Garry Chapman in his book Things wish I’d known before we got married, says “Confusion over roles is one of the most stressful aspects of contemporary marriages.”
He explains that many couples get married without discussing marital roles which later causes confusion and conflict due to unmet expectations that could be on both sides.
Chapman says, times have changed that gender roles are not as apparent as they used to be; like their husbands, women go to work. Both parties return home tired that matters regarding chores need to be discussed by the two.
Women not slaves
“Men must contribute to housework not only for collegiality but because women are not men’s slaves,” Deo Tumusiime of Bubuli village, Entebbe says. Having stayed home alone a number of times he says that he came to appreciate how tough housework can be.
“It’s massive. I do wash clothes both for us and the baby clothes. I mop the house and do dishes among other things,” he says.
He says that we have carried biases across generations and passed them on through religion and culture, virtues he notes are hard to change.
In an African setting, a man does not do housework, his role is solely to provide for the family and thus, has no business going into the kitchen.
Do not bother men
And this is something Hasfa Najuko, a resident of Seguku, Entebbe Road agrees with, she says that it is demeaning of a man to be all over the house in the kitchen and sweeping compounds; “A man gets a wife to take care of him. As a wife your job is to cook, clean, have children and take care of your husband.”
Najuko says while at home, a man is supposed to rest and not be bothered with house work; “If a man is married and he still does these things (chores) then of what use are you to him?”
She notes that the best chores a husband can help with should be shopping, fetching water or ironing.
“Men roaming around the kitchen is undermining our roles as women,” she says, adding, the main reason men won’t help out their women is that when they start, the wives will expect the help to come daily.
If you are a housewife...
Sunday Segujja, a faher of two, thinks a housewife should not be helped with the chores because we both have jobs and they should do them right.
“ I cannot go to work all day then return home and also do your work,” Segujja defends. He quickly acknowledges that, some men do chores not out of the goodness of their hearts but out of necessity of their home.
It also depends on the upbringing of the woman; some women are lazy, dirty and behave badly.
Katende Abudallah, a businessman, points out that as men, they work and pay maids to do all that sort of work and when wives insist on making them do chores, they too tend to stay away from home.
“Some men have stopped going home early because of women expecting them to do chores when they go home. They will resort to staying in bars till late than go home to wash dishes.
Mind his schedule
Hanifah Naiga, a mother of three believes, men helping around the house is a good thing but some men cannot help out with housework because of their tight schedule.
My husband returns home late, at about 10pm and he has to leave by 5am. He is always willing to help me but time is not in our favour,” Naiga says.
However, she also adds that she thinks that he only gets to relax when he is at home.
“I also work outside home but I ensure that when he is home, he renews his energy not doing housework,” she concludes.