Are you a mother? A good mother?
Assuming the answer to the first question is yes; then you were once a single lady who got married whether it was via an introduction, meeting independently or any other way. So did you find getting married hard or easy? Did you find yourself in a role in which you were the new slave of the household?
Your role was/is to: –
• Cook for all members of the household
• Clean the house no matter who made it messy and however many times this was done.
• Serve food to guests and your husband before yourself
• Wash clothes for everyone in the home
• Wash the dishes etc. each time someone ate
• Look after the children
• Have a paid job
• Accept that you do not have any rights to your wages
• Give up what you want to help others in the family who might not need, but want, something.
• Do not think for yourself and voice your opinion if it is not in line with the family ethos
• Never let anyone see your husband helping you with anything!
Is this any where near correct? If so, did you like it? Did you agree with it? If you didn’t question it then, do you think it’s appropriate now?
Then why don’t we make a change by bringing our sons and daughters up to be less narrow minded, more gracious, more willing, more understanding and accepting that both individuals are human beings with rights that are equal and not less than, those of the male!
Can’t we teach our sons how to fend for themselves? Wash their own clothes, iron them, put them away properly, cook, clean up after themselves, take their own plates in, get up from the table to get something that they want if everyone has sat down to eat; rather than mum getting up to get it etc. These are a few examples of skills that we do not seem to be equipping the husbands of the future with. Why?
Why do we need to molly coddle them? To make ourselves feel important? To feel needed? To feel depended on? If we got rid of all this, they would mature better off, quicker and perhaps rely on us for other things; rather than being used to being babied by females around them.
What about the girls? Why do we expect them to do everything at such a young age? Women will talk about what their daughters can do and compete, discussing the age at which they could e.g. cook or clean without help! This is not the most important thing in the world! They need to learn NOT to inherit the traits of the older generations. To be sharp? Yes! To gossip? No! To be bitchy? No! To try and make others feel inferior? No! To protect? Yes! To teach, rather than humiliate? Yes! To lie? No! What is a good reason to justify why they cannot attend an family/community event? Is studying a good enough reason? What should girls be taught? Should we encourage them to learn things other than cooking, sewing and cleaning? We should support them to speak up and be more involved in items that interest them. They should not believe that only men should speak about their views, rights and politics, for example. Their thoughts and opinions are valid. Aren’t they?
I put a question to you. Is it right that their brothers sit and do nothing simply because their sister is at home? Should they not all share the responsibility of cooking, setting the table, clearing up and so on? The days when the men sit and the women do; have LONG GONE so let’s help our sons change with the times. If not, we will make their lives very hard for them when they are married and everything that they were brought up to believe as right; is challenged! It will be difficult for them to change then.
Shouldn’t BOTH boys and girls, learn to drive, shop for fruit and vegetables, plan events, meals, cook, clean up, organise themselves, maintain themselves, learn the value of money AND follow what interests them and makes them happy? If they are like the majority of the population they will spend over 40 years working so shouldn’t it be something they enjoy, mentally and financially? Thus we should encourage them to follow a career they’re happy in and good at, rather than, careers that carry high status or an amazing wage. Money is not all the matters! Also, with regards to the status, what is regarded as a ‘high status’ job will change depending on the person holding the view. In my mind, the most important view is that of the person who’s going to do it day in, and day out.
I write this only in the hope that you will think about what I have said as that is a step towards changing our community for the better.
Dedicated to all mothers, mothers to be, mother in laws and mother in laws to be.
And fathers? I have not referred to them separately because parenthood is a partnership, not a role for the mother alone. Thus all of the above does NOT exclude fathers. However, I have dedicated this article to mothers because I feel that they can be the key to helping our ‘old fashioned’ men and women understand what their future, and the future of their children, rests on.