My wife left for Zimbabwe for a month because of some funny rule at Roodepoort licensing department that says an accompanying spouse cannot get a traffic register, hence she cannot get a drivers license unless she has her own work permit. Anyway I was left with my 6 year old daughter and my 3 turning four within that month year old son. I had never been away from my wife WITH the kids for this long! it was going to be a test which I thought I would handle pretty easily but it was not as straight forward.
The first issue that hit me was the importance of companionship. My phone bill will definitely be high this month. Just general chit chat and the occasional sulk (kuyema). It really had me thinking about how single parents cope. Just her presence in the house, knowing that she is around. I wouldn’t be able to cope with bachelorhood!
2. The Work
I generally didn’t have a problem with the housework because we grew up doing that. But the rate at which the kids brought havoc to the house just after it was cleaned amazed me and made me appreciate how patient my wife is and how patient my mother was.
3. A gift from God
Children are a precious gift from God. So treasure them and raise them up in fear of the Lord. And you have to start as soon as they can talk. Don’t under estimate them in this regard. I still did not spare the rod. I have better insight of what the word means when it says be like children. They are so quick to forgive and they are so trusting. Even after being disciplined they still genuinely show their affection. We should be like them towards God. And Fathers are urged not to provoke their children. Even the disciplining has to be balanced.
First few days I got a headache from talking so much and wondered how come I never heard my wife. I realised that kids are not adults. They are kids despite however clever they may seem and how quick they grasp certain concepts – they are still kids and need vast amounts of attention. There were some things my kids did which frustrated me but I realised that I was guilty of the very same things! Such were things that probably frustrate my wife as well! The kids tested my patience because when their mother is there she absorbs a lot of the energy, complaints etc from the kids. It has been humbling test of patience.
5. Balancing Act
Since I work from home I had to now balance the work and the kids. In her absence they naturally turned to me and rightfully required a double dose of attention! Thankfully I didn’t have too much work (Even had time to do an infographic for the draft constitution). I realised the enormous task my wife had of balancing between her husband and her children. Giving them both equal amount of time and love while still doing all the housework.
The first right that a child has is the right to be raised by both parents. Parents have to work out their issues and work as a team to rightfully raise their children. So they see a good example of how a family is run.
Husbands be responsible, boys leave girls alone, if you love her you will respect her dignity. Girls aspire to be good wives. Guard yourselves preciously. Let us take care of our wives and honour them. These precious beings work hard. I don’t know how a working mother who does not have a maid can cope! Its tough!
I have learnt a lot of things that I took for granted, not cos I loved my wife any less or I was inconsiderate, but I just didn’t see things from her perspective and with this one month I now understand what she goes through.
In our endeavour to provide for and defend our wives and children, let us not let those roles overshadow and become an excuse for why we cannot spend time with our kids and also to give our wives a break and roll up our sleeves regularly to help out. Let us be husbands our wives can look up to with respect and fathers our children will also look to for guidance and support.
Lets lead our homes with a fear of God, knowing that we are accountable for the salvation of our families as leaders of the home. God Bless