom that they can speak to me? Never. In fact, more often I get annoyed they are speaking at all unless I actually listen to them, and then I get blown away.
The Feminine Voice
Here’s the deal though. I have to listen to them. These strong and powerful women are hopefully going to guide me in how they shape my daughter. Their lessons deserve to get passed onto my daughter because they are so insightful and will definitely make me a better father and it will give my daughter the best chance to fall in love with God. I have to guide my daughter through a world that frankly doesn’t really want to hear what she has to say. If my daughter is anything like my son, then she is going to be brilliant, insightful, a little funny and awesome. I can’t be the one to hold her back. I have to be the one to tease and encourage all of her awesomeness just like I do for my son just in a uniquely feminine way.
Allowing these women to form my daughter is just the start. I need to let them form me too. Some people may think all that’s ridiculous, but you know what that’s crap. If my goal is to grow closer to God, then I have to reach into my soul and find the feminine. God is both, masculine and feminine. If I can’t find the feminine within me, it will be hard to grow any closer than my masculinity will allow. By the way the masculine voices in our culture suck at growing close and vulnerable
Thankfully there are already a few who speak from a place my daughter will be coming from, women like Beth Moore, Rachel Held Evans, Lysa TeKeurst and Annie F. Downs. These women can shape me and my daughter in powerful and meaningful ways, and they will grow my daughter into a force that God can use in whatever way she chooses and help me be vulnerable to God.
Here’s why the feminine voice is important for the Faithful SAHD
As a SAHD it’s not my job to mansplain. It’s my job to make sure she hears women of strong repute. It’s my job to incorporate the great women teachers of our time in our house, not just the men. I have been able to get away with it so far because I have only had a son thus far. But, I am shortchanging him too if I don’t include the feminine voice in his raising.
Here’s real life. My wife looked at my a few days after we found out we had a daughter, and she wondered whether we could keep attending the church we do. Now, that’s a huge question for her to ask. All of our parents attend there, people who diapered us attend there, and some of our lifelong friends attend there. For my wife, there is little more precious than these kinds of relationships. You know what though, there is a ceiling on what women can do there. My wife feels that ceiling, and she is at peace with it. She isn’t sure how our daughter will do. Will that ceiling cause her to fall out of love with God?
Do you know how many female voices penetrate our leadership? About the same number that
Some Practical Things
So I am not going to be
- I am going to start adding podcasts hosted by females until the voices of men and women are equal.
- I am going to search out audible books written by women for our car rides. (Mrs. Evans has an excellent one here)
- I am going to start reading more faith-based parenting books by women. (Confession – just writing that rankles my sensibilities)
Overall, I am going to incorporate more and more feminine voices in my life, probably at the expense of some awesome male voices. You might think I am going liberal, but I am a guy. I think I will be ok getting outside of the echo chamber a little. If I am heading toward liberated, then I am heading God. One thing I hope my wife will partner with me on is occasionally teaching our family devotions just so our children know that our walk with God is a partnership and intermingling of souls, not just a mansplained adventure.
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