Let me start off by saying that in this motherhood journey, there are a multiplicity of factors that define what kind of moms/women we are.
Being a wife, a single mom, a widow, experiencing gender-based-violence, being jobless, having a chronic illness, fertility struggles, raising a special needs child, being a teen mom, being a mom with disability… these are all part of what makes up our motherhood experiences and whether we like it or not, they have a significant influence on how we raise our children and how they will turn out.
Because this is all part of the motherhood journey –or part of the journey to motherhood, you’ll notice that moving forward, I’ll be sharing more of these experiences on the blog. Starting off with that of Waturi Wamboye, a wife and a mom.
When she was a new wife, Waturi knew that one of her responsibilities was to ensure that the house was well kept, that she prepared meals, and that she generally performed all the duties that were expected of her as a wife. However, there soon arose a challenge.
“At some point I couldn’t do it and felt like I had failed in my duties as a wife.”
Thankfully, her husband –Ernest, would step in and help out.
“Sometimes I would get home from a long day at work, then find Ernest cooking. Admittedly, holding strongly onto your roles (as a new spouse) can be tricky, but you realize it’s necessary for either party to step in so that the tasks in need of attention are not neglected. It helped me to relax and also learn how to accept help when needed,” she says, in the book ‘Coffee and Love Chats’ by author Lorraine Onyango.
This happens to be a situation similar to that of many women. The period when it’s just the new husband and wife in the house, when there are no children –yet– and there is no house girl either. The times when the new wife gets home in the evening –tired from work, and immediately gets down to performing house chores; cooking, cleaning the dishes, mopping the floor, doing some laundry or even ironing their clothes…among other duties.
Meanwhile, the husband lounges on the couch scrolling through his phone playing games, WhatsApping, Facebooking, maybe napping, watching TV or simply just hanging around waiting to be served and waited upon by his lovely new wife.
At the crack of dawn, she’s at it again –preparing their baths, making breakfast, maybe packing his lunch….and also getting herself ready for work.
And getting tired of it all.
But it’s not only new wives who go through this as sometimes, moms too experience this challenge –mostly on the days when the house girl is on her day off and there’s chores to be done around the house, and the man doesn’t seem to care much about pulling his weight around and offering any assistance.
I have heard several tales of women in such situations, and even read their rants on Facebook.
“Hubby just sits there as I do all the work. I mean, I know that I’m the woman and it’s expected of me to undertake the household chores, but why can’t he just offer to help? Even just once? House chores can be very exhausting, and I think it’s quite insensitive of him, especially in this day and age. Is it so difficult to just want to help me out?” they ask, resentment and bitterness in their voice. And that’s not good for any relationship.
Well, in Waturi’s situation, at least her husband would help out. And she also has some advice for us all.
“Many mothers and women overwork without looking after themselves since they have so much to do. In order for them to take care of the family properly, they need to look after themselves first.”
Hmm…this one is hard small. How do you get your partner to help out? Have you ever found yourself in such a situation? How did you deal with it? What advice would you give? Or does it all boil down to one’s expectations of their spouse, and if there is effective communication in that relationship? Because for sure, being in a relationship where there’s lots of anger and bitterness and resentment is not healthy at all.
This situation reminds me of a quote I once heard: ‘A Happy Mom is a Happy Home.’ So what happens when she’s not happy?
Mummy Tales is a blog dedicated to empowering its readers on different aspects of maternal and newborn health, as well as various issues surrounding motherhood and women. Read more motherhood experiences of Kenyan moms here. Follow Mummy Tales on: FACEBOOK l INSTAGRAM l TWITTER