Yes I'm female and I'm married to a guy, excuse the tongue-in-cheek title. I've got so many things going on in my mind and I couldn't decide what to talk about. So I just decided to write whatever popped into my head today.
One day I popped into my local WHSmith and picked up a writers magazine. In it there was an article talking about how writers face time management issues with structuring their work around other daily activities, especially if they are full time writers and don't have the structure of the 9 - 5 routine. The article included a survey of writers, a mixture of both men and women, and the responses they gave. The majority of the male writers said that they had no time management problems as such, they just got up from bed in the morning, had breakfast and then went to their study to get on with work. The female writers seemed to have a more complicated day however. One of them said she has to get up, make breakfast for everyone, get the kids bathed, dressed and ready for school, go and drop the kids off, come back home, clear away the breakfast plates, do the washing up, sort out the laundry, and plan what to cook for lunch before she starts her writing for the day. She might need to also do some shopping to stock up the fridge. In the afternoon, she has to prepare lunch, pick the kids up from school, feed them, supervise them and play with them, or find something to engage them while she works. When dinner time comes around, she has to cook for the family and clear up before returning to her work. It's much harder for a female to work from home where there are a myriad of tasks that keep distracting her from her work.
The writer of the article commented that it must be nice to be a man and have a woman in your life to do all the domestic stuff for you while you just get on with your job. Somebody has to look after the home whether one or both parties are working. Nowadays there are some men who don't mind helping the woman out in the home sometimes, but it's still not automatically a shared responsibility. That got me daydreaming about how nice it must be to have someone who looks after me while I spend hours in my study writing.
(Daydreaming) I would like to wake up in the morning and my breakfast is ready for me on the table. My study has been cleaned, my clothes are washed, ironed and ready for me to wear to work. After breakfast I disappear into my study to write for hours on end and I don't come out until lunch time. When I finish working for the day, my dinner is on the table and I can just relax and watch TV. The children are tucked into bed and I go to wish them goodnight. My own bed is neatly laid when I go to sleep and when I wake up in the morning, the cycle continues. (End of daydream).
Unfortunately life doesn't work that way! For most working women, many of us have to juggle our jobs and careers with housework, whether we are single, living with parents, or married. And house chores have to be done - there is no getting away from them. I can understand why many women back in Nigeria have to get maids to help them with the housework and nannies to help with looking after young children. Personally, I don't think I would ever get a maid, because these things tend to become complicated, but once in a while I feel like I wouldn't mind having a wife to do my cooking and cleaning, to look after the kids and make sure that my home runs smoothly, while I sit in my study to write. It's nice to imagine.... LOL.
In other news, the Caine Prize Award 2008 was held last week. The shortlist was as follows:
Mohammed Naseehu Ali (Ghana) ‘Mallam Sile’, from ‘The Prophet of Zongo’
Henrietta Rose-Innes from South Africa ‘Poison’ from ‘Africa Pens’
Stanley Onjezani Kenani (Malawi) ‘For Honour’ from ‘African Pens’
Gill Schierhout (South Africa) ‘The Day of the Surgical Colloquium’ from ‘African Pens'
Uzor Maxim Uzoatu (Nigeria) ‘ Cemetery of Life ’ from ‘Wasafiri’ No52
And the winner was: Henrietta Rose-Innes from South Africa, with her story ‘Poison’ from ‘Africa Pens’. If you want to read any of the shortlisted stories, there are links on Molara Wood's blog: here
Meanwhile I need to go and check out Blogville Idols, seems like I'm missing out on all the fun and excitement going on. Hope you are having a great weekend!