Parenting is a team effort. Gone are the days when fathers worked and mothers stayed home, baking bread and cakes, looking after the children and greeting her husband at the front door with a smile on her face and a cold beer in her hand.
The 21st century has changed all that with the pace the world has accelerated to. The cost of living has driven the need for both parents to work – unless of course one lands a well-paying job that can allow one of the parents to remain at home. In this case, the ladies normally drive expensive SUV’s to the mall where they have their hair and nails done followed by a luncheon with their lady friends who complain how busy their lives are.
But I am getting sidetracked.
I have been fortunate enough over the last few years not to have traveled except on the very rare occasion but it is my wife who normally takes a few trips to Johannesburg on business, being away for two or three nights at a time. And although i love the time with my kids, it made me think of the millions of single parents out there who have little or no help at all.
I am fortunate that i have a support structure that is able to fetch the kids from school and keep them locked up until i can arrange their parole.
Then it’s home time which involves homework/studies, cleaning, supper, bath-time and finally spending time reading, playing games and having quality periods together with the evening finally ending in putting the kids to bed.
Then comes the dishes, washing, ironing and if one is lucky, spending just enough time on oneself in front of the tv or laptop before nodding off and at times, avoiding falling off the bar stool in my braai room.
I believe that this is where child labour was invented. Parents getting their kids to help out around the house, doing dishes, vacuuming and tidying the house. People nowadays call it chores and then remunerate with something called ‘pocket money’ – it’s still child labour and I am all for it!
I really feel for those single folks out there that have to attend to such things on a daily basis with no end in sight – unlike myself who had the fortunate excitement of knowing my wife will be home in a few days to restore balance to the forces of good and evil.
Good on you single moms and dads – I take my hat off to you!