Dear men, we respect that we live in Africa where men are traditionally revered as the head of the home. However, we also live in 2019 so the fact that a man is charged with providing for his family shouldn’t prevent him from taking on other roles within the family.
Some men have mastered the art of strictly being providers. They forget that apart from their financial input, their physical and emotional input is equally required. You will find these men funding everything else except the family’s emotional bank account. When you were told to be the providers, they didn’t mean only provision of funds.
I see men who take their families out on lunch dates and sit quietly at a corner scrolling through pages of a newspaper while waiting for the bill. You will find the wives juggling between running around with the children at the playground and ensuring they are well fed. This same woman is expected to beckon the waiter/waitress when in need of anything because the man is too busy and will only have time to pay the bill.
If a woman dares sit down for a bite as the children play, you will hear the man asking her whether the children are okay on their own at the playground. I mean, you are equally a parent and you too can go to that playground and run around with the children. You too can take them to the washroom and you too can feed them. At what point exactly is this an outing for women if they will still run around just the same way they do in the house?
These are the same fathers who will never attend a function in their children’s schools because they have already paid fees and it is upon the mothers to find time and go for the functions. You men are really giving us one hell of a time!
In case the domestic manager leaves abruptly on a work day, a man will be quick to ask his wife to call her office and excuse herself from work to stay with children. Wait, aren’t these equally his children? It’s not like he will melt or evaporate if he takes charge the same way his wife does. If anything, it will allow him to bond with his children.
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I am talking to you men who will be sitting next to your sleeping child and when they wake up and start crying, you prefer to call your wife who is in the kitchen to come pick up the child. That mouth you are using to yell out your wife’s name is the same one you can use to soothe the baby.
You will pay for a vacation and, when travelling, you will be seen sitting with your legs crossed scrolling through your phone. Someone might even think you are an employee at the airport whose shift has just ended and is waiting for the staff bus. This same time your wife will be holding your child in one hand and dragging a suitcase with the other as she tries to run and catch up with your other child.
The minute the wife sits down to catch her breath, because she is definitely not a machine, you will see this ‘funding husband’ give her the occasional sharp and annoyed look as if to say “get up and take care of those children.” Are they not yours too?
One day we all should reverse our roles and see how far men can stretch. The same way we chip in for bills is the same way you should step up and offer some support. And I am not talking about financial support.
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