“No way! That’s not an expectation. Moreover, she does it so well. I don’t know how she does it but she’s always so on top of the Iftar and Sahoor meals. Sometimes I wanna lend a hand but the end of Roza is the toughest time. I get so lazy and want to just lounge on the couch or do some Ibadah quietly in the comfort of our room. The kitchen is the last place I’d wanna be.
She enjoys it. I mean, at least she has never complained about it. I would do it if she asked me to.
She did ask me to help with the fruit chaat yesterday. Obviously, I couldn’t help yesterday. That was the longest Roza. And my meeting at work was just so draining. My work is so much more exhausting than hers. She always looks so fresh. Yes she works longer hours but her work has got to be lighter in terms of its demands. That is why she has the energy to cater to all of us so well.
Aaaah! Iftar time! Why isn’t she eating? Motrin? Huh? With Tylenol? Oh is her migraine acting up? God! This isn’t the time to get sick. Who’s gonna do all the work? I can’t. I’ve got a huge meeting coming up next week that I need to prepare for. She’ll just have to roll with it. I feel so bad for her but……okay, where’s the TV remote?
She must be better! Why, she’s up and working like any other day. Didn’t even take the day off from work. It’s just like my mother says, ” If you let sickness get to you, it gets to you. Willpower can defeat it all”. My wife is so resilient. I’m a lucky man. Wow! Suhoor meal is the best. Let me ask her for those kebabs that she makes. They’re so delicious. But….but….. she’s not eating? Why? Oh, still sick? Oh boy! She’ll have to give up today’s Roza. She can’t do that. With everything else that she has to do, she can’t fast today. I feel bad for her but what can I do? I wish I could be some help. Thank God she agreed to skip on the fast today. She’s still gonna go to work. Well, at least she isn’t fasting. She should feel better soon.
Day #3 and she isn’t better at all? Like, not at all? But she didn’t even fast the last two days. And she still looks sick. Gosh! And she can’t help the kids with their homework. Okay! Looks like I’ll have to do that. This will give her time to prepare for Iftar.
She doesn’t look good. I might have to help her today. Oh no! How can I help her around the kitchen? I don’t know much about Iftar prep. Okay let’s see how I can help!
Oh make Rooh Afza? ( the universal Iftar drink) That’s easy. I’ve been doing it all my life. Well, except since I’ve been married. And I’m still so good at it. Didn’t take me any time at all. May be do it everyday! It would definitely be one less thing off her plate.
What else can I do? Oh I know! I’m an ace at French toast. We can eat that today. We don’t always have to have the fanciest things. Let’s show the kids their dad can make a mean French toast.
Let’s set the table before she gets it. She has already made dinner and loaded the dishwasher. I should get to the table before she does.
She’s smiling. I haven’t seen that smile in so long. And we are talking about work and friends. We are really talking. Who would have thought that the kitchen would become that place where we will find time to chat! Well, makes sense because that’s where she spends most of her time after work. This is so nice. We are always looking for those moments when we can reconnect. We’ve been planning that date night for months. But all those moments are right here. This is a little date, us cooking together, asking each other our new favorite foods, planning a vacation, actually getting to know about each other’s work and life. This is so nice.
Aaah! Iftar, finally! I have to say, as much as I enjoyed preparing it, it is hard work. How can she do it, day after day, while fasting? It’s exhausting and I didn’t even do the major work. She needs help. I should help more often. And it was nice. We even had thirty minutes to Iftar by the time we were done prepping. She didn’t rush to set the table or make salad or fill our glasses with water. This is so good. We all sit on the table, wait for Iftar and say a little prayer.”
Gender normative roles do nothing but make division of labor uneven. They also set bad examples for our children. Not only that, they don’t ready today’s man for a single-parent situation if he ever gets into one. When we remove hard gender roles, we show our kids how both mom and dad are important. We also reshape society in how they think of women as the cooks and men as the providers. We are not in the caves anymore. There are no nesters and hunters. We are all hunting and we are all nesting.