Monday, 11 August 2008

Men Must Get It ?

Thesundaytimes ran an editorial on its "Think" section of August 10, 2008; titled "Men must get it":
Working mothers want more help from their husbands in parenting. This is on the top of their wish list, in a survey conducted by a women's support group. The call is not new. It is an issue raised regularly at forums and in surveys, including one carried out by the Government last year.
A mindset change among the men is called for, but it is not going to be easy. In traditional societies, men went out to work and women stayed home to raise children and do the housework. In Singapore, women entered the workforce in large numbers only in the past four decades. The traditional way of life has been ingrained, and up till today, many working women are still expected to tend to the children and do household chores on top of their day's work.
Having a maid helps ease the load, but not all couples can afford to hire one. Getting retired grandparents to help look after the children is another way out, but again, not all couples have this luxury. In instances where a woman lives with her elderly in-laws, she often ends up looking after them as well. Her husband expects her to take time off from work to take them to the clinic or hospital when they fall ill. It is not that the husband's job is more important. Sometimes, it is the wife who earns more. But it does not occur to the man of the house to show he cares.
In getting the husbands to help out in parenting duties, the chairman of the support group pointed out that it was no longer "a question of awareness or mindset, but of immediate behavioural and lifestyle changes". For a start, husbands should do the dishes and iron the clothes, at the least, and help the children with their homework. The children will learn from the adults" example, and they will grow up to see parenting as a joint responsibility.
Seeing RED over this poser ? Perhaps, it is time that men speak out; and be heard LOUD and CLEAR about their side of the situation.

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