Couple has to share family duties fairly

No matter how great your partner is, she is no superwoman. file photo | nmg
No matter how great your partner is, she is no superwoman. file photo | nmg 

My hat is tipped for you if you are the special breed of woman who personally ensures that your spouse’s socks drawer only contains pairs that are clean and in top condition, bravo!

You are nearly an extinct species and if as a man you’re married to one, you’ll be smart to enjoy every moment immensely, appreciate massively and stick to her like white on rice.

To the other breed of woman who works to bring home the bacon and runs your household with the help of a maid or two and a cell phone, this is specially for you. Start by exhaling.

And then repeat after me; “I am a beautiful, valuable and special partner... and he is privileged to be invited to share my life”. I guess you attended school so you could enjoy a great life. You add value at an organisation and are rewarded for it. You bring home a pay-check. If your spouse works and brings home the bacon too, that’s great.

You’re empowered by your ability to financially take care of your family. You married or chose to be with your partner for companionship. Hold this thought. Let’s go back 60 to 100 years ago.

Most of our mothers were uneducated. They worked in the home and solely kept the house while our fathers went out to work in various companies or for the government. Fathers took care of all the bills. It worked well for many families for a long time.

However, human beings are growth-seeking creatures. Our purpose on earth is to do, have and become more. As life moved along, fathers wanted more for themselves as well as their families. Mothers too wanted greater independence in running their homes and caring for their families.

Many money squabbles down the line, it no longer made sense for mothers to stay at home. Mothers who had some education went to work while those who didn’t got involved in micro-enterprises from small-scale mandazi-selling to farming and everything in between.

Our parents knew then what we refuse to acknowledge today; that marriage is a partnership in which roles are not straight jackets.

They also knew that if they were to enjoy financially improved lives and secure greater economic empowerment, something had to give.

Mothers had to go out and join in bringing the bacon, meaning that their duties within the home would be compromised. Something else had to give - sacrifices had to be made for greater future good. And thus we grew up more empowered than our mothers ever were.

We have and continue to tinker with and tweak this improved family life. With better education and more exposure, we are not wives in the traditional sense.

We are partners in life. That means we share the responsibility of the family’s ever-improving livelihood, joy, prosperity and future security. It simply is great thinking for progressive guardians of any family. As it was with our parents, something’s gotta give. Some sacrifices have to be made.

Only long-sighted discerning individuals have the presence of mind to appreciate this. It means your partner is not always going to open doors or pull out seats for you like in the movies, lady.

It also means your food will not always be made and lovingly served by your beautiful wife, sir. She is spending lots of time helping to build a greater family and an even greater future.

While this greatness is in the works, the very least you could do is to take the basic responsibility of ensuring you’re properly dressed. With respect to what you and your partner are working towards, wearing torn socks because your partner did not ensure your socks are in good repair is not an occurrence that should be recorded anywhere in your life.

To begin with, you were your mother’s child and responsibility many years ago. (I’ll be kind enough not to mention exactly how many years ago!). Your partner has her own children. You’re not one of them.

You should be a partner in the responsibility of caring for the children you have with her, not behaving like one of them. If you as the de-facto head of the family appreciate help in bringing home the bacon you cannot dis-appreciate the fact that it means you not only taking responsibility for your socks but actively participating in the home chores and tasks.

No matter how great your partner is, she is no superwoman. No matter how well you think she handles her career, motherhood and being a wife, your home, your family and especially your bedroom life will be greatly enhanced by your participation in home-care.

Your partner cannot take the responsibility of dressing you up like she probably does your four-year-old and perceive you as respectable, loving, exciting and even sexy.

Every time she feels obliged to sort your socks drawer, your underwear drawer - and Lord knows what else you expect because your mother did so for your father - you lose more brownie points than I care to enumerate.