Looking after children is a woman’s job?

Some time last week, my husband received a phone call from one of his old school mate. Apparently, this man had called to catch up and see what my husband has been up to.

My husband told him (at the time of their conversation) he was currently at home looking after our kids. His friend’s immediate response was, “you are looking after kids? You are a man, that’s a woman’s job.”

Apparently, because my husband is super-intelligent and used to do his assignments when they were in school (which speaks a lot about him), he expected that my husband “would be doing bigger and better things” for himself and not be home looking after kids.

Excuse me?

What did you just say?

Now my husband is the most responsible man that I know. And I am not just saying that because he is my husband … it’s simply because it’s the truth.

No offence to any woman, but not very often would you find a woman that can boast of a man who not only provides for his family financially, but also cooks for them, helps around the house with cleaning, laundry, taking care of the children – changing pampers, giving them a bath and more.

And gives his wife the freedom to be and express herself, without thinking her uplifting is his downfall or her right to be herself means he has failed as a man or as what some consider the ‘head of the home’.

Now don’t get me wrong ladies, I am not saying a man who doesn’t cook for you etc is not a good man because some people unfortunately were not trained in this area.

But I just want to point out that there is a difference between a man who can’t but wants to (he’d even learn and do the best he can) and a man who can but CHOOSE or REFUSE to because he believes “it’s a woman’s job“.

So if the woman is down and tired, he doesn’t care. Pregnant and unwell, it’s not his business because after all pregnancy is not a sickness. She just has to make sure his meal is ready by 7pm sharp when he gets home…amongst other things.

Unfortunately, such men exist and not necessarily do they have to present as monsters. They are a misguided bunch in my own opinion, liken to a dog chasing its own tail (pardon the pun).

When a man is confident in who he is, he does not have time for his ego to get the best of him, because he knows that his ego does not justify or guarantee him the best of life.

This man understands that his life is built on his very own sound, strong and definite values and principles. Not what society or someone say he is meant to be.

He unapologetically defines his manhood! And we see the evidence of this in his character; how he deals with and talks to his wife (openly and behind closed doors), his interaction with his children, how he addresses his community and the added value he brings every time he steps into a room. That is a MAN! To me! And that is who my husband is!

Men… what kind of wife or woman do you want to come home to?

One that is genuinely happy to see you and is content with the life you have built together? Or one that even though she smiles at you, looks after your kids, cook, clean and even sleeps with you without complaints, but secretly, is disgruntled and actually loathes who you are?

If the latter is what you want, then I dare say, you do not deserve her! Because you should care about her well-being!

If helping in the home will make life easier for her, most especially when she works full time too. Why not? Does it really make you less of a man?

When I support my husband with his goals, vision and aspirations, I do it with joy and without any ounce of resentment or bitterness because I am happy to do it because he is a man that puts me and his children first, making every sacrifice to be there for us, serve us and protect us.

I can trust him to do this everyday! No matter what!

We function as a team. No divides. We cheer each other on daily, come rain, come shine.

It’s easier to do life with such a man and to listen to what he has to say because he’s not thinking everyday he needs to prove his “manhood” by holding me, the woman, under some form of captivity and hindering me from soaring because I am a woman and he is insecure about who he is and what he represents. To add insult to injury, he is not even reasonable enough to admit his wrongs and own his weaknesses.

Is one man really less of a man because he is a man that chooses to be there for his wife and children? While the other concludes Monday to Friday, 9-5, and “bringing home the bacon” is all he needed to do to be a man in his home. Is this really true?

Where did this notion come from?

So I imagine that this my husband’s schoolmate was possibly stunt because it was during the day, and he might have wondered where I was and why it was my husband babysitting at that time.

See some people only work 9 – 5, while of course some have more flexible working hours because they work for themselves, which my husband does. In addition, he still has a full time job that is super flexible because he has it like that with the company he works for. He is that valuable and indispensable to them that they are willing to work around his schedule.

Possibly something this old schoolmate didn’t know because he didn’t even give hubby a chance to really tell him what he has been up to. Instead, jumped the gun because he now worked for a “prestigious” company and is feeling really alpha – as in the “alpha-male” kind of status.

It could be that my husband from his business and his full time work put together earns more than this his friend, but how is he supposed to know when he hadn’t even cared to ask? (Of course, I’m not one to make such comparisons. I’m not one to say my butt is bigger than yours… I am just saying.)

I’m of the opinion, if I’m not adding value to you, why are we friends? If you are not adding to me, what are we talking about? You can’t be friends with someone that neither of you is impacting the other – either me to you, you to me but the ideal is we are adding value to each other.

So my husband’s decision not to want to engage this guy further didn’t surprise me. It’s in his right to make that decision.

This incident has got me thinking and I have started to wonder about what it might be like for some men when they have had their ego stripped away by a more dominant woman – ‘the alpha-female’ – who has turned the table around, flipped over the boring page and cut out the megalomaniac nonsense?

That would be a fun post to write – ‘what it means for men and women when they are faced with the opposite side of the coin’.

Or maybe I’d get my husband to write it – share his opinion from a man’s perspective? We’d see.

In the meantime, I have a question: Do you think men should not get involve with the day-to-day upbringing of their children? Do you think it’ just the woman’s job? If so, why?

Please let me know your thoughts. Drop a line and let’s discuss.

You can also send me an email: abi@abiscope.com

 

7 Comments

  • Tboz

    08/10/2018 at 8:19 pm

    I don’t see anything wrong if the woman is the one looking after the kids if she is a full time housewife. Just a humble opinion . Some might disagree but cooking and washing kids clothes doesn’t make someone a good dad anyway

    Reply
    • Abi Opall

      09/10/2018 at 10:00 am

      Hi Tboz. Thank you so much for your comment. Truly appreciate your feedback.

      While I can agree with you that cooking and washing kids clothes does not make someone a good dad, just in the same way going to work and ‘bringing home the bacon’ does not constitute a good dad.

      I think the crunch of my message in this post is in essence not an issue of who can cook and who cannot cook etc, but rather the question of this ideology that it is unheard of for a man to get involve in the day to day activities of raising the children in the home because that post, that role, that job is reserved to the woman.

      Personally I believe a man who cannot step up in his home, who cannot lead by example and get involve in his daily household affairs, is not a good man in my books.

      Because realistically, the father a child grows to adore is not the one that just slams a few pounds on the table and say here you go, go do whatever you want to do with it. (Even though some men even fail in this area).

      I bet a child will rather have a father who is involved. Who looks after and spends quality time with him or her. A father who is not afraid to get dirty and put his hands on the plough. A father who does not come home every night and just head straight to the bedroom, ‘I need to lie down because it’s been an hectic day at work’, and spends no time with his children or wife. A man who doesn’t make time.

      As a mother, there are plenty things I enjoy when looking after my kids. The moments will share. My daughter is almost three and we cook together. I let her mix the pancake batter when I’m cooking. She likes it when we sing songs etc, when I put on some music and decide we are going to dance and shake our bumbums. The same with my son. Those moments are precious.

      The way I feel about those moments, is the same way I feel, when I see my husband and my daughter sorting beans together, because daddy is going to make us beans. It’s the same warm feeling I get when they are sorting clothes out together for the washing machine. When he is reading to them, singing with them, putting them to sleep, and when they are laughing even when sometimes I don’t get the joke because I missed it. Those moments again are priceless.

      What or who is a good father? A good father is a good man, he is a good husband. He is one, who along with his wife sets the atmosphere for how their home is going to be. My husband cannot go out without giving the children or me a kiss. Likewise I cannot go out without giving my husband a kiss or the children a kiss. Even when we are rushing and we forget… our children demands it. That is the atmosphere we have set. Don’t get me wrong; I am not saying that is all to it. Of course there is more. Point is we are building a foundation for our kids, and our relationship and how we choose to do things impacts on our children. It sets precedence for them.

      When as a man you get home, do your children jump and down in excitement to see you? Or do they just continue whatever it is they were doing, almost not even acknowledging your presence? Nothing more can be said about daddy, he just does his own thing.

      Or at its worst, are you one that when you get home, your children literally run to their mother and glue to her because they are not sure what kind of mood daddy is going to be in?

      Whether we like it or not, our behaviours and characters as parents and as a family unit, lays the foundation of our children’s expectation in the future or the lack thereof.

      Our children will watch how we treat each other as husband and wife. They will notice and it will register with them how mummy treated daddy, how daddy treated mummy. They will note whether mummy and daddy supported each other or not. Was mummy a tremendous nag and was daddy a megalomaniac chauvinist?

      Our children will either grow up to model our behaviour or grow up to detest them!

      Honestly, I rather my kids grow up to model my good behaviour. The behaviour I expect them to exhibit in their life because I believe it works; it’s the best way to go.

      I want my daughter to know that a man who does not value women and does not treat her with kindness (as she have an example in her father) is not good enough man for her.

      And I want my son to grow up knowing that a woman who cannot appreciate a good man and respect him when he present himself, is not worth his time. I want him to know that a woman that is screaming, ‘hit me, beat me, you are a jerk’ is definitely not the one to bring home and introduced to us as a wife.

      Gone are those days when women want “bad boys”. No I do not want a man that would hit me. No I do not want a man that will verbally abuse me. No I do not want a man who cannot put my wellbeing above his own, just as I do the same. No I do not want a man who cannot support around the home beyond providing financial support (if at all) because it is not a “cool” thing for a man to do. No I don’t want it. He can keep a million miles away for all I care.

      I want to raise a son who can appreciate a woman and care for her as if he were caring for himself. Because when a man loves himself and cares for himself, he will understand that his wife, his children, his family are an extension of himself. So if he’s not treating them right and not supporting them appropriately, it’s just a reflection of how as a man truly he has fallen. In essence he has failed himself and truly does not love himself.

      My opinion.

      Reply
  • SkinnyThaSlim

    08/10/2018 at 3:11 pm

    Let that child run free and wild, discipline them not and 10 years later, you will have a monster!

    Participate not, engage never, sacrifice seldomly, selfishness in your drip, and 10 years later, you will have a monster with more monsters!

    Reply
  • C

    08/10/2018 at 12:17 pm

    Why do people think looking after children is a woman’s job? No. It’s for both parents.
    And we need more men like your husband . Men who can help their wives look after their home.

    Reply
  • Abisola

    08/10/2018 at 11:36 am

    First to comment! Yay!

    Men should absolutely be involved in day to day activities of the children! In a society where both parents work long hours, it’s simply unfair and unrealistic for one person (man or woman but mostly women) to carry all the burden of taking care of the house, the husband, herself AND the children.
    It’ll age and frustrate her in the long run!

    Reply

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