I’m an advocate for balance when it comes to discourse on issues bothering on men and women. However, for this post, I’ll be addressing only the men with no follow up post for ladies. The reason is because the weight of the issues to be trashed tilts more to the men.
It seems men have been raised with the entitlement mentality that their wives are to do almost everything around the house and they can simply choose to ‘help’ her if they will. They believe it is the duty of the woman to do things while they merely ‘help’, and they must be greatly appreciated for ‘helping’ their wives in doing anything at all. While some ‘help’, some don’t bother to lift a finger at all.
Let’s look at some issues where men say they are ‘helping’ but in actual fact, they are simply carrying out their responsibilities as responsible adults contributing to the welfare of the home. Before I list out the issues, it is important to note that handling finances is not the ONLY responsibility you have. There are innumerable responsibilities attached to your status of being a husband and father. (Financial responsibility is not the sole responsibility of the man. Ladies, hear this).
Now, over to my list of cases where the man is seemingly ‘helping.’
- You’re carrying YOUR baby or changing the diapers or ensuring they are clean, yet you say you’re ‘helping’ your wife. No, sir! You’re simply carrying out your responsibility as a father of that child. At least, it takes two to form a child, so it should also take two to see to the welfare of the child.
- You’re getting YOUR kids ready for school or church and you say you’re ‘helping’ your wife perform her duty. Ha ha! Aren’t you their father? Aren’t they bearing your name? If you don’t get them ready, who will?
- You’re washing YOUR clothes, and probably YOUR kids clothes and you say you’re ‘helping’ your wife. How can you be helping someone to do what you’re supposed to do. Who wore the clothes? Why would you say it is your wife’s duty to wash YOUR clothes, and if you do, you’re ‘helping’ her. Haba! Let’s be guided in all we do. You can’t be helping her to wash your own clothes now.
- You’re cleaning YOUR house, yet you say you’re ‘helping’ your wife clean the environment you live in. Most times, we hear men say ‘my house’, and when a woman is getting married they tell her she’s going to her ‘husband’s house,’ yet some men claim they are ‘helping’ their wives to clean their house. You both own the house anyway, so, shouldering some responsibility in making it tidy doesn’t equate to you ‘helping’ her. You’re simply keeping the home neat and tidy.
Well, these are just few highlighted issues amongst the several other issues of doing the dishes, preparing the meals, keeping things in check etc. If we want to play the ‘help’ game, would I be right if I say your wife is ‘helping’ you when she contributes to the family purse? Definitely not! She’s performing her financial responsibility to ensure that the money table are balanced on all fours, so why do you think you’re ‘helping’ her with chores amongst other stuff?
We might want to chant our song of this is Africa (how I hate to hear that) and lift placards showing there are gender roles stipulated by the society, but need I tell you that this song is stale and not soothing to the soul, and the placards are our greatest undoing.
We are faced with these issues because many people come into marriage with the mindset that this duty belongs to this person, he does his own, I do my own and if I want to ‘help’, I will ‘help.’ Marriage is not a 50/50 game. It’s a 100/100 cut where both parties see to it that they do ALL they can to ensure that the home front is balanced.
Well, rather than see these things as duties, why not see it as a show of love in lifting each other’s burden. Situations may warrant that a party cannot do a particular thing in the home for some reasons. It doesn’t become the DUTY of the doer, and the person not doing should not see it as HELPING the times they get to do it.
Finally, the place of APPRECIATION cannot be overemphasised. The way you want your wife to appreciate you for taking care of the kids is the same way she wants to be appreciated. You want a thank you when you prepare the meals, she is also deserving of a thank you when she does same. You’ll love a show of appreciation when you pick up the laundry, she also wants same. APPRECIATION makes the burden lighter to bear and also has a way of eroding the mentality that you’re ‘helping’ her when you do the basic things you’re meant to do.
Am I speaking your mind? Share your thoughts in the comment section