Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happiness for Mothers and Fathers and Those In-between

Maybe on Mother’s Day we suspend the debate about who has it harder but it’s always kinda there. There are cultural roles and expectations. Moms who work get hit one way and Moms who don’t have it the other. And Dads work too much or not enough and are they doing enough at home?

Who is too rough? Who is too soft? We attribute the differences to gender and socialization. But for all the struggles we have in either role I can tell you—even without knowing you—that no matter where you fall on the Mother’s Day angst and Parenting spectrum you have it easier than Jennifer Finney Boylan. Boylan was a father for six years and a mother for ten years and in-between she was, well—in-between genders.

Yes. When Jenny Boylan was a young Dad she came out as transgender and she transitioned from a man to a woman and from a father to a mother.

Boylan’s new book, “Stuck in the Middle With You” is her story of the transition. And it was so much more than going from he to she. Boylan has a wife, Deirdre, who was with her through all of this and two kids who have had to make a challenging transition as well. And they all seem to have done this pretty well, which makes the case that in parenting and marriage and stepfamilies and cancer and caregiving and all of it—it’s about love.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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