The Care Factor

14 Feb

‘Is my food ready?’

‘Clean my shoes for me.’

‘Is the water for my bath ready?’

‘Why are my clothes not washed?’

‘Have you ironed my shirt?’

‘Help me find one leg of my socks!’

‘I can’t find my tie!’

If you are a female in a marriage/live-in relationship reading this, you can probably pin these questions on your other half or ‘better’ half. The men in our lives…Don’t you just adore them!

Yes, adore…like babies – because they do need the ‘attention’ that you should reserve for helpless babies, who cry (read whine) for everything and anything and demand so much of your time and energy and unlike our babies, hardly give anything back.

Just last week, my neighbour’s husband was having a hard time keeping his voice down. The reason? Oh well, his wife, in addition to being a full time worker, full time home-keeper, full time wife, full time mother of four kids aged 2 to 10 and part time student, had somehow neglected a large part of her being human by not taking time to iron his shirt. Imagine! And she had the audacity to tell him she was occupied? What in heavens name was she occupied doing?

This guy with two arms and two legs, blessed with mobility, could not move his hands and legs to get his clothes ironed because he had a wife. It’s her job! Do you want him to be called a ‘woman-wrapper’ (read a derogatory term for a man who helps out his wife at home)

In many parts of Africa, it is traditionally believed that a man has no business in the kitchen or helping out with domestic chores (except of course it involves making babies). The home is the woman’s domain and keeping it running is her primary responsibility. The man goes to work and brings back food to the home.

That was then.

Today, traditional roles are being redefined and reversed but sadly, some men are refusing to move on. They seem trapped in some time web, where everything around them is allowed to move but they are not. For instance, the same man who wants to maintain a traditional outlook to his home has no qualms with his wife holding down a full time job to support the family. So what happened to supporting her?

And how, of I may ask did he survive when he was single? How did his clothes get ironed? How did his food get prepared? How did he find his socks? Who put his bath water in the bathroom? Who cut his fingernails? Who kept his tie? Who did the dishes? For some men, a relationship is just an excuse to hide their laziness and incompetence.

While some women are happy to put up with such tomfoolery at the early stages of the ‘rush’ of marriage or a live-in relationship (and some for life), men need to realise that at a point in a woman’s life she just can not cope without help-emotional and physical. While she can solve the physical by hiring a maid-with extra cost to the family, she can not ‘hire’ emotional help – except you want her to dial-a-gigolo. Your encouragement will go a long way to helping her cope with the ‘stresses’ she has to go through.

Do you stop to ask her a genuine: how are you? How was your day? Are you hungry? Can I help?  Remember, this is the woman you married; the one you converted to be your all the one that probably will be there for you when the world turns its back on you. Have you stopped to ask yourself in recent times: Who cares for her? 

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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Woman2man


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