Growing up during the ‘80s in a male-dominated culture such as Indonesia, I have always presumed that I’d grow up to have that successful career, warm home and beautiful family. I do indeed, thank goodness. But I had never imagined that I’d also be the one with the midnight feeding, the school runs and all the juggling with the household work too sometimes. I’ve always presumed that my wife would be the one to do all that. After all, my mother did.
I made my choice to settle with a strong-willed independent woman. A woman who works and brings her fair share of contribution to fulfill our growing family needs. At times I stopped to think about what those menial jobs around the house did to my masculinity, and many times I have found only growing respect for my wife and what she does every day. I have the chance to be a stay-at-home husband and father only when my schedule permits it. When I have photo shoots lined up, some of which requires me to be half way around the world, even when I think of my family with an ache from missing them so much, it’s as if I am no longer obligated to do the things that I did. As if doing those household chores was some kind of a favor I did my wife, and while I am not physically there, I have been conveniently released of those duties.
It is easy for us men to take things for granted, to think that we’ve done enough when we came home after a day’s work with the butter. It is easy for us to assume that being the primary breadwinner is enough, and that we deserve to throw our feet up and chill in front of the TV with a cold beer without protests from anyone. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Now I won’t be taking sides here. But if you took a moment to care and ask your wife what kind of generosity she would like you to show her, I’m sure that brand names would not even be at the top of her mind. Instead, she will most likely think of things along the lines of some “me time”. Some time for herself, where she is conveniently released of her motherhood and wifely duties for a good two hour of a week. Two hours of being able to concentrate on nothing else besides her well being. And what is two hours for us, right guys? We get two hours to take care of our home and be with our kids, and be the world’s greatest husband. Just two hours. Go on, I dare you to try!
If you’re wondering why I suddenly thought of this subject, I must blatantly admit that Aries and Melissa have been the spark. With his work schedule, Aries always makes the time to shower Melissa with this generosity. He’d take care of the household duties and let her work in peace or occasionally take some time off to recharge. He gives her more than two hours a week. And I’m sure that we can all learn a thing or two about showering generosity from him.
Congratulations Aries and Melissa. People say that those who have been in fear together will have a bond for a lifetime. So I guess after that thunderstorm before our photo shoot in Mount Bow Bow, we’re kinda stuck together here, bro! Ha ha. It was an unforgettable experience. Thank you and Melissa for that!