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Eziaha Bolaji-Olojo: Dear Husbands, This is How You Can Help at Home

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Eziaha Bolaji-OlojoIt started with what I thought was a random suggestion to my husband on our way back from church one Sunday: “Babe, let’s go out and have lunch today. I am really not in the mood to start cooking.”

It had been a long week, like most weeks are, what with running my business and the home, all without a conventional domestic help. But this week, I knew I didn’t have any power for Sunday rice.

He agreed, and what started out casually is now routine on most Sundays in my home. We eat out or buy food and eat in.

Why?

Because, on that day, what we paid for food in that restaurant was small compared to the stress it would have cost me to cook.

I put it up on Facebook as a suggestion for couples, especially to help the moms who need a kitchen break, and the comments went off the roof. Moms talked about how this routine would really help them if introduced, others mentioned how they had been doing this since, and even more made suggestions on more activities that would give them a much-needed break as they rock out this stay at home mommy life.

A poll was birthed and I got answers from real stay-at-home moms on how their husbands can truly support them as they run the domestic affairs of the home.

Men, grab some popcorn, this one is for you. Best part is that some of them cost nothing, and even the ones that involve some financial commitment can be adjusted to fit your budget. No pressure. Just love. Plus, with valentine around the corner, who knows what points this post may score you.

Help Around the House (and don’t do it as a favor)
On weekends when you’re home and you see the home can do with a little clean up, grab a broom or duster and do some cleaning. Iron the already washed laundry. Fetch or buy water if water doesn’t run. Wash plates after she has cooked and served you. A mom said she absolutely detests doing the dishes, so as they use plates during the day, she arranges them in a neat pile for hubby to wash when he gets back. And he does. That is how she spells L-O-V-E. Find out little ways your wife spells love and please help out, even if it’s inconveniencing. Another way to help your wife may be by actually allowing her employ a domestic help. I know some men don’t like the idea of a stranger at home, but if she is swamped, you will not have a happy wife. Plus, she won’t have any energy to be a helper to you or even for sex. My brother, save her energy so she can use it on the things that matter which no one else can do, like being your wife.

Indulge Her In Places That Are Not Your Comfort Zone
So, if she wants to spend 20 minutes taking pictures on the one day she really dresses up, maybe Sunday, please indulge her. I know that you hate pictures, but there are so many other things she does for the family which she may not exactly enjoy. So, indulge her. Ditto, some of her favorite programs. Don’t always hog the TV at primetime, saying she has been home all day with the TV, so night time is yours. No, sir, some days, let us watch Tinsel, not Champions League.

Outinga, Date Night and Vacations
Guys, this one was everywhere. Looks like every woman needs that time out, whether for a couple hours or a few days or weeks. Sometimes alone, sometimes with friends and, (thankfully) sometimes with you. The common denominator remains “baby-free.” As a stay-at-home mom, chances are high that she is with a baby all day, so those hours are good to reset and refresh, especially one where she has to dress up and be pampered.

Give Her Baby Breaks
Most new moms agree that just you holding the baby sometimes, especially at night or during the day, allowing her to get some much-needed sleep, is one of the best ways to show love to them. Mommyhood is exhausting, especially for new and first-time moms, so share this work in a way that works for both of you. And even when they are not newborns, when you return from work, play with and engage your kids, don’t always say, “Go and meet your mommy.”

Give Her Kitchen Breaks
Well, I already mentioned that, but it bears repetition. And it doesn’t have to be just eating out. Some women want someone to come cook in bulk for them at home so they can put in the freezer. I know it is easy to think, “Oh, but what is she doing that someone else is cooking for her?” But my brother, every once in a while, a break is welcome, just the same way you take casual leave or days off work.

Be Involved in School Runs
While most of the school runs will be handled by the mom, she doesn’t mind you jumping in on some days. Maybe work half-day and go pick them, take a day off to be around for Open Day, do homework and school projects with them. If you are leaving late for work, bath them and get them dressed for school, etc. Just don’t let us do all the school runs by ourselves. Be involved, even if just a little.

Throw in Regular Surprises
And please, they have to be thoughtful and on-point, so you may want to involve some of her friends for this. Sometimes, breakfast in bed. Sometimes, tell her to take a day off, hand her some money, and let her just go do her, whatever she wants. Pay for a training for her which she has been showing interest in. She loves pictures? Plan a photo shoot complete with a makeup artist and stylists if you can afford it. She takes buses all the time? Send an Uber, maybe. Her towel and bras are old? Buy her a fresh set. Or just pick up after yourself, which can be a surprise in some homes. Whichever way, just surprise her, well within the confines of your budget.

Money
Ah, you knew we were going to get there, right? This one was another winner. Give her money just because it is Tuesday. Or the 19th. Beyond domestic allowances, find something for her every month. Yes, she wants gifts, but she also wants good old cash, so please, whatever you can afford, give us.

The above represents a summary of the responses I got from stay-at-home moms. So husbands, I hope you take note and show your wife you love her, and appreciate all the work she does at home in a language she understands.

Trust me, few things beat a happy, loved and aware wife.

Thank you for reading.

Now, Moms, can I quickly talk to you?

You can actually sit your husband down and let him know what little things he can do that would make a great difference. He may not read this, or he may read this and none of it works for you or both of you, so it is okay to talk to him. Even if you think he will not listen, you have at least dropped that seed in his heart, and who knows what the future will bring. And make sure that whatever you want doesn’t end up being overly extravagant. You can do this well within your family budget.

If you have other ways your husband can show his love and support to you as a domestic queen, let’s hear it in the comments section.

Remain epic, Moms.

Eziaha Bolaji-Olojo (CoachE’) is a Food and Fitness Coach and CEO at CoachE’Squad Ltd, a thriving home-based business where she serves Jesus and Fitness to the world. Asides helping women live optimized lives through a healthy food and fitness routine, she runs a personal Faith-based blog www.eziaha.com where she chronicles her Christian walk, and a website where she regularly posts content to inspire Stay at Home moms into a life of joy and fruitfulness right from home. She is a First-Class Graduate of Sociology, holds a UK degree in Personal Nutrition and a Pre-natal and Postnatal Fitness Specialist Certification endorsed by the American Fitness Professionals Association (AFPA). She is also an Alumnus of Daystar Leadership Academy (DLA). Above all these, she is a proud wife and mom to two boys and takes that assignment very seriously. She is a product of many teachers and mentors, constantly going for knowledge, regularly pours into mentoring younger folks, loves stir-fry eggs and home-made zobo, and is a proud member of Daystar Christian Centre. Eziaha can be found online at www.stayhomemoms.ng and www.coache.ng

13 Comments

  1. C2yn

    February 6, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    It’s not even about giving your wife “kitchen and baby breaks”, it’s about the man taking up domestic responsibilities as well. He isn’t doing his wife any damn favor when he decides to “help” or give her a “break”. Except he is a handicapped individual, he should be fully tackling chores in his home too.

    1
    • Engoz

      February 6, 2019 at 4:48 pm

      For real! This article is for people who go into the marriages with the ideology that domestic duties is the exclusivity of the woman. To be honest, I’m not interested in changing their world view, it’s a free world after all and you gotta do what works for ya family. I only hope ambitious young girls know exactly what they are signing up for when they accept this ideology.

      Mine is not traditional. We divided the chores. In fact, I have it taped on the wall in our bedroom, lmao! When we make more money, we will outsource majority of these things straight.

    • Grace

      February 7, 2019 at 1:14 am

      @Engoz. No problem, the solution is in the hands of the woman. Get a job or career and he will sit up. Everybody will come back to do their part of house chores when they return. If you were not home all day, who will ask you whether you vacuumed. I respect stay at home moms somehow realities are different for everyone but I have observed the fact that if you go out to do something for even 4hrs every day even you tube videos you will be missed. How can house chores be the responsibility of one person. House chore we no de finish.

      1
  2. Manny

    February 6, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Nice …but the title should be “Dear Husbands, These Are Things You Should Do At Home”.

  3. Berry Dakara

    February 6, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Don’t leave out Listening or Giving Emotional Support. Motherhood can be tough, and sometimes all we need is just a listening ear, an encouraging word, (throw in a foot massage too), to feel appreciated and supported.

    1
  4. Miss Fine

    February 6, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    I enjoyed reading this article, she hit the nail on the head.

    1
  5. Joy

    February 6, 2019 at 11:38 pm

    Yes. I agree that you let your husband know, Some of them just don’t know, it’s surprising and not right but some just don’t know. They were trained differently and saw their mothers do all the house chores. Secondly, women love you too so you don’t die before your time. It took a while for me to understand that fact. Build yourself. Add to yourself. Be a person of value. Remember you need to stay healthy also body soul and Spirit. You cannot give what you dont have. How can you take care of the home effectively when you are always tired, stressed and depressed. You have just one life please. Enjoy your own company and don’t stress over every single comment your husband makes. Secondly, I am yet to meet a man who has thoroughly studied the power and effect of words on women. Some men though nice can burn down the home with their mouths. You’ll assume that women are the ones who need ‘mouth training’ some men can kill with their mouths and then buy a car, gifts whatever the next day .What is that please? Show dignity and respect. Some men just run their mouths, verbal abuse is real. Stop it. You give her allowance So!!!, isn’t that part of your responsibility. Secondly some men can complain for Africa. Don’t blame the mother for every single thing. If your child’s collar is not well fixed, just fix it, that child is also yours. How can one woman do every single thing domestically, she will look 65 at 40. Haba do you want to kill her. People act as if domestic work is easier. Being a stay at home mum can be very difficult. It’s easier to leave home and sit in the office for hours with no distractions. (That does not apply to women who go out to work and come back to do chores. Talking about men who just work and go home to watch tv, shouting because food is not ready). All you need to do is deal with yourself but imagine some women who have to time their stay in the restroom because 1 or more children are waiting right outside the restroom door. Is it not easier to sit in an office alone and deal with adults.You read through your papers in the office with no child by you.. You ask your clients to hold on a second and they do. Can that be compared to staying home with a baby, babies or toddlers. Anyway a word is enough for the wise. Women pray for wisdom to run your homes. Amen. I hope mothers raise their sons properly, the fruits of the seed sown by some mothers in the past is what the wife is living and dealing with, I also expect a grown man to retrain himself jare especially African men. If the child does not sleep at night, it’s mother’s fault. As if the mother is the only one responsible for training a child. True story. My aunty left her home to build another house in the same estate. No fights or divorce. The man just controlled her every move, the other day, a Nigerian locked his wife out for 4days because she came late. I don’t want to go on and on. I hope women are completely liberated from the curse of Eve. Don’t pray anyone takes the step my aunty took, guess she did not want to end home in a psychiatric ward.

    .

    1
    • Sharon

      February 7, 2019 at 11:14 am

      Joy, Thank you for pointing out men like that! I’m in the United States & was married to a (mostly verbally) abusive man who felt entitled to be mean. I fled 500 miles away with my 3 young children to start over. The effects from living like that are horrible, but I’m married to a traditional and NICE man now. He is 50 and believes in his male role of protecting the family and providing for the family, but he also helps with housework, helps with the kids, cooks for us, he loves my children and he spoils us rotten. There are good men out there who know how to be a real man! Kindness is a choice, and so is being a jerk. Some men have to be given some direction from the wife to know what to do, but a good man will act on that direction and perform helpful tasks with love in his heart. I’m thankful for my good man! He’s a keeper.

      1
    • Joy

      February 7, 2019 at 3:08 pm

      @Sharon. So happy for you. Verbal abuse is horrible and can kill. I am glad and encouraged to know there are men who have mouth rules out there.

  6. Grace

    February 7, 2019 at 1:06 am

    Whatsoever a man shows, he will reap. I know an interesting couple. Wife is in her mid sixties, husband looks like he is in his late sixties. Husband told wife ‘ I did not eat your food’ Wife replied ‘Do you think I care. lived with you for many years, 30 I am not bothered, do you think that will bother me’ They live together in the US. Some men are so out of touch with their wife’s feelings or domestic work. This is why some women spend many months with their children, of course the assumption is that they are taking care of grandchildren which is so in some cases. In other cases, grandma just does not want to kill her back. Why? When grandpa sees a piece of paper right in front of him, he calls on grandma from the kitchen to pick it up. I respect old age but let’s remember that the young ones are the ones that grow old. If a young man does not ammend his ways, those ways will grow old with him. A woman told me that when her husband sounded the horn those days, she including their children run for cover, you became a terror to your family and want their company when you become old. Please think upon these things.

  7. Peace

    February 7, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Sorry but some of you women complain alot. I am not excusing bad behaviour from men and will never endorse it. Look at this beautiful article with practical steps on how to be a supportive husband and father. Most of the comments are from women complaining emotionally when they were asked by the author to list more practical ways that husband can show love and support. Please list further ways men can be supportive, some might learn.

    • honeymix...

      February 12, 2019 at 2:54 pm

      Have you dared asked why these women are complaining, its because there is an issue, the woman has been bottled up these attitudes and feelings that leads to resentment hence her complaining. Do you think some women would not have sat their husbands down to talk amicably with them but some of them will still not hear or understand.

  8. Blessed Child

    February 9, 2019 at 12:15 am

    @Sharon, I’m happy for you. Emotional abuse is the worst thing any one can go through. I pray, to be be free from mine one day.

    1

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