#FamilyFriday# When Your Spouse’s Career Gets More Attention Than You

Kate hardly sees Ben, her husband. They have been married for seven years and Ben, who works in a bank as a manager, would not get home until 11.00pm when the children would have slept!
“I would have slept too and would have to wake up and serve his food whenever he returns. This runs from Monday through Friday but he closes around 7.00pm on Saturdays,” reveals the 30-year-old mother of three. Not that she picks quarrels with him over this; she just does not know when this would end.
“He is very hardworking but he hardly stays at home! The kids love him to pieces and he tries to make up the lost times on Sundays when we are back from church. In fact, he hardly goes to church and our pastor keeps asking after my husband. Or do I tell him that he works all week but rests only on Sundays? My worry is the kids, especially our eldest who is growing up fast. She needs the tutelage of a father and not the Sunday-Sunday meeting their father doles out to them. Though he goes on leave once a year, he also seizes that opportunity to travel to the village to see his mother and siblings. He could spend two weeks there, return and before the leave is over, he would be recalled back to work. I am a housewife but I also run a small boutique down our street. Nobody knows my husband on that street and he is not even around whenever there is any social function either.”
Even Abdul, 42, is ashamed to tell family members that his wife’s job takes her away from home and any family function. “Maria is heads of the production unit of a printing company. Unfortunately for me, their production runs over the weekend. That means Saturdays and Sundays are not for the family. Though she endeavours to cook stews and soups for keeps in the freezer, there is nothing like having your wife home when important visitors are around. My relatives believe she is too arrogant because she hardly visits them and whenever there is a function, she would not be able to attend if it is a weekend. I would have told her to resign but the salary she earns is of great assistance to the family budget. The children don’t miss her because she does the school runs and supervises their home-work daily, I am the one who misses her company because by the time I return from work, she would have left home. I am trying to talk her to getting some other jobs but we would have to make do with what she has now,” he says.
“Whenever I tell people that my wife is not employed but has her own business, they always think that I am lucky to have a 24/7 mum/wife at home. But it is just the opposite,” comments Abdul.
His wife, runs a supermarket and she does not get home until 8.00pm! “On both Saturdays and Sundays, she could get home like 10pm and whenever there is any festive period, she could stay overnight! There was a time I threatened closing down the shop but her family members and mine begged me that it’s a money-spinner and I should allow her make her fortune since she is very popular in that area. I would say that she runs the business successfully and makes lots of money but where do I stand? She sends her sales girls home for laundry, cooking and caring for the kids. But nobody cares for me because she comes late from the shop, while I leave early for my work-place which is situated on the island in Lagos.”

Rubbing Minds
Whatsoever career a spouse chooses is part of living and he/she wants to make a success of it. But how many spouses know that success is measured by how you are able to have a balance in all areas of your life? A successful career should also have behind it, a successful home-front. Mind you, keeping a home is for both partners. How to have an enviable home despite your demanding careers? Both spouses must understand the nature of their work and learn to talk about it to each other. If you are self-employed and running your own shop, allow your spouse come over at his/her leisure and experience whatever makes you close late. Employed? Share your joys, sorrows, problems together and he/she should know your boss or some of your colleagues. In all, there is need to plan out your time and give space to each segment of your life.

Note: *Photo for illustration is not any of the couple highlighted

Kemiashefonlovehaven publishes family issues on Fridays as part of our aims and bjectives of building families.
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