Ever since my folks and my sister left, I've been returning home to a big empty house. One of the things I miss is coming back home to a warm meal, lol. It got me thinking yesterday. There's a common belief that most bachelors 'suffer' because they have to eat out or survive on indomie, dunno where that idea came from. And a common debate/argument still goes on about whether a guy would marry a girl who doesnt know how to cook. Now I personally don't believe cooking skills should be one of the criteria for marriage, but considering the modern generation we are in, my reasons for thinking so have changed.
I'm an excellent cook and I can handle myself as efficiently as any woman in the kitchen, my mum made sure of that. Still I discover that when I get back home after a long day of busting my ass at work, I just want to sit down, relax and eat something good. Now there are 2 options, either I microwave some food I cooked earlier and stored in the freezer, or roll up my sleeves and start cooking dinner. On very very rare occassions, I might be too tired and just order food instead. Now, here's the funny thing, mi casa plays host to a whole crowd of regular 'visitors'. So sometimes when I return from work, tired and hungry, I have to step into the kitchen to cook dinner while a few 'visitors' lounge on my couch gisting, playing games and stylishly waiting for 'dinner' to appear. To be very sincere, it can drive me nuts! Not that I need much help in the kitchen, but the least I expect is a little 'moral support', a lil company while I'm in the kitchen.
Coming back to the debate of whether a woman or a man should cook or not, I do think there are a few extra factors to consider. If both the man and the woman have full time jobs, there has to be alot of patience and understanding. In my opinion, whoever gets home first should get dinner ready. There has been a paradigm shift over the years. Before men worked to take care of their families, while women ran the home and supported their husbands. That was the way we were 'traditionally' raised in Nigeria, women did most of the cooking and ran the home while the men took care of almost all the bills. But things changed gradually, people blame it on the birth of a new generation of 'career women' but I don't think that men were 'career oriented' in the past either. Most men worked for the sole purpose of taking care of their families, careers barely had much to do with it.
What I think happened is that as time passed by, the dependency of women on men waned, women wanted to be more independent (which is a very good thing in my opinion), and that hunger for independence led to more women pursuing careers. Now the men who had initially been in 'control' for so long were facing 'competition' at work, so their emphasis shifted from just providing for their families to preserving their 'alpha dog status'. Men AND women became more career oriented and the family harmony paid a little price for it. The key question is this, is it wrong to pursue your career? I think part of the problem with that question is that it is ALWAYS directed towards women. There seems to be an accepted idea that men ought to pursue their careers while women should sacrifice theirs for the family. It is a pretty complex debate and there are no clear cut answers.
My opinion is pretty straightforward, let's not sacrifice love and family harmony on the altar of our careers and ambitions. Can it be done? Yes, with careful communication, love and understanding. It doesn't matter if your mother always cooked for your father, that was 28 years ago, Barrack Obama wasn't president then. To round up my unprofessional rant, I came up with a few ideas:
1. If you get home before your wife/fiancee/girlfriend, it doesn't hurt to prepare dinner. If you can't cook, you can always order something for you AND her. The common mistake most men make is that when it comes to food, they think only about themselves, but they expect women to remember them in their plans.
2. Be patient and understanding. Remember that she works as hard as you do and will probably get home as tired as you are. So don't grumble over the 'food choices' she offers you. A freshly prepared dinner is a luxury/bonus, not a right. If dinner consists of microwaved leftovers, dig in and relish the taste and do the dishes, it's a simple way of saying a quiet 'thank you'.
For women (I can't really advise women since I'm a guy, but I'll try)
1. If you can't cook, you should learn (lol). It doesn't hurt to be a good cook. Trust me, you can control a man with good food, he'll never come home late. So think of it as a 'bargaining chip', lol.
2. You must plan ahead of time, the kids will arrive someday and you'll be faced with extra responsibility. Get used to the 'habit' of taking care of someone, start practising with your man. Believe me, if you think men are demanding, wait till you have kids!
In general, communication is key. A couple ought to sit down and plan how they'll run the home "TOGETHER". Sacrifices will have to be made by both parties, the sooner you sit down and work out a plan, the better for everyone.
I'll go ahead and whip up dinner tonight, as for my 'visitors', the closest they'll get to tasting any of this would be in their dreams, lol. Go get hitched or be happy single.
Let me know your thoughts, opinions and ideas and feel free to share. I bet I said something out of line somewhere, so correct me if you have a different opinion.