By Joseph Chagu, Kaduna
The Creator, GOD, created so many things, including man. But after a while, He realized that man was alone; and He said, “… It is not right that the man should be alone. I shall make man a helper …” It followed then that several “companions” were fashioned and brought to the man by the Creator, ‘… but no helper suitable for the man was found for him…’ (Gen 2:18,20).
And so, the Creator proceeded to make a woman who was found to be the most suitable helper for man. The method of her creation made the man to immediately proclaim (on seeing her) that the woman was, as he put it, ‘bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh’ (Gen 2:22,23). This is because the woman was formed out of part of the man’s own body.
There and then, a permanent magnetic force developed between man and woman till date. The activity of this force is such that, while the woman yearns to (re)locate her ‘root,’ the force propels the man to crave for a filler for his ‘lost rib’ – his other half, in order for him to properly “settle down.”
The man’s ‘lost rib’ (woman) forms the axis and pivot for making a home, because her wisdom is filled with the art and mechanics that stabilizes the home-front. The Holy Bible sums up this scenario thus: “Homes are made by the wisdom of women …” (Prov. 14:1). Really, “By wisdom, a house is built, by understanding it is made strong…” (Prov.24:3).
Different dictionaries have their definitions of home and gender, but here, I want to give my own definition of home as “a dedicated rendezvous for couples and a grooming ‘barrack’ for their offspring.”
My summary definition of woman is that, beside her gender as an adult female, “she is a missing part of man; she holds the three pillars of the home-front, namely, (1) child birth and care, (2) husband care and (3) house care.”
You will notice that child birth and care are bonded in one pillar, that’s because, if a particular couple is not opportune to have their biological child, there is the option for them to adopt one – in which case child care still comes in.
Men should not crucify me yet, because I’m not unmindful of their overwhelmingly big support, which they give to their wives on regular basis.
CHILD BIRTH AND CARE
Before I proceed, here is one question I would like to be answered by every man of marriageable age. It is an act that a woman does so natural you wouldn’t see any wrinkle of vexation on her face. The “Q” is:
Can you bathe and dress up a 3 days’ old newborn baby, for just 7 days? (not 17 months and beyond).
Please, sincerely examine your mind and answer the question to yourself.
The first 18 months of a child are spent under the sleepless, long-suffering and over-enduring watchful eyes of a woman. These 18 months are divided into two sections. But before I explain the two sections, let me make an ‘introduction’ to childhood, which comes under pregnancy. It all begins from here, although one may argue that pregnancy is not a part of childhood. This is the period when the woman carries the baby in her womb. She goes through all sorts of pregnancy discomfort and pains.
Male children (not all) usually give the mother more troubled moments, while in the womb. Many male children actually start practicing “football” and “boxing” in the womb. They are either throwing their legs or hands, not minding whether or not it hurts the mother. This activity goes on-and-on until the child is finally “offloaded” from the womb.
1st 9 months – During this period, the woman virtually says bye-bye to sleep. It is also the moment when a woman is (so to say) put to test as a mother; a period when she graduates into motherhood if she ‘passes’ the test.
She spends the nights counting every heartbeat of the child to be sure that nothing is wrong, in addition to momentary breastfeeding. (The baby doesn’t want to know if it’s night time or not).
At this stage, the husband, too, has to join in the “wake-keep” or “vigil,” and has to occasionally tap the mother when she unavoidably takes a nap (since no one cheats nature) to wake her up for yet another breastfeeding session; or, when the mother raises alarm of some abnormal breathing or action she has noticed in the baby. This often requires the two parents to rush the baby to a clinic or hospital, even at odd hours, for emergency medical attention.
And so, this ‘palaver,’ too, lingers on until the baby begins to crawl – and eventually starts to learn how to walk, all things being equal.
2nd 9 months – Now, the mother can afford some sleep, much more than during the ‘introductory’ 9 months and 1st 9 months, respectively, having endured several ‘punches’ from the baby during pregnancy and sleepless nights that follow thereafter. She still bathes and dresses up the child, but other helping hands can more conveniently render assistance at this material time.
Towards the end of this 2nd 9 months, the child begins to simply throw water over his/her body, hoping to be bathing; but the mother or another person has to properly bathe the child. This development indicates then that, the first 27 months of a child on earth (from pregnancy) is under the sleepless and watchful eyes of a woman!
At this juncture, let me deviate a bit and chip in some problems that usually crop up, from time-to-time, following child birth. Children who happen to grow up in the midst of their Mummy and Daddy should count themselves very lucky in life.
Unfortunately, the emotional and intellectual development of children is at stake when they fall victims of what I term as, “Shunting Marriages” (SMa), “Single Parenting” (SPg), or, “No Supportive biological Parent” (NsP) at all, until maturity catches up with them – when at this point in time they could be in a mental position to wrestle themselves out of these shackles. Perhaps I should explain these situations a little further (and let not my concocted abbreviations collide with another person’s).
Shunting Marriage (SMa) – When a man picks a woman, has a child with/from her and then dumps her so that he could only take custody of the child, this is what I term as “shunting.” He jumps the cue and grabs a child out of the blues and leaves the woman longing for the consolation of her child. In this form of “marriage” (if at all it is one), the expected incubating love and succor of the mother is aborted, leaving a one-sided support – of the father.
Single Parenting (SPg) – The phrase, “single parent,” somehow has gradually tended to run synonymous with women in the sense that, in most cases this development comes about as a result of circumstances beyond their control – ranging from ‘accidental’ pregnancies to deliberate denial for custody of child by the man. However, an SPg child gains much of the traditional down-to-earth care and affection of mother, but the fatherly feeling of ‘my Daddy’ is far to reach. But here, on the other hand, a female child tends to be much more at home.
In defining the word, “emotional,” the Oxford (advanced learners’ dictionary) states thus: “… Mothers are often the ones who provide emotional support for the family.”
Back to track.
It is sad to observe that some men shamelessly turn their wives into ‘punching bags.’ My profound guess here is that the requisite affection and compassion in such men has taken flight to, I think, the great beyond. Pls pray for them.
Notwithstanding the cruelty and such ordeals a woman may go through at the home-front, it’s amazing that she still has the time-table of her husband’s going-and-coming back to the house imprinted on her mind. That is to say, she is always very mindful of ensuring his comfort at all times. Not only are his meals customized to his taste(s) but some women go to the extent of ensuring that even the husband’s wears are always kept in top shape.
He walks home into the warm embrace of his wife, who stands ever ready to ‘bandage’ his tensive moments of the day (if there were any). Being that she is his rightful companion by nature, it behoves on her to, all round, make him feel-at-home. No wonder, this phenomenon is usually referred to as: “behind every successful man there is a woman.”
Women’s expertise in handling house chores, ranging from keeping the house clean, tidy and neat to managing assorted cooking/eating programs in the house, is wonderful and unimaginable. And, when she doubles as a bread-winner, hmmmm, the ‘aroma’ is waaou!
Please, don’t be surprised then, whenever someone reminds you that, No Woman No, Home.
THE GREAT HUSBAND
In highlighting the wisdom of women at the home-front, I have not lost sight of men, who stand by their wives to ensure that they succeed in every – and all – their endeavours. They always make sure that their wives are in good health and lack no food. They stand shoulder-high in supporting their wives in the overall child care/education. To this group of men, it could equally be said that, behind every successful woman, there is a man.
Joseph Chagu writes from Kaduna.