Right from when I can remember being a girl, I was bombarded with subtle, Covert, overt training and awareness of my femininity and responsibilities as a female.
I had baby toys, I bathed them, fed them, backed them, put them to sleep when they ‘fretted’ I recall putting my dolls to my flat chest to give them suck. I was grooming for my role later in life.
I was made to help out in the kitchen, taught to set the table, taught to keep the house clean. Tidy up the bed, sweep and Wash. And I was always told “when you get to your husband’s house..” “When you marry.. In your husband’s house…”
“When you have your children…” We watched our mothers practice what they taught us, so, it wasn’t just empty lectures.
Today, we are where our mothers used to be and we are repeating history. Teaching our girls to be ladies, wives, mothers.
But Who is teaching the boys?
Who is teaching them to be good men, gentlemen, husbands, fathers?
A properly raised lady meets a badly raised man in marriage. That marriage is dead on arrival.
A girl was practically raised learning how to keep a home and submit to her husband. But who helped raise a boy teaching him how to love his wife and earn respect and submission? Who is raising the boys to know that it is okay to enter the kitchen and cook for his wife and kids?
Who is teaching them that they can also make their beds? Do their laundry? Help with groceries?
Before you label me an extreme feminist, hear me out? Were you not cooking before she came into your life? Were you not doing your dishes? Making your bed? Sweeping your apartment? Were you not? Life is responsibility and responsibilities do not end with marriage!
In my house, everybody cooks. Everybody makes their beds. Do their dishes.
My son is home from school for some work experience training. As usual, homecoming is not just a period to deplete my kitchen and sleep, it is time for training. It has now become a joke in my house for me to start a sentence and my son ends it wit “.. So that your wife will…. ” For example “Baba, you should have washed your coffee mug instead of leaving it in the sink… ” and he would cut in with “so that my wife will not be upset… ” Or ” So that when I marry.. ”
He comes back from work in the evenings. I try to get dinner set before he returns. He is forever grateful for a hot meal when he gets home. When he got very comfortable with the routine, I tested him. One evening, he came back home and there was no dinner. The young man went to the kitchen and made dinner for everybody.
One day he came home and was like ” What did you people cook?” After my lecture, he will never repeat that question to anybody again, let alone his wife. Never!
We have gone over the lectures and training on how to treat a lady in public.
“If you come home without your shirt because you used it to wrap a stranger (a lady especially) whose skirt or trousers got stained, you are a gentleman indeed” He has heard this sermon over and over.
He knows he should not be seated in a bus if a lady (especially the elderly male or female) are standing.
He knows he is to let a lady walk into a door first.
His ears a full. Just like mine were as a child.
Who is grooming our boys?
Who is teaching them the future is hard work?
That being a man is not a walk in the park?
That it is wrong for them to be served on the dinning table and for their dishes to be cleared after meals?
That they should wake up at dawn like the girls do and clean the car or do some other house chores as well?
That they can cook for the family?
That they can do the groceries?
Like I jokingly tell my son, “don’t let any girl wag her tongue and curse me that I did not raise you well” and he would have a fit of laughter.
Parents, start now. The boy will wince his nose and react initially, but you can make learning fun and they will look forward to it.
Tomorrow’s rest begins from today. Let your your son grow into it: being responsible and accountable.
Raise your boys well now even if he is an only child who arrived after years of waiting!
One over pampered and over spoilt son cannot multiply into two sons!
Please feel free to drop your thoughts!