We were talking about sex-role stereotypes today in psychology when we were doing Social Learning theory on our module of Sex & Gender; you know, about how the man goes out to work and mother looks after the kids. Those kind of stereotypes.
Somehow, not quite sure how, but this happened.
Contrary to popular belief, it was his Carla who handled the bills when they'd first moved to Beacon Hills. She was the big books when it came to money; it being her pay checks going towards electricity and insurance, while his salary just gave them the extra cash for a rainy day. And she stayed the breadwinner long after Stiles was born. She only left for maternity for four months at the most, but her job paid the expenses and could only be put on hold for so long until they dropped down to debt level. And so, the Beacon Hills police force didn't get their new deputy until three years after the Stilinski's arrived in the town.
John remembered the murmurs of sex-stereotyped gossip spreading round mother to mother whenever he took Genim to the park in the middle of the day; when he'd hovered on his heels letting Genim take one wobbly step at a time. He'd usually have hit the annoyed mark by the time they'd reached the sandpit, or the toiletries in the local supermarket, but his patience always held him back.
It's gotten better now, his patience - with being the Sheriff and used to overdramatic gardeners ranting at him to arrest the neighbours kids for squishing their latest tulips, god forbid the tulips, but he remembers that one time he had snapped at them.
Carla had always been going on about the latest psychological theories, and interrogating him on what behaviourist techniques he'd used on Genim that day; ensuring their son's development wasn't stilted. Most people would have found it aggravating, almost like being attacked on every occasion, but John had always found it endearing.
And so, a wife with a major in psychology meant he knew all about gender stereotypes; sometimes more than he wanted to know, and he remembers snapping at Angie Holdsworth one day, because dammit - you didn't need to be a women to be a stay-at-home parent. And there was nothing wrong with a women having a career while their child hadn't learnt how to talk yet.
It had gone on like that for almost over four years, and while it had still irritated him, John had gotten used to it. And honestly, he wouldn't have changed it for the world because if it had been his career, he wouldn't have been there for Stiles' first steps. Wouldn't have been there to patch up his kid after falling out of his crib when he'd first begun to crawl. Wouldn't have been Stiles' first smile, or laugh. Wouldn't have been there to smirk when, two weeks after his flip out, Stiles threw a handful of sand at Angie Holdsworth's face when she'd bent down over the sandpit. John had apologised profusely, grinning inside and hadn't meant one word of it; something he guessed Angie knew - and she'd huffed every time she'd seen him afterwards.
They lived in another house now, cheaper and easier to afford - without old memories to trouble them further up in Beacon Hills, because they hadn't been able to keep the other house going without Carla's salary. And maybe if she'd been home more often than she'd at work; he have noticed how much she threw up in a day, gotten her checked out sooner. And maybe, without as big a house to support they'd have been happier, more of a family than they already had been. And maybe, if Carla had been the stay-at-home mom stereotypes dictated, he'd have more respect from Angie Holdsworth and her friends. But it didn't matter now, he couldn't change it and some parts he wouldn't change either way. Because if he'd gone to work when Stiles was still in diapers he wouldn't have been the care-giver - wouldn't have had as much of a bond in his son's early years, and his kid might have found it even harder to tell the truth now. Sure, his son was rebelling and lying to him at every corner; he knew he was because John was not an oblivious idiot, but things could have been a lot worse between them if he hadn't have defied those stereotypes.