The story was that one Shirley, had been a traditional wife. She cooked and cleaned and pretty much did everything herself! She was the type that couldn’t take a decision without saying “I’ll have to ask my husband first”. She couldn’t bear the thought of a maid or any other woman serving her husband food.
I have a smile on my face as I remember the pep talks that the older women give to about-to-marry ladies. They whisper sweet nothings and say the dirtiest of things about sex. They would tease you so much that you’d almost fall off your chair from blushing. What they leave out, is their own experience and what to do when the marriage becomes heated or unbearable or worse still violent. Where are they then? They would tell you that a woman is a pillar of her home and that you should “manage” and bear it like other women because of the children.
I attended a women conference a couple of months ago. It was like many women gatherings. There was sizing up, eyeing, chatter, fake hugs and show of love and lots of showing off. Many women, here were not like Shirley. Several of the speakers were proud to say that they outsourced all the chores in their homes- well, except of course, sleeping with their Husbands. In fact, one Lady said she more or less put it to her husband “do you want me sweating in the kitchen & doing homework or you want to spend quality time with me and the kids?’
Where does the modern day Nigerian woman really stand? Many times in the work place you hear “My Husband this and my Husband that “You would have the impression that the woman was happily married. That is not necessarily the case in many marriages. Many women are interested in saying the proverbial “present, sir” to the roll call of the classroom of Marriage, so that they don’t stick out of the pack of society’s respectable and responsible women.
I’m not saying that outsourcing housework, etc is necessarily bad or that a woman’s role in the home is to be that of a Housemaid, No! What I am saying is that a woman should try to balance the needs and expectations of her family with her own need not to be unduly stressed and happy.
If you prefer to outsource household chores every now and then, try to do some cleaning, cooking or other housework yourself. If all women are to outsource all the chores, what will be the fate of our daughters? How will they be independent hard working women and Mothers in the future? Will we raise daughters that can’t cook, clean, do laundry or look after a home? Your children learn more by what they see you do than what you say to them.
In all of this where do the men stand? Are they fine with the outsourcing or would rather have their wives get more involved in doing housework? It really depends on the Man. Some men are bothered, some are not.
For me, it’s not even about the men per se. It’s about the lifestyle we build for the children that we are supposed to mentor. You are building a wife for a hopefully good man in the future or a not-so-good husband for a good woman in the future. You decide.