A good partner or ‘maama man’?
Push the door, I'm home at last and I'm soaking through and through then you handed me a towel and all I see is you and even if my house falls down now, I wouldn't have a clue because you're near me and
I want to thank you for giving me the best day of my life
Oh just to be with you is having the best day of my life
- Thank You - Dido
While his wife is at work, he stays home, cooks, cleans and washes. When she gets home, he has a warm meal prepared for her and the children are clean and well taken care of.
He even has time to give her a foot rub. She foots the bills as he is unemployed and the prospect seems dim at the moment. Her friends think she is a fool and disrespects her husband by calling him a 'maama man'.
The above scenario is what some women in Jamaica are living in. Unfortunately, society and some of their friends, think women like these should throw in the towel and get a partner who can support them financially.
Family and Religion reached out to Evangelist Errol Rattray, who is encouraging women who have unemployed men in their lives to embrace the solid support they have been receiving.
"We live in a society where there are negative connotations to a very good man who stands by you, helps you, goes to the market, washes, cooks, and takes care of the home. But is he really a 'maama' or a responsible man? What he is doing is exercising love, he is showing love and care," points out Rattray.
For Rattray, even men who come home before their partners should try and ensure they are the ones who prepare the meal and take care of the children if there are any in the union.
"Some women are earning more money and working longer hours than their partners. There are some who even leave work to attend school in furthering their education. When they get home, they are dead beat," he said.
According to him, it is a husband who lacks understanding and care who would allow his wife to come home and face the kitchen when he has been home for quite a while.
"If he is unemployed, he should not be waiting on the woman to come home after so long a day to go into the kitchen, or help the kids with homework and all that," stressed Rattray.
Being unemployed for the evangelist does not mean he cannot play his part by taking his responsibility seriously.
"I know that there are persons who will erroneously think that man is under woman management or that a woman is running his show," said Rattray.
But from a biblical perspective, Rattray said, God requires the man to be the leader of the family and it doesn't necessarily mean he has to be making more money.
"A man taking the role in whatever area of the chores in the home, I feel, notwithstanding, a man must be the protector, he needs to also provide positive influence and leadership example," he said.
For the evangelist, it is time that society steps away from the 'man role, woman role' as for him, women have now successfully taken on jobs that were once deemed solely for men.
"They are climbing Jamaica Public Service poles, driving trailers ... you name it. So if a man does housework, more power to him," he said.
"Is there any wrong in buying the food you are going to eat? Anything wrong in washing the plates you eating out of?" he continued.
The most important thing in any union, according to Rattray, is that the man is loving his woman and treating her with respect.
"I have to commend the men who, in spite of not working or making as much, sink their pride and give their wives full support."