Issues  

Are you doing too much

MULTII was in an office not too long ago when an urgent task came up. After the usual scramble to have the task taken up and proving who could perform better under pressure, the superior officer selected a male worker saying, “you do it”.

It did not go down well with the others, especially a female member of staff who then went to their boss and told her she would have loved to do the work.
Their superior, a married woman, calmly explained to her that, “I know you already have your hands full, a woman does too much.”

“Remember, the time is past 5:00pm already and we need it first thing tomorrow morning, which means, you will have to stay behind or take it home with you.”

“But if I know you well, you would stop over at the shop or market to buy one thing or another before you go home to cook “leave him to do it.”
The disappointed worker got the message because I heard her and her colleagues as they analysed their manager’s observation and actually agreed with her. “It was not discrimination, they agreed.

But what stayed on my mind was that the woman does too much- one thing is her career, another is the home-front where she wants to excel, if not more than in her workplace. She wants to make sure that her family eats the best meals, the home is clean, and husband and children are adequately cared for. She does too much really even when running her home is a full time occupation.

And for the woman who aims to break through the glass ceiling in her job and sit on the roof-top with her family by her side, because she wants to proclaim that she has successfully managed work and home, this is a reminder that you may not be able to accomplish all, not when children are involved. In a buoyant economy, mothers left jobs to take care of their children.

In this economic low-down, a working mother may take the period between 9-5:00pm to show her sterling qualities to her employers by doing her regular work and doing it well. You can wait until a particular assignment is given to you. This way, you have enough energy to invest in the job and in taking care of the family. We bemoan the quality of house-helps, but you need help and having one you have to show the work is better than none at all.

“My husband eats only freshly cooked food”; think of how to make washing vegetables easier, less time-consuming and exhausting while you are screaming at your child.
Not too long ago, I was in a terrible traffic with a woman who had to take a two-month-old baby out because she was in between house-helps. It was getting late and she knew that her husband would be expecting dinner. She called him on phone and in a low-tone, which I knew was braced for argument, asked him to bring the meat out of the freezer.

He agreed and I knew he was one of the increasing numbers of husbands and fathers who help at home. There are many men who wash their children’s clothes. Ask for his help, you may be surprised that he was only waiting to be asked because some men sit back and watch you run around exhausted, because they believe that women see them as hopeless around the home.

If he does not do it well, continue to allow him to do it, he will do it better with each trial. Looking after their children are some men’s favourite house chores. Children enjoy a bit of rough play with their fathers; even the girls. When you involve him, he learns to take them away to give you a needed rest. Learn to share the work of parenting, especially, with him now. I was in a gathering recently when the alarm was raised that retrenchment of workers loomed in a multinational company. The speaker observed that more men would be out of jobs with the attendant issues of relationship with spouses.

We add, too, that it may mean more fathers who stay home. It is not a good prospect, not with the cut in income. But what can he do at home? Work it out and ask for his help. He would be occupied in the meantime and there will be peace, which adds to the children’s feeling of well-being.



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