by Tomaca Govan
Have we? Isn’t it the innate nature of women to nurture, foster and care for her children and her man?
Our society’s financial structure is such that we cannot live on one income. Women were forced to enter into the workforce. That led to us becoming educated and seeking better paying jobs. And, that led to us having jobs that demand our time. Precious time that used to be devoted to caring for our families.
I don’t cook anymore. I’m just not interested. When my older children were young, it wasn’t a question. Come home from work, cook dinner for that man and my children. Make sure everyone ate a nutritious meal. That was my job and one that I undertook very seriously. But, I struggled with it. It just wasn’t me.
Thank God my mother never had such issues of confusion. Even the time when my parents had very little money, there was always a family dinner time, even if it was just a big pot of beans. She did her best to spice things up and jazz things up to make meals interesting. Sometimes we would even have hot cornbread with butter to make those beans more interesting!
Sundays dinner were the big ones. I guess my parents decided that one day a week they could afford to splurge on a big meal for the family. There was fried chicken, vegetables, mashed potatoes with gravy and sometimes a salad. I admire them for managing to feed a family of ten children on their income. And, everything my mother cooked was made from scratch. Nothing was instant and very few things came out of a can.
So, here I am, in my mother’s shadow. Most of my sisters got the message and carry through their motherly duties and do regular cooking for their families. I feel like I’ve done my time with that. I’m finished. My poor youngest son — I will bring home some takeout for him, or we’ll go out for dinner. But, some days he’s forced to fend for himself. “There’s frozen pot pie in the freezer. You can handle it.” And he is 14, so he can and it’s about time that he “man-up” and do things for himself.
To my mother’s disappointment, I do these things. I don’t fall all over my husband and cook for him and make sure his every need is tended to… But, I find that I am not alone. This is just the way of many women today. We’re just too busy and our time is fragmented. For me, I could manage the time, that wouldn’t be too difficult, but I no longer have the interest. How about you?