Yay! As A Man I Know How To Do The Dishes!

Summer is here and I am enjoying it in this part of the world visiting a family of two, where I am the youngest though I am itching at my 40th. Licking my fingers I devoured the plate of pounded yam, vegetables and proteins served by the mother of the house and the intergenerational dialogue that ensued as we ate was second to none.

After eating I struggled to pack the plates but the mother of the house said No, so she packed the plates while I also supported her with packing the cups, jugs and water basin. I am sure my wife is saying ‘’I can’t believe this already’’ since I won’t pack my plates after eating at home. But come on I am a well brought up Yoruba man who understands respect and culture. Being the youngest I am the one to pack the plates but being a man, the mother of the house decided to respect me and do the packing.

Ok moving to the real gist. The dishes were packed and deposited in the washing sink. Tired from the day’s work the mother of the house went to bed. After exhausting all our lines, the father of the house went alone as I needed to finish working on my deadlines. I went to the kitchen and saw the dishes and decided to wash them.

As I took the sponge and was adding soap to water, I remembered what my mother taught me about washing plates some 35 years ago, I recall her telling me that when doing the dishes, you start with those without oil. I started washing the plates starting with those that were oil free. The last time I did the dishes was 2008 when I was all by myself and may be once in a while but I can’t remember any more. I enjoyed doing the dishes today will I do it again when I get home? Leave that to the gods!

What is the big deal about washing dishes or what your mom told you 35 years ago? You are right to ask the big deal is the role fathers and mothers have in training their children how to help around the house especially the role of mothers. We live in a busy world but then we need to take a step back to ask ourselves what we are teaching our children?

Summer is here, rather than sending your wards for summer coaching, please let them rest their brain and engage them in meaningful activities, it’s also a good time to bond. Oh yes you have to go to work and by September school fees have to be paid or your schedule will not even accommodate that. Wise parents have planned for summer and have worked their leave of absence from work around when their children will be on holidays, some even take unpaid leave.

Remembering what I was taught by my mother 35 years ago showed me the power of training coming from parents. This may sound like crap but our society will not survive the heat until we start paying conscious and deliberate attention to what and how we teach our children. Recently a female colleague was telling me of how much she craves having her husband support her with house chores and I remember my answer to her saying we weren’t brought up that way as men and so if that is what will make her feel loved then she had better look to other areas in their marriage to find the love and care from her husband.

We need to train a crop of men who are not lazy when it comes to doing house chores and supporting their wives around the house and a crop of women who will not take this for granted abandoning their role as the Chief Executive Officers (CEO) of their homes. I have always seen the role of the man as that of the Chairman Board of Trustees- providing strategic direction to the family and supporting the CEO in the implementation and as member of a standing committee in the family. I may be wrong but this is the reality.

Hate me or like me, we cannot separate what becomes of a child from what training or values the mother instills in him or her. I saw a post online recently that reads: love + care = mom, love +fear = dad. And I agree with that formula, no one learns under fear but we learn under care. I remember being taught  about time by my father, who would hold a cane on one hand and the clock on the other, till date I still don’t like checking a wall clock for time, I so loathe it.

I hope I am not gotten wrong! Both fathers and mothers have a role in bringing up their children but something tells me a woman has more influence than a man, my opinion, one which I will remain glued to except proven otherwise in reality. Until as men we understand this dynamics and work around this in how our children are raised we will continue to miss the mark.

Oyebisi Babatunde Oluseyi is the Executive Director of the Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO) and for many years been an internationally respected authority on the growth of civil society. He has over 10 years of experience as a senior policy analyst and strategist on addressing diverse development challenges of the African policy landscape.  He serves and has served on the Board of many companies and civil society organisations including Society for Family and Social Protection in Nigeria.

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3 Responses to Yay! As A Man I Know How To Do The Dishes!

  1. Pingback: OYEBISI OLUSEYI :YES! AS A MAN I KNOW HOW TO DO THE DISHES – Women Of Rubies

  2. Maveedah July 27, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Raising real men is what parents should make a priority…We want men not boys as husbands…lol

    Reply
  3. Femi Diipo August 26, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Wonderful… I never attended summer classes as much as I’d wanted to as a point. But now I’m grateful I didn’t, and I appreciate the more time I got to spend with my parents

    Reply

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