Fetalvero: Relationships before chores

Noemi Fetalvero
·2 min read

THE Philippines has evolved from being a patriarchal society to matriarchal. Since the unemployment rate in our country has increased, working overseas became a practical option. The husband leaves the wife to tend and manage the children at home while he is abroad earning a living.

From April to September 2018, there was an estimated remittance of P235.9 billion.

There are now more than two million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) mostly dominated by women. Data released in April 2019 by the Philippines Statistics Authority revealed that there were more females than males among the OFWs with about half (47.5 percent) of the females belonging to the age group 25 to 34 years old.

The evolution somehow has created some sort of domestic squabble between husbands and wives when the partner returns home for a vacation. The husband who got used to making decisions on household management, finds it awkward when the wife takes over managing the domestic affair. There are matters that cannot just be taken for granted. To establish a harmonious relationship at home, open communication is needed. Children will have quality time bonding with the parent who comes home for a vacation.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has changed the domestic landscape. Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ana revealed that at the end of 2020, some 300,000 OFWs returned home. In previous years, the family has been managed by mothers. Now, both parents are at home due to the pandemic. The wife did household chores while the kids were in school. Home schooling made the situation in the domestic front more challenging if not overwhelming. Maddy Savage, author and researcher, deduced that a disproportionate share of the burden is still falling on women.

It has been established that mothers are better household managers. In my generation, Home Economics, which is the art and science of home management, was integrated in the school curriculum. We learned how to cook, how to do taxes and child care tasks.

Wikipedia.com reported that in the 21st century, the prevalence of home economic courses has declined: “Instead, schools are more focusing on courses that prepare one for university rather than life skills. Some schools are starting to incorporate life skills courses back into the curriculum, but as a whole, home economic courses have been in decline.”

A tip from social media: “People are more important than chores. If a family member needs a parent’s immediate attention, ditch your plan to mop the floor.”