The first thing you should be assured of, this isn’t some criticism towards homemakers or, better still, housewives in Nigeria. Another critical factor to pin this explains being a “Housewife in Nigeria” as we distinguish the traditional and modern aspects. Although, there cannot be a balance to the topic due to diverse opinions. It has more to do with your perception of every line or paragraph that you connect with.
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But let’s dive in!
Who is a traditional Nigerian housewife?
A traditional way of explaining housewife in Nigeria would be a married woman that spends most of her time at home. One who manages the house’s affairs, conducts and disciplines the children if there are any. Also, she assists the husband in every sector of home building as a family.
So, we put into play an average family inclusive of a husband, wife, and children. The woman runs both the role of a wife and mother. And being a housewife in Nigeria is beyond her role. It’s a profession that she takes no break from.
Now, there’s a fixed schedule of her daily activity. Truthfully, there’s a possibility of additional tasks, but these should stand.
Duties of a traditional housewife in Nigeria
Let’s look at a list of consistent activities a traditional housewife in Nigeria performs.
She prepares her husband’s clothing every day
She lays out at least two pairs of clothing and smoothens them. That’s for her husband, who works and brings home finances. She picks out matching fits for different occasions. But in a case where the husband would concur with her decision, one pair of clothing would work.
A housewife in Nigeria takes care of her husband’s meals
She cooks for him regardless of the type of language his belly understands. It’s either freshly prepared or refrigerated meals which simultaneously equals the word, “stale”.
A housewife in Nigeria represents her husband
She is present at family functions if her husband is unavailable. Also, she is more of a personal assistant regarding family issues. And it’s superior that she leaves a good impression as a representative.
As a mother,
She gets her children set for the day
She baths her children, dresses them up for school. Then, she could prepare them breakfast to eat before leaving. Also, she could pack it up with their lunch in food boxes. Finally, she drops them on the school bus to ensure they attend school for the day.
She is the children’s home tutor
She doesn’t specifically pay attention to just schoolwork as a tutor. As a mother, she introduces them to personal hygiene. She gives them practical examples of how they are to be conducted in public. She includes etiquette, too, because they are expected to make the family proud. Not to forget that she is held responsible if the children get involved shameful situations.
As a woman,
She puts the house in order
She cleans the curtains, floor, and bathrooms. Also, she is the gardener. If there’s no garden, she has to uproot any grass growing in the house compound. She is also in charge of grocery shopping.
She is the family accountant
A housewife in Nigeria helps to manage the rate of outflow from finances. She substitutes things that can be evaded with paramount needs. In addition, she sets up monthly budgets so her family will not end up penniless. The children’s needs are always above hers.
Conclusion on being a traditional housewife in Nigeria
This routine is uninterrupted until they come of age and can independently get things done for the children. Then, it’s her job to guide them as they grow if she wants that to come into existence.
In general, all of her duties have to begin early. She’s up within 4-5 am, running through her schedule till like 8 pm. After all that, she has a duty to her husband in bed as a wife till it’s goodnight. The house is her office. An outside job would be a distraction and could lead to failing in her roles. With the fixed schedule, the pressure isn’t surplus if she concentrates on being a housewife or stay-at-home mom.
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Being a modern housewife in Nigeria
It’s the twenty-first century. For every coin you see, there are always two sides to it. However, that further explains that when there’s a traditional version, the modern also takes effect. So now, let’s roll this coin.
The modern housewife in Nigeria! She is Mrs Deluxe, and there’s a soothing nickname for her. It’s called “Emi Oga” in the Yoruba language. She’s also a married woman that stays at home. But, she has her days when she graces the world with her presence. Her primary role is to help her husband spend his money.
A modern housewife in Nigeria is an expensive duty, so it’s restricted to a wealthy family. She also has a schedule of her daily activities. But, there’s help to get it all done. So, let’s signify what she does differently as we categorise it in light of that.
Duties of a modern housewife in Nigeria
As a wife,
She makes rules for her husband’s clothing to be set
As a modern housewife in Nigeria she sends out her husband’s clothes to the dry cleaner. She orders the hired help to pick out at least two pairs. Also, she indicates for her husband to make a pick for the day easily.
She makes sure her husband’s meals are properly made
She orders the chef what meals to be prepared. Sometimes, she supervises and makes sure that everything is neatly arranged. There are days she specifically decides to fix the cooking but with help present. It could also be a special request from her husband.
She represents her husband
There are meetings she attends on behalf of her husband. It could be family or business related. She sometimes serves as a supervisor for things to be run satisfactorily. Also, she makes sure she looks and acts her part as Mrs Deluxe.
As a mother,
She confirms her children are set for the day
It’s not every time she’s present to make this happen. After giving out rules to the hired help to get her children set. She would confirm the helps carry out appropriately by checking the kids out. Also, she could inquire once they are out of the house.
She receives help in tutoring
She employs the use of the computer or electronic tablets. The children learn hygiene, etiquette, and discipline. She could also hire a home tutor for extensive knowledge. But, she could also include a different method of understanding. That’s to have a connection between her and the children.
As a woman,
She puts her family in order
She organises outings and vacations for her family to cool down. So her husband gets a chance to take a break from work. The kids get to see new places. And she helps them all to understand the essence of family time.
She runs the family account
She creates a monthly budget but never leaves out space for miscellaneous. The needs of each member of the family are vital. She also makes sure her husband doesn’t complain about the money being withheld instead of spending it.
Conclusion on being a modern housewife in Nigeria
As the children grow, they might be introduced to some household duties. It’s to serve as an added knowledge once they attain the stage of independence. Also, to evade confusion if finding help seems complicated at any point of their adulthood journey. But, they are not compelled to get involved in the task.
Conclusively, the house remains her workspace. She has enough time to relax and does more supervision than get her hands dirty. Also, she can decide to have a flexible outside job. With help, she gets her income and all the vital details of the day to day activities while she’s absent.
Which of the housewives in Nigeria can you afford to be?
The role of a woman is extensive. And considering both lifestyles, it takes a lot of effort. Taking breaks from any role played is beneficial to your health. It’s also applaudable to invest so much for the sake of your family. But either is suitable as long as the individual is thrilled with the decision. Also, when it’s not a choice made under compulsion.
Which of the housewives in Nigeria are more responsible?
Opinions will vary. But, what is more, vital is the woman being identified as someone reliable. Each lifestyle is reflected and sometimes suffice as a guide for the children. If you can be counted on to exhibit healthy and sound development, then neither is irresponsible.
Who is the happier Nigerian housewife?
The housewife is an official duty as much as it takes union for it to originate. For some, it’s a sacrifice that annuls an academic certificate. And that automatically equals unhappiness. But that’s for the woman in question to express. As long as she chooses happiness as a Housewife, then no negative remarks are essential.
The silver lining, being a housewife in Nigeria can be enjoyable. It can also be recognised as edifying. Every journey makes more meaning once you’re not being compelled. But, happiness seems uncertain as long as coercion is the foundation. So, the very key is searching for those things that can evoke joy again. And, it will be worth it eventually.
All that being highlighted, nothing validates it as a journey every woman must partake. You can choose whether to be a housewife in Nigeria or not and still have a meaningful journey.
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Tobiloba Funsized Adeola is a part time drama queen who cuts across being a visionary content writer, story teller and poet.
She loves to blend ideas, thoughts and experiences, sharing them for the world to consume.