As-salaam Alaykum sister.
You are a housewife and not a destitute. A housewife is not a lesser human being.
Let me tell you something; being a housewife is a job itself.
The Housewife Career
A housewife is a stay at home mum. A stay at home mum is a woman who dedicates her life to caring for the growth and development of the home. Most homes consist of the mother, father and children and in some cases, it may include a member of the extended family such as grandma, grandpa and other dependent relatives.
To be a stay at home mum is a decision dreaded by many women in today’s World. In a world where we have a high number of female university graduates, it is believed that the woman’s intellectual capacity is underutilised. However, her physical strength is overstretched as well.
The decision to be a housewife is agreed upon by couples. In many cases, the partner agrees to pay the wife a monthly stipend.
The job description of a housewife
The house mom provides all maternal care for the children and fills the emotional space in them as well as in their father. She is their confidant and their first point of contact. She grooms their self-esteem and is always ready to be a shoulder to cry on. This Mom is everyone’s number one cheerleader.
- Nurse: the mum is the first aid provider. She must know when to call the paediatricians. In many cases she provides
- Laundry service: the mother makes sure everyone is neatly dressed. She washes and dry cleans the clothes for members of the household
- Home teacher: the mum ensures the children do their school works diligently. She is the extra tutor that guarantees they understand what is being taught in school and other essential life values.
- Chef: the mother provides the nutritional requirement of the family. She does grocery shopping, cooks and serves the meals.
- Cleaner: the housewife makes sure the house and its environment are clean and hygienic for healthy living.
- Driver: she conveys the children to and from school.
- Love: above all these, she still performs her role as her husband’s lover.
It is evident that the above task requires a superhuman being. Many times, housewives lose touch with her essence as a person. Gives so much to her loved ones but may not receive the appreciation she deserves.
These are women who did not plan to be stay at home mums but because of one reason or the other they find themselves in the situation. The situation includes sickness of a loved one (husband, child or parent) or unemployment or a loss of former employment. In most cases, to adapt to the new reality is usually tricky. It takes a lot of emotional and financial drain. Whatever the reason is, it’s best to seek help if one feels exhausted. The woman can request for the service of a house cleaner or rotate duties with her husband and siblings. This period allows her to catch up on herself
If the woman still feels the need to be gainfully employed, she can keep searching until Allah grants her the grace. She can also think of businesses she can do from home to generate extra income.
Above all, as a human her feelings matters too and must not allow depression and exhaustion to set in. Above all, we must all do what makes us happy inside out.
Reasons for the low adoption of the housewife career
Low and inconsistent income: In many cases, the partner is not paying for the free job. The problem is that the housewife is being exploited by her husband and society. They guilt trip her into working without a salary. We all should weigh the advantages of stay home moms in the future of families instead of sneering at them or ridiculing their contribution to the development of society. What is your take?
Loneliness: sometimes she craves for another company during the day to exchange ideas. She yearns to feel like a social being that she is. Instead, many be-little her staying at home. They assume all she does is to watch Telemundo and gossip. How does she keep her sanity when all she has during office hours are the walls surrounding her and loads of house work?
Betrayal: at the beginning, the partner is all lovey-dovey, but later he may start to water down her contribution to the family. Does he not know that many children visit the therapist because of their parent’s inability to fill their emotional vacuum? Has he visited juvenile prisons to acknowledge that it takes the grace of Allah to raise an upright child? Perhaps he should visit the emergency ward to see the number of preventable deaths.
Economic Reality: many husbands’ incomes cannot fully sustain the family. Instead of him to help his wife with how she can make money from home, they often turn to financial bullying. Yes, there are several works some housewives can add to their routine. These include bake sales, daycare services and writing for blogs.
Social status: due to her financial inadequacy, she might not meet up with some social demands. Her inability to meet up with club activities and other social gatherings will likely earn her some ridiculing from friends and family members.
Honouring Agreements: Husbands should honour the agreements (financial, emotional etc) they have with their wives. “Yea, whoever fulfils his promise and guards (against evil) – then surely Allah loves those who guard (against evil). As for those who take a small price for the covenant of Allah and their own oaths – surely they shall have no portion in the hereafter, and Allah will not speak to them, nor will He look upon them on the Day of Resurrection nor will He purify them, and they shall have a painful chastisement.” (Surah Ali-‘Imrān 3:76-77)
JOINT Account: the family should have a joint account where both parties can have a clear financial break down on planning for the sustainability of the family. However, it should be a consensus between you and your husband. If a joint account is not possible, let him open an account for you where he drops money for your upkeep and that of the family. Also spend wisely, save from it even if it is as low as 2000 naira monthly. Put it in a separate account as you might need this savings to establish yourself when the going gets tough.
High Self-Esteem: you should not allow anyone to belittle you. You should know and be confident in your contribution to society.
A Hired Maid or other helps: the woman should request for an extra hand if she feels exhausted. She is not a robot, her health and well being is paramount to society.
Life Insurance Scheme: any man that compels his wife to be a stay at home must have an insurance policy that will safeguard the welfare of his family after an untimely demise.
Is there any woman that sits at home and does nothing.
During the period of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) majority of the women were stay at home mums while the men were mostly busy with the business of the state. It is very important that the primary duty of the woman is to take care of her home. Women who were busy with raising the children and caring for the home were assisted with maids (male and female). Women were not overburdened that is why the financial capacity of the man is a major consideration for marriage. It is also the responsibility of the man to provide a conducive and financial arrangement for the wife to achieve this.
Spouses have duties to each other as Allah as stated in Quran 4:34 “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband’s property, among others.).”
Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) also stated “The most complete persons in faith are those who have the best manners and the good among you are those who are good”.