'I run my house like a man'
MEN HAVE been acknowledged as the stronger sex with the ability to manage almost all the operations of a family. But things have changed and women have stepped up to the plate within recent times and have been blazing a trail of success in areas once restricted to men.
The inner strength of a woman and her ability to 'run tings' as is said in Jamaica, is displayed in many single-parent homes and one such is that of Doreen Brown-Watson.
"Me run my house like a man," Brown-Watson told Family and Religion.
"I do everything from maintenance work of the house and yard space to finding time and resources for all my children and their activities ... anything that needs to be done; I ensure it's taken care of."
Brown-Watson has been a single mother for the last two years, after the death of her husband. She says she assumed roles that would be considered that of a man, even before she became a widow.
"I have no problem even going to the barber with my son, sitting him down and having talks, weeding grass, and doing a hard day's work in and outside of the house. I'm just naturally a hard-working person."
Having studied and acquired qualifications in areas such as guidance & counselling, theology, secretarial science and business management, Brown-Watson finds the time to dabble in them all while working at the family jewellry store and maintaining three children; Kimoye aged 19, Kimona aged 17 and Joshua aged 10.
"It is not easy raising three children and schooling them all, with the eldest in university studying medicine, the other in lower six and the youngest in grade five, but you see my parents didn't really have it and my father worked as a watchman to care for all five of us, and if they did it why can't I ... I consider them my inspiration and of course Almighty God."
She continued: "I'm also inspired by the Bible and lives of the patriots ... my life is built on faith. when I am down, I worship and I hold fast to the word of God."
Admitting that some days are extremely tiresome, the multi-skilled mother is happy for understanding children and supportive siblings and church family.
"My day begins as early as 4:30 a.m., I have devotion, make breakfast, get things in order, get ready for work and before going back home some days require me performing counselling duties, evangelistic outreach, extra-curricula activities for the children and a host of other tasks. But you see, my children understand what we are going through and they don't put added pressure on me, they try to meet me half way and it's a team effort. I have a close relationship with all of them and I believe it?s because we pray together why we stay together."
She added: "Where I fall short, my brothers are there to ensure that things run smoothly, and I am grateful for them...I am committed to ensuring my children get a good education and make something of themselves, and though the passing of my father in 2011, the passing of my mother in 2012 and the passing of my husband in 2013 has shaken me, I am strengthened by it as well and the support of my open bible church family has been overwhelming."