Mothers Day

Over the past month I have come to realize how the most beautiful, most special and the most important people in the world are women, and specifically mothers. My belief is if we treat women with more love and respect we will impact the world in a very positive manner.

Some of the most important people on the planet.

Some of the most important people on the planet.

When I think about the word “masculine” I think about all the men around the world and how they are all masculine in their own way. I think about men that are practicing martial arts with a fight/self-defense focus, whether it is karate, judo, jiu-jitsu or any other art. These are the most masculine of all.  Being born in the Gracie family, I was surrounded by extreme masculinity at a young age. As a result, I feel that my views and opinions of women were a little twisted growing up.  Primarily that the man is the boss and then the woman.  Growing up I sometimes noticed men doing and saying things to and about women that, today, show me the lack of respect and equality.  The woman should stay home cooking and cleaning; today I very much enjoy staying home cooking and cleaning. The man makes money and the woman does not; when my wife has an opportunity to make money, I encourage it. Through every year of my life and to this day, I have heard men mock, lie, tease, belittle, and place themselves above women and I completely understand why.  The same way a child bullies another because of insecurities, men bully women.  Keep the women down and we will stay on top. Growing up I was a victim of these insecurities and made fun of a few girls in my time. Today I also have to be very aware of jokes that I tell and not unconsciously attack women or anyone negatively for that matter.

Stay Strong

Stay Strong

This brings me to the talk of how men and sometimes women refer to other women as “housewives” & “stay-at-home moms.” I am not certain, but when I hear the term, “She’s a house wife,” or “A stay-at-home mom,” I feel like it is not said with enough appreciation and with a small amount of judgment. Its almost as if that woman has it easy or that she is not strengthening the image of women by not following a career.

We can agree that, more than ever before, society is accepting that women are equal to men, yet, there are still some who give the impression that this is not true. This, I believe, is largely what causes women, who would otherwise be perfectly happy as a stay-at-home mom, to feel pressured to go find a job with hopes of bringing some significance in the eyes of others. I believe that because we do not uplift the housewife or give it a status symbol, like a model or TV celebrity, many women do not aspire to have this role. Recently, one of my students informed me that, in Japan, when a mother works outside the home, she is asked “Why?” as if they are confused. And when a woman says she is a “stay-at-home mom” people are impressed and give them the utmost respect.

Last month I was fortunate enough to become a father to a beautiful baby girl. What I’ve witnessed so far is unbelievable. Everything from peeing to pooping to crying to more crying to spitting up to farting to runny noses to burping to feeding to bathing to diapers to lack of sleep and most importantly a huge responsibility that brings so much significance and joy to everything that I do.  What caught me most off guard since becoming a father is how every time I go to work I feel like I’m on vacation. Keep in mind that my job involves me getting thrown to the ground, arm locked, choked, crushed and more.  I believe that most men who have a child quickly realize that there are few things more demanding than caring for a child.

photo (2)

I believe that if we acknowledge the truth, and we treat women with more respect, it will reduce their need to prove their equality, which needs no proving.  The truth is we could not be more equal, and women could not be more valuable. A female should grow up feeling so equal that she does what she feels like doing, not what society pressures her into doing. If she wants to work, great! If she wants to manage the home, wonderful! If this could happen, I imagine more women would decide to stay home and dedicate all their time and energy to the home and child because that is a child of the future.

-Men: First thing that we have to do is “keepitplayful,” tap out, and treat every woman like you want your mother, sister or daughter to be treated. If you think one day you would like a wife that will take care of you and your children, start acknowledging that the mother’s job is the most important job in the world.  Realize how fortunate you would be if you found a woman that could see the value in taking on the role of a mother 100%. If you already have a “housewife” or “stay-at-home mom,” be extremely grateful that you are able to provide for the family while she stays home and puts her dreams or career on hold. Remember, compared to full-time parenting, any job is a vacation. I say vacation yet I am very aware that the weight that is carried by the one providing is also a big one.

-Stay at home dads: Now that I have a daughter I am beginning to envy you. As much as I love my job, nothing brings me greater joy than looking after my little jiu-jitsu princess.  I am happy that you have an arrangement that works for your family. Make sure to teach your children the Gracie bullyproof program from home.

-Working Mothers: Keep up the great work!  I am very aware that you have a lot on your plate and your income might be necessary for the household. On a separate note, I understand that, like me, you get so much satisfaction from your job/career that working is like therapy. I am excited for the day when my wife and I feel it is best for her to go back to work.

-Stay-at-home Mothers: Never for one moment feel that what you are doing is not enough, and don’t feel like there is a rush to get back to the work force. I could not ask anything more from my wife than for her to put her career on hold and give all her time and energy to our daughter in her years of infancy.

Being part of the largest martial arts family in history that is primarily male dominated and super masculine I am so grateful to not only have a wife that is so feminine but to now have a daughter that will hopefully one day be a wife and a mother. Everything happens for a reason, I feel like more than ever it is my responsibility to be an example of how to treat women. Everything starts with appreciation and I have never been so appreciative.

To all the mothers around the world, thank you for your love and patience. Happy Mothers Day!

Thank you to my mom for teaching me so much about how to love. Happy Mothers Day!

Thank you to my wife for starting this journey with me, the love you give our daughter is so beautiful and I could not ask for anything more. Happy Mothers Day!

Thank you for always having my back.

Thank you for always having my back!

Ryron

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About KeepItPlayful

I keep it playful for a living.
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50 Responses to Mothers Day

  1. Mamas make the world go around they always have and always will.

  2. Lam says:

    Ha! Thank you for making me cry on this Mother’s Day! Thanks for “getting it” and enjoy your wife and daughter. One of my (careers) was putting my jiu jitsu on hold and now I am able to do a little more here and there. At least I still have it and my little guy is starting to come to the mats with me, ahhh…the Jiu Jitsu Motherhood.

  3. nitrojj says:

    Congrats on your baby girl bro.

  4. Jason Wilcox says:

    You speak the truth. Much respect to you for doing so.

  5. Jeff Brockway says:

    Well said my friend. I was raised the same way. Women deserve much more respect than they get. My wife works just as hard as I do during the day.
    I have two boys that are 7 and 8. Since day one they have watched me cook, clean and do just as much laundry as mama. It was so hard early on in the marriage to break the routine I was raised with. However I was able to do it just like any man could.
    Tonight at dinner, I asked the boys who should do the house-cleaning. They looked at me like I had lost my mind and answered “all of us.”
    It only takes one generation to break the cycle!

  6. Juliana says:

    For all my life I had to be “the feminist”… always had the feeling I have to defend myself. Let me tell you that doing it is exhausting. I wish more people (men AND women) would think as you… the world would be a more lovable place, that’s for sure (at least for me). Reading this made me think about some attitudes that I could, better, that I CAN do different. Thanks to gracie jiu jitsu I have now the confidence and empowerment to do so… be more relaxed towards some masculinity that disappoint me. You are right… women should do wherever feels right, not what society pressure us to.
    Thank you for this amazing post. Congratulations on this new father journey, really think you will be great at it, Valyn will teach you the highest level of the keepitplayful movement! 🙂

  7. She is so wonderful congrads a little princess !!!!

  8. immykidsmom says:

    Simply amazing! I’m a mom and its so hard! I watch my kids during the day and then work at night so my husband doesn’t have to feel the pressure to be the sole bread winner. I also train twice a week! Great great article will be sharing this!!!

  9. William Aguilar says:

    Awsome Article Ryron!!!!

  10. Jon Van Dop says:

    Excellent blog. My prayer is that respect for all will come to be known as a vital a piece of masculinity. We need to work on it, but I’m so glad you are using your position of influence in a positive way. Peace.

  11. Richard Atkin CTC China says:

    Congratulations to you, Victoria and the whole family. Great article as usual.

  12. Delia Silva says:

    Congratulations on your new baby girl!
    Thank you for reminding me that what I do makes a difference in the world!

  13. Craig says:

    “What caught me most off guard since becoming a father is how every time I go to work I feel like I’m on vacation.” Truth!

  14. rionm2013 says:

    Congratulations, wishing you and your daughter all the best.
    Keep it playful

  15. How many kids you are planning to raise Ryron?

  16. Claudia S says:

    Thank you for sharing all your thoughts on this important subject, you’ve grown into a thoughtful and caring man and that makes me smile.

  17. Ken says:

    Good on you, Ryron. Wisdom, courage, humility, and appreciation in your words. Loved your post. Congratulations to you and your lovely wife!

  18. Megan says:

    Awesome, honest, awesome post. Still reading and processing.

    Thanks for curing some writers block and inspiring my next blog post:) http://bjiujitsu.blogspot.com/2013/05/kids-arent-cruelthey-just-havent.html

  19. Jon Mohoroski says:

    When I read this post I felt sorry for Ryron. How can someone who is capable of being so well balanced be so concerned about being politically correct? He spouts all of the same clichés that the feminist spout. For example, “The most important people in the world are women.” He then continues with anecdotes about “men.” “I have heard men mock, lie, tease, belittle. blah blan blah.” I wonder in which world he lives. Male bashing has become a way of life yet he only sees “men bully women.” It is my fervent hope that someday his beautiful little daughter looks up at him and says “you’re not as important to me as my mom because men are not as important as women.” God bless him and his family in the future and give him the confidence to a man rather than a politically correct puppet.

    • Believe me, I have seen women/ girls act psycho. The whole point of the write up is to just show how I am more appreciative after having a baby. And I bet if men take the first step and begin to act from love it will have an impact on all the women that mistreat us. Be the change you want to see. And yes the mom will be more important to all
      my kids and that is cool. Keepit

    • thank you for the great comment. 🙂

  20. Amazing post Ryron. Especially the part about realizing some of the people around you when you were growing up weren’t the best role models in their treatment of women. On another note, I’ve had two stints as a stay-at-home dad, and I am very fortunate to have Jiu-jitsu in my life. It is really interesting how people treat you a little differently when they find out you don’t have a “day job” like they do, like you are a little less important somehow. Something that stay-at-home moms have had to endure forever, I’m sure. If I didn’t have Jiu-jitsu in my life, my self-confidence and sense of masculinity would no doubt be negatively affected. Luckily I am able to teach and train Jiu-jitsu almost every day, and as a black belt, am secure in the knowledge that I could most likely choke out the average venture capitalist or software engineer, and that makes it all better. 🙂 Love the blog and the KeepItPlayful movement, you’ve helped me find ways to love going to the gym and training even on days when I am tired, sore, injured, and don’t feel going to war with 20 year olds every roll. Thanks!

    Jeff

  21. Gladys Dunn says:

    Thank you for that truly beautiful post. God continue to bless your family!

  22. Brent Dunn says:

    Ryron,
    My wife and I really enjoyed your post. You are absolutely right. Unfortunately it took me more years than what I would have liked to be the husband I am now, mostly due to maturity issues of age. You see the world differently at 20 then at 30. Nevertheless I never had bad intentions, but I wish I could have been more compassionate earlier in our family. My wife and I have 3 awesome kids, and the oldest is my daughter. She is absolutely everything I enjoy in life and her leadership, beauty, and compassion are all qualities that her mom helped instill in her when she was a stay at home mom. At first I fought it, but you manage. I am grateful that my wife did not let in, and stood her ground because her being able to stay home was one of the best things this family has done. My boys are just as wonderful, but if my wife and I died tomorrow I would have absolutely NO regrets in leaving my daughter as leader of this family. Thank you for openness and thoughtful views. They do not go unheard.

  23. Awesome Web site, Preserve the excellent work.
    thnx.

  24. Gumboots says:

    A late congratulations on your new bubba! And what wonderful things to say. Everyone is so opinionated on what is harder work, staying at home or going to work, but reality is they are BOTH as hard and important as each other, and you have said it beautifully. I’ve stayed at home since my first was born (7 years ago) and now have a 2 year old boy keeping me on my toes… I’m not so awesome at the housewife bit (I would get more done if there wasn’t so much Gracie combatatives to watch) but I have so much respect for those who work or stay at home. My ‘vacation’ is my jiu jitsu classes at night. I’m lucky to have a hubby who is happy to take over at 7pm so I can go and train. After chasing a crazy kid around all day it is relaxing to get stuck under side control by a guy 20kgs heavier 🙂 But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  25. davejitsu says:

    Reblogged this on Dave Armstrong and commented:
    Wonderful

  26. Niall says:

    Spoken like a man who is truly embodying masculinity – not afraid to honour the feminine and challenge any fear or prejudice against women.

    Strength and intelligence is expressed through both genders in multitudes of ways, and both have their shadow aspects too.

    As long as women need to fight for recognition of their ability or position in any aspect of life, us men owe them our unflinching support. Also the common idea that men have caused all the problems in history should really be reconsidered.
    I hate to see either gender putting the other down! We are two sides of one thing.

    Thanks for your post Ryron and congratulations on the birth of your daughter. Valeu meu irmao!

  27. Nelson says:

    Great entry!! I think the masculinity gets in the way of many men showing appreciation of their wife, mother of their child because of a “stigma” attached when show such respect and love. The stigma I will not mention, but is widely acknowledged and often made fun of by comedians. Having two boys of my own, I can relate to work being a “vacation”, but while on “vacation” i often find myself wanting to go home and be with my kids, regardless of how loud they can be, how many times I need to sweep the floor after a snack or a meal. Kids are the future, and often times I see parents not giving an ounce of time to their kids, which is sad because these kids need to be groomed in a proper manner and understand common sense and most of all RESPECT. As a man who has a wife who is the major bread winner in the family and a wonderful mother, and exceptional wife, it is now her time to shine as she is pursuing a masters degree and as well training with me in her beginning journey into Women Empowered jiu-jitsu, and I stand behind her pushing her to be her best. A happy wife is a happy home, as someone once told me.

  28. Hitomi says:

    While reading this, I found myself nodding, grinning, occasionally blurting a quick “Yup” or “That’s right” once in a while. You see, I am one of “those” stay-at-home moms. It is a personal choice. And I am forever grateful that my husband understands, respects and continuously supports that choice. That is all that matters…and jiu-jitsu!

    Thank you, Ryron, for sharing your views… very thoughtful and inspiring.

    from a very appreciative and very empowered homemaker

    HBD!

  29. Amy D says:

    I linked to your blog after seeing “keepitful.com” on a GI while my kids were at your Bullyproof camp. I immediately welled with tears at this amazingly beautiful and insightful post! I’ve too often found the need to justify being a stay-at-home mom; feeling as if an educated woman passing on a career made me less, even though my husband has tried so hard to tell me how grateful he his to have me home with our children. Your eloquent Mother’s Day blog reminded me to hold my head up. What an amazing soul you are! Blessings to you, your wonderful wife and beautiful Valyn!

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