26 July 2011

Marriage - a 5 year old's view

"E" has recently developed an interest in marriage and has already lined up the boy in her class that she plans to marry - "When I am 34 Mummy", I have at least managed to persuade her to have some fun first. The main reason for her boy of choice? His surname is the same as her middle name - obviously. Now this has got me thinking about where this interest has come from. Admittedly I have not banished fairytales or Disney from the house so maybe that has sparked the interest in falling in love and the big 'happily ever after' but is this necessarily the right message to be sending out? I did my university dissertation on gender equality & working mother's choices and sometimes feel I am betraying the 'sisterhood' for leaving a career for the family. I often ask myself what example am I setting my daughter? Does she see a woman's role as getting married, having babies and staying home? Hopefully not as she has declared that she wants to be a doctor, I have yet to dampen her spirits with the financial burden she will face as a future student!

We have cleared up the issue that no she cannot marry daddy or "A" but she recently declared that, "mummy, girls can marry girls". Is that on the school curriculum already?! I, being a modern mummy, did not disagree with her and merely said, "Yes, sometimes they do".

So today, just as we were finishing lunch, "E" asks, "Do some people marry more than 1 person?" Well "E" has friends whose parents have split up & re-married so she has some realisation that families are made up in different ways. My answer? "Yes, but some people stay married to one person forever". She looked at me with a shocked expression and stated, "WHAT???"

Maybe the idea of a big romance and 'happily ever after' isn't for her after all?!


  1. That's so sweet. It's kind of scary that the way we answer these questions is really going to shape their views.

  2. Thanks for your comment catparrott. It's scary the questions that a 5 year old can pose!


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