“I consider myself to be a very conservative person. Some people even call me old-fashioned. I grew up believing that a woman should be the one cooking, taking care of the kids, etc. However I didn’t have this perception because I considered women inferior. I just felt that was the right thing, maybe based on the traditional values inherent in the African society. I also believed that the man should be the main- if not only- contributor of money in the family. That was years ago.
Today, as a married man, my views have completely changed. One weekend, my wife was doing house chores while I was on my laptop working on my novel, trying to meet a deadline. Although I was focused on my work, at the back of my mind I noticed that the sound of plates changed to the sound of a broom and then the sound of clothes being washed. Immediately, I was alarmed. I thought, ‘Wait, is she doing all that work alone?! And she never called for assistance?!’ Immediately, I left what I was doing and told her to stop, take a rest and tell me what was left to do so that I could do it.
When I was done, I realised that my mentality had changed. You see, love is always greater than a sense of ‘duty’. You don’t need to force a real man to share the responsibilities of house chores like washing, cleaning, taking care of the baby, cooking, etc. Any man who truly loves his wife will not be able to bear the thought of leaving her to bear the burden alone. Let us cast aside the mentality of ‘this is a woman’s duty, that is a man’s duty’. Even the Bible supports a man washing plates (2 Kings 21:13) 🙂 and a woman providing financially for the family (Prov 31:11-23).
What is most important is this: we want to achieve something and we work together to achieve it. If she earns more than I do, then she can contribute more to the family financial goals than I do. If she is working outside while I work from home or return earlier from work, why can’t I be the one taking care of the baby, feeding and cleaning his/her ‘bum bum’ after pooing? If you think these things make you less of a man, then you were never a man in the first place. There is nothing like ‘duties of a man’ and ‘duties of a woman’. However, for the sake of effectiveness, division of labour can be implemented but not because of ‘duty’. The man can end up taking cooking responsibilities and the woman takes the work of car-washing. Doesn’t matter!
On another day, my lovely wife cooked a delicious meal of very peppery Oha soup littered with pomo, fish, meat, etc etc, just the way I love it. I told her, ‘Thank you so much for going to the market and cooking this food. Honestly, I’m grateful.’ She looked at me, surprised and said ‘Why are you thanking me for such a thing? It’s my duty.’ Immediately, I told her it’s not her duty to cook but her choice and that’s why I was very thankful.
The first time I tried washing her clothes we almost had a serious disagreement. She kept saying ‘It’s not right, it’s not right. You shouldn’t wash my clothes.’ Then I threatened to also restrict her from touching mine. At that point we were able to reach an agreement.
What’s the point of this message? My wife and I equally belong to the kitchen, to the living room and…well, to the other room 😀 . God bless you!”
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