The Household Chores And The Husband!

Question:

As salamu aalikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!
Our beloved Prophet Muhammed (SAW) was a great leader, a great teacher, a great preacher, a Prophet, and he still had time and the mood to be a great husband. Why is it so difficult for men to be cooperative with their wives in house chores?

I’m a housewife, but I work as well at a company (temporarily at home as a freelancer). I love my husband very much, al hamdu Lillah, and generally I’m happy with our married life; however, I think it could be improved, insha-Allah.

Sometimes I can’t stop feeling that my two only functions is to clean the house (clothes, cooking, etc.) and satisfy him. Although I feel I’m right, sometimes, I also feel guilty because of that. I want to believe that a woman can be more than that! True! Because of the lack of cooperation and these feelings, I have started to become lazy with my house chores. I think it could be a lot easier for both of us if there was more cooperation, and I mean cooperation! I don’t want my husband to do all the chores, just to help sometimes. Whenever I request him, timidly, he gives “the annoyed look” and does some other chore that I didn’t ask him to do.

Answer:

Hwaa Irfan

As salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh dear sister…

Yes, Prophet Muhammed was a great leader, teacher, preacher, and husbands who helped with the household chores too, but guess what? There is only one Prophet Muhammed (SAW). We can always compare what we have with role models and make ourselves pretty miserable. If everyone had the same experiences, and learnt in the same manner, and applied themselves in the same way to all aspects of life, it would be very dull life do you not think? Al hamdu Lillah, Allah (SWT), got it right on our behalf, and provided us with variety. As much as 20th century man has tried to make everything the same between the sexes, somehow in real terms, it just does not quite translate! The reason why it does not translate is because we as humans like to re-write the rules without considering the consequences.

What was the above all about you might be thinking sister. Well, it would seem that because you go out to work, and you work at home as well you expect your husband to do the same. However, Allah (SWT) did not design the whole creation thing in that way, and made husbands and fathers the providers as stated in the Qur’an. This does not mean that only men can go out to provide, it means that it is their responsibility to provide. For wives it is a choice Islamically speaking, albeit that there might be a decision by both husband and wife that the wife should/could go out to work.

What your husband earns is for the benefit of the family, and what you as the wife earns is at your discretion. If your income is for the benefit of the family, it is because it is a decision made by the both of you. Having no knowledge of what your husband’s occupation is, in general men do like to return to the sanctuary of home which should balance out the demands of the outside world.

Before you blow steam, yes, you too have a demanding job both at home and at work. However, do you carry over the work mind set into the home? For example, if you have people working with you and under you, do you talk to your husband in the same manner in which you talk to them. Your day may be full of a set of instructions and orders in order to keep on top of the work, but by the time you return home, that social psychology should be left at the company you work for. When you arrive home you should be the wife, the friend, the sister who your husband looks forward to being with at the end of his working day. To enable this you too have to slow down. Yes, there are many things to be done when one gets home, but if you go at it the same way you do at work, there will be no difference for you or for your husband.

Take a look at the things you do when you get home and make a list of them all, then prioritize them. The colour code them into most important, less important, and can wait. The chores that need to be done every evening (most important), look at them again, and see how you can schedule you in! Schedule you in? Yes, by doing this you will provide yourself with the opportunity to unwind, to slow down, and to relax enough to be there for yourself, and for your husband. Less important tasks can be set for 2/3 time weekly, and least important once-a-week. 

  • Take that long shower or a hot bath, put some nice smelling oils in, then put on something comfortable.

 

  • Do your prayers on time, and give thanks for what you have.

 

  • Make du’aa’ that you will always understand and appreciate each other

 

  • Prepare the kind of meal that is good for the both of you, but does not require you to be in the kitchen all throughout.

 

  • Prepare the meal based on what you have. This helps to avoid unnecessary panic for an ingredient which results in a tiresome stint to the shops.

 

  • If your husband is present and has had some time to unwind, invite him to share in the preparation of the meal with you. The time could be used to talk about light subjects, and even share laughter.

 

  • While the meal is cooking, relax and do some reading. If your husband is home, sit and talk with him – share your day, or talk about something more interesting to the both of you.

 

  • The washing does not have to be done every day.

 

  • The cleaning can be kept to a minimum, especially if the home is not cluttered with furniture and furnishings.

 

  • Anything you need you husbands help in invite him e.g. “Could you help me to…” which goes much farther than an order.

 

  • Invite your husband into the kitchen to help set the table, dish out the meal, etc., with you.

 

  • Allow for each the time for a little privacy or quiet moment.

 

  • Shop for a week instead every time you run out of something. This can be done together, take turns, or he is responsible for certain types of shopping, and you other types of shopping.

 

  • With time on your hands, you might even be able to visit a friend, a relative, or attend an event together.

 

  • Most importantly, do not do the same thing every evening, otherwise routine will get the better of your marriage.

 

  • Always ensure that there is something that you can both do together.

 

Dear sister, have a happy life!

Jazakum Allahu khayrun…

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