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How women run the home during economic downturn

A housewife and mother of two popularly known as Mummy Emma around her area in Abuja is always trending among other house wives because she…

A housewife and mother of two popularly known as Mummy Emma around her area in Abuja is always trending among other house wives because she is always talking about her family and how her husband is always lavishing money on her.
She always tells anyone that cares to listen how much her husband drops for her on a daily basis and how much she saves. Also, she passionately talks about how she frequents the market, what she buys and cooks to show her family is living well.
Most times, some women mock her indirectly by telling her that she is lucky as they can’t remember the last time they bought any of what she said she bought.
Recently, she no longer boasts like before and has become a subject of ridicule as she no longer frequents the market or talks about what she is buying. Her friends now openly talk about the economic downturn in the country, saying everything has changed and chanting the slogan ‘Sai change, Sai baba.’
But anytime she tries to chip in on how the change is affecting everyone, they quickly interrupt, saying, “Yours is better, at least your husband will always give you money and you will buy all you need” and this usually makes her develop cold feet and remain quiet.
Mummy Emma seems not to be the only woman who can no longer speak on how she runs her house at present due to the economic downturn in the country. Many others have stories to tell.
Mrs. Bola Gbenga, another housewife, said the situation has affected everything as it is difficult to get her husband to drop money at home as he usually did and as a result she is forced to make adjustment.
He always says “don’t you see what is happening everywhere. There is no money, we are experiencing change.”
She said she now goes to the market once a week and at times, when it’s so rough, she won’t go at all, saying ‘change, sai baba’ that is what we are seeing now.
“Everything in the market has increased in price because of the dollar increase and that makes going to the market frustrating because you go with lot of expectations to buy things as you usually do only to return disappointed and not getting close to your bargains,” she said.
She said: “My husband will tell me to make something light because he doesn’t want to drop extra money and these few weeks have been the worst after paying the children’s school fees. Now I will have to come up with a strong excuse to get any money from him.”
Madam Ope, a hair dresser, said everything around the home has now changed because of the economic turndown.
She said her husband is always saying there is no money and has not been giving her allowance for the up keep of the home.
She said she  was forced to ask him on one occasion if he is not receiving salary and he said it’s not forthcoming as before and so they have to manage from whatever he has and the little she can make from her shop.
“You know most men are using ‘change’ as an excuse not to drop money at home and so even the food we eat we have followed the change mantra and so we have to adjust to suit the change,” she said.
She however said things have become very expensive that you can hardly buy enough items to take home.
“The traders keep saying that the dollar to naira exchange rate has increased against our currency and so goods have increased in prices even the things we produced from our backyard have been influenced by the dollar to naira exchange rate increase, it’s really frustrating,” she said.
Nigerians, according to her, always take advantage of every situation to make money and as such cheat their fellow country men and women. “I don’t believe that everything should be affected by dollar increase,” she said.
She said: “I thank God I have understanding kids, whatever I give them, they take without complaining and life goes on.”
For Mrs Eucharia Azubuike, a civil servant, the economic downturn has made running of homes uninteresting and difficult as well.
She said everything has become so annoying with  less money in circulation; so much demands and hike in prices as well as unprecedented expenses. “Sometimes I get so upset that I take it out on the people around me,” she said.
The only cheap item in the market now, she said, is fresh tomatoes and onions but any other thing you touch, the price will scare you but you have no option but to buy.
“Although I have been forced to adjust around the house, I try to see how we can manage the situation of change comfortably,” she said.
Azubuike said that the normal feeding allowance she receives from her husband has reduced and before you can complain he will say it is change.
“Believe me the change mantra is catching up with everyone – both those who support it and those who do not, everyone plays along without knowing,” she said.
 She added that the schools are not helping matters either  because, “they don’t want to know if money is available or not. Whatever they come up with you have to comply with.”
However, with the present economic crisis affecting every sector, the home front is not left out because that is where the impact of the situation is felt the most.
When things are going on fine, it reflects in the lifestyle of the people and their homes and in a situation where it is bad, the home front will also bear the brunt.
The effect of the downturn on the home front has created a common slogan ‘Change, Sai Baba’ among women who are at the forefront in the affairs of the home.
With the increase in the prices of items and little money in circulation; women are badly hit because they have to manage their homes with little or no money available. However, most of them are forced to adjust and accommodate the situation with difficulties and in some cases, ease while hoping that things improve for the better soon.

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