We have all heard the comments which are made about men and women, such as the worldwide accepted fact that men will never stop to ask for directions and that women are poor drivers and so on. The fact is that men and women are very different and not only do our differences affect the way in which we perform everyday activities or how we carry out tasks, but our differences become more noticeable and obvious when couples become parents.
For years, women have been trying hard to break the mould and prove that they are able to do anything a man can do. The reality of the situation is that scientists have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that a man and woman’s brains are very different and this is the very reason why men are able to perform some tasks with relative ease, like reading a complicated map and why women have a natural talent of remembering birthdays, anniversaries and being able to recognize their newborn baby’s cry almost instantly.
These differences are carried over into parenting and even though both sexes can make the best parents, both men and women need to accept their contrasting parenting skills and work together as a team relying on each other’s natural strengths.
Parenting for women
A woman steps into her role as a mother naturally. Why? A woman is wired to be a mother! A woman’s senses are so finely tuned that she has the ability to detect the different cries and moans of her baby on cue and she is able to respond to the baby’s needs accordingly. We’ve all heard of woman’s intuition. This intuition is so great that women know instinctively when their child is hungry, sad, lonely or scared. We do it naturally and with little thought. For the majority of men, all crying babies sound the same and they are not able to point out their own baby’s cry! Mothers of identical twins are able to tell the two apart, this is the same for female family members. Fathers are often confused and seldom able to tell twins apart.
Besides intuition, women are talkers. They are able to verbalize their feelings, their emotions and their thoughts, and as their children grow, women will become more and more involved in their lives. She will know the names of their teachers, the names of their friends, how her children are coping at school, she will also know their fears, dreams and hopes.
Parenting for a woman is viewed as a fulltime job. A mother put her child’s needs first and even though she may hold down an important job, her children will always come first.
Parenting for men
A man sees his role as a parent as preparing his offspring for the real world; this is especially true for a father who has sons. A man knows that the world is not kind and forgiving and they want their children to be able to make it in the real world, which is why a man’s approach to parenting seems to be a lot tougher when compared to a woman. Dads may seem to continually demand more of their kids – to perform better at school and in sports. Men may find it hard to show their sons affection as they want their sons to become tougher as the real world demands that men be men!
Unlike women, it has been proven that men use less than a third of the number of words which woman use. Most men want facts and have little need to express themselves with hundreds of words. Their answers are to the point! A man may certainly share a funny story with work colleagues on what their child did the night before but for the most part, work colleagues know very little about his children – compare this to a woman. A woman’s work female colleagues or friends will know the ins and outs of their friend’s child – from their date of birth to their food preferences.
Men certainly take their roles as fathers seriously but for most men, their careers come first. This is by no means a sign that men are not committed to fatherhood but it is a sign that men know that without a stable income providing for their family is impossible.
Equal but different
This article is by no means an attempt to highlight the shortcomings of men or women! However, the fact is that for the past century, women have been determined to show the world that they can do more and have it all. This is certainly not a bad or negative trait, or a sign that all women should be driven back into the kitchen – what it does mean, is that for the first time in the history of humankind, women and men are confused about the roles that they are meant to be playing as parents, and what’s more, men and women are battling it out for control.
A number of relationship experts are now blaming this power struggle on the battle that is waged between the sexes, and until both partners comes to terms with their own unique abilities (which are different for men and women), a balance will never be found. When considering the high number of divorces which have occurred over the last few decades – this claim may be the reason for the increased number of failed marriages and relationships in the last century.
Why are men different to women and vice versa?
If we trace our species back to the dawn of time, when men were hunters and women remained in and around the home (or cave) to care for the children, it will become clear why we were each given our own set of unique talents and how we were meant to use them for the greater good of our species!
A man had to leave the comfort of the cave and set out to hunt wild animals. His partner and children were depending on his abilities to trek, hunt animals and to come back with the -bacon’. To successfully perform a hunt and to remain alive, a man had to have his wits about him and he was not granted the luxury of letting his mind wander! The very reason why men have not successfully perfected the skill of multi-tasking! A woman on the other hand had to be a professional multi-tasker, she had to keep an eye on her children, ensure that their needs were met and at the same time, keep her eyes peeled for any creatures that were threatening the safety of her babies.
Today, centuries later, women are still expert mutli-taskers, they can drive, adhere to the instructions given by their GPS, listen to their child giving a step-by-step account of their day, and work out what they need to buy from the grocery store.
While on the hunt, a man assumed that the woman was providing care for the children, making sure that their primary needs were taken care of and that the offspring was being well looked after, and that she (along with the other cave dwellers) were keeping predators at bay, who viewed them as lunch. How many times have you heard of a typically meek woman turning into a roaring lioness the moment her children are threatened or in danger?
The world has evolved, yet women and men still have these same instinctive abilities and they still have the same traits that allowed our species to thrive. A woman is still seen as the primary caregiver, while men are considered to be the breadwinner of the family. The landscape may have undergone many changes but our wiring and our natural talents have not!