Two Good heads are better than one

Hmm, this is one conversation that I have been very careful to have. Yet, it is a very important conversation to have. I know this is not a strange topic to you. It is the reality of a lot of us. We even understand it more as Africans because we were basically trained as women, from when we were little to be the rock in our homes.

I have seen first hand how parenting can be skewed; everything about raising children is often pushed to the mum while financial provision is left to the men. And while it looks like times are changing, this is still prevalent in Africa. Even when more mothers are doing a lot to provide for their families financially just like their husbands. Why is this happening?

A lot of African women feel too grateful to be married and have a man support them financially to ask for more like their husbands being involved in raising the kids that they both made. For some, doing it all has become so second nature to them that they don’t see a reason to ask their partners for help. The ones who are working and can support themselves feel like they are the only ones who can do it. Besides, their husbands might be too busy to be involved in that kind of responsibility. And since they can do it, why bother their partner. But then they complain to other mothers how much they do and how little their husbands pitch in to raise their kids.

Thank God for your strength, you beautiful strong African women. But a part of your strength is getting your man involved in raising your kids. That’s one very important way for us to break the cycle of children who are traumatised and are emotionally imbalanced because they were not raised by both parents. Even when you feel you can do it alone.

Yes, we know how to manage our homes properly. It’s not even work for us. I mean, it is just what it is. But, please don’t do your kids a disservice by depriving them of their fathers’ care and attention just as much as you do it.

If he doesn’t know how to do it, you tell him what to do. Every morning, both me and my husband wake up to prepare our little girl for school. While I make the food, he is praying with her, getting her to eat breakfast, bathing her and getting her ready for school. It is an everyday routine in our household. Share the responsibility, if you must. If you want my husband to take anything serious, get him to put it in his calendar. This morning routine is a daily reminder in his calendar. We are both actively involved in everything about raising our girl. And I love it for us.

If he is not always at home, have a system in place. Let him help the kids with their assignments/home fun via video calls. They can have Daddy and me time via video calls where he just gist with them and tell them about his day, and he also listens to them talk about their day as well. Apart from buying things for them, you can create a system where he cooks for them and you once/twice a week. 

Let it not be that the only thing you call him for is to discipline them.

Continue to talk to your husbands about getting more involved. Do not nag (there is a thin line between emphasising something and nagging). Let him know to be involved. Teach him to make your daughter’s hair. Continue to grow together. Learn what it takes to do your job right as parents.

Parenting is not a one person job; no matter how capable you think you are. You cannot answer all the questions, you need your partner to do it together. Let’s break the cycle.

Let’s make a mark that makes the next generation more sane, confident and better than we are.

Whatever we have to do to raise these kids to be a lot more balanced than we are.

What do you say, Mama?

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