Many years back, I often thought about marriage with sunny smiles and happily ever after thoughts plagued my mind. Fast forward to the current me, I have found out that marriage require lots of prayer and common sense; because sadly, fuzzy feelings are not enough.
In reference to the common sense bit, is it okay if I told you that common sense is not that common? I do not mean this in a bad way. In fact, I had also made silly mistakes in the past which made me question where my common sense was. So in the light of such events, I have made it a point to duty to update my common sense database by being more inquisitive about life, love, and relationships.
Let me add a disclaimer here that if you do not think about or desire marriage/family life, this article is not for you. However, if you are at that place in life where you require ‘common sense’ to make heavy decisions like marriage then we can be curious together.
My current read is a book titled ‘Things I wish I’d Known Before We Got Married’ by Gary Chapman which is a book that gets you thinking about different hypothetical situations that could arise in a marriage. While there are no hard and fast rules to this thing, I believe reading expands your mind and helps you define your values in a clearer form. The book was quite interesting till I got a reality check from chapter 7 which says ‘I Wish I Had Known That TOILETS are not Self-Cleaning. He stated in the book that most couples do not think about the ‘toilet issue’ until they get married. I can understand. It has never crossed my mind too.
You see, the issue of marital gender roles must be thought out carefully and I believe this is one of the major factors that can make or break a household. Let me also emphasise that whatever you are accustomed to whilst growing up becomes your personal truth. I started to think about this whole ‘toilet business’ and I thought about what works in my household which is shared responsibility between my mum, I, and my siblings. My mother is very traditional, and she has made it a point of duty that we follow her steps. I am cool with washing toilets I said to myself… my inner goddess laughed and shook her head in pity. Ok, I will stop deceiving myself. I can clean the toilets but I also shudder at the thoughts of doing every single house chore myself including the toilets. Please married people in the house, how do these things work sef? Please don’t tell me about house helps because some of us outside Nigeria do not have that kind of luxury.
If we are all being truthful, cleaning toilets is one of those house chores that nobody really fancies. Personally, I have a passion for cleaning but I would love to carry on the ‘shared responsibility’ when it comes to toilet cleaning. But how does one break the ice on this issue? Can you say something like ‘baby I would like you to assist me in cleaning the toilets’ without feeling guilty or feeling like you are demanding too much? What about those men that naturally think it is a woman’s duty to clean the toilets and bath tubs? Or those ones that think cleaning the toilets and bath tubs is beneath them? I remember the day I overheard a conversation between two Nigerian ‘uncles’ on gender roles, they stated that the best way to get a man to help you around the house is to say nothing about it. My BN people, is that true? What if bobo starts thinking he married a superwoman and offers no assistance? *wails endlessly*
This is one of those issues that you have to tactfully navigate because if your husband says he is not cleaning the toilets, you will not pack your things and leave. Biko, clean the toilets yourself for peace and hygiene sake. But on the other hand, no woman desires to do house chores alone especially without a house help or a cleaner
(she can be silent but she will lowkey resent you). It is a sign of humility to help your wife around the house especially in doing uncommon chores like ‘bath and toilet cleaning’ and even changing the baby’s diapers. That is the highest form of humility. Just for fun… single people, let me know if you have thought about toilet cleaning and what your opinions are. Married people let us know what works for you.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Michael Zhang