Couple's Therapy: 3 married Nigerians talk about cooking duties

Traditionally and culturally, women and wives were the ones who cooked for the family but in modern society is this still acceptable?

Couples could bond over cooking

This week on Couple’s Therapy I spoke with three young married people - Tomi, Ben, and Ayo on what they thought about the traditional role of women to cook and eating fresh foods.

This is a scenario I painted for them;

After a long day at the office, Igho arrives home tired and exhausted. She goes to the fridge, grabs a bottle of juice, walks back to the bedroom, and sleeps off.

An hour later, George, her husband comes back from work. He is so hungry, and he goes into the kitchen immediately. Nothing is there, no meal is prepared. He looks for his wife and finds her sleeping.

He is upset, she has been home at least an hour before him and, she did not cook anything. Angry, he goes out and buys fast food for the 3rd time that week.

He tries to mask his disappointment but finally, he speaks to his wife about it. She replies, “If you are so interested in eating cooked meals. Why don’t you make food for the two of us?”

What do you think the couple should do?

Who do you think should cook, the man or the woman?

Tomi, Ayo, and Ben all agreed that cooking is not for a particular gender. Anyone can cook.

Ben said,Anyone who knows how to do it best and who enjoys doing it most.”

I asked why they felt both parties should know how to cook. Tomi said, “Because I would want to eat good food. If both of us can’t cook how would good food be eaten?”

Ben feels like emergencies might require all hands on deck. What the person who loves to cook falls ill or travels. “Everybody should be able to cook in case the person who regularly does, cannot. It is teamwork.”

I asked how they felt about getting a maid to cook.

Tomi agrees, "It can be done if the maid is a good cook." Ben and Ayo agree too but they feel it requires money.

In a situation where the wife is tired, what should the couple do?

They all agree that she should rest, and they could eat out or the man should cook.

Is a woman or man justified in saying they won't cook because they do not know how to?

Ayo thinks that “No, he or she can always improve even if they do not have to cook.” Though Ben thinks they are justified in not cooking. "Some people really hate it.”

I asked what they think of eating frozen food. They all had a unanimous response, “We eat what is available - frozen or fresh. Cooking in bulk and storing in the freezer helps to reduce the workload.”

Ayo said “Cooking is not such a big deal as it made on social media”

Ben said, “Couples just need to find a balance.”

Tomi said, “I am all about eating good food and the processes. It is not about who should cook or not cook. The most important thing is to eat good food not just any type of food."

"If he cannot cook because I am tired, we can eat something light or eat out. If he wants to cook fine but the food must be good not just concussion, if he sees the need to go and learn then it is fine, if not it's fine.”

It appears that modern and young couples are shifting from traditional gender roles into finding what works for the both of them.

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