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4 ‘Controversial’ perks of working apart from family

By Winnie Mabel December 12th, 2023 3 min read

Many Kenyans struggle to keep their homes financially afloat. This is especially true in households where there is only one income, and there are several mouths to feed.

For a while, the breadwinner probably struggled to keep everyone comfortable while also tending to other financial needs including black tax to extended family.

But over time, their resentment probably grew due to having to shoulder so many financial burdens.

After days of silent debates, the bread winner finally tables the matter for decision-making. Their stay-at-home partner needs to find a job in order to supplement their income.

Of course, this is not an easy discussion to have considering the stay at home parent had been handling more in the home while the partner worked.

The decision may also be met with resentment from the stay at home parent but the family must be well taken care of.

As the job market is either flooded or there are no opportunities available close to home, the search scope is widened to include areas that are far off- probably in other towns, counties or even countries.

A new dilemma arises.

To take a job far away from home and ease a partner’s financial burdens and keep the family financially stable or stay, find no job and continue being resented for not being a contributing partner.

However ‘controversial’, especially in the cases of women who will end up being given the side eye for leaving their families behind “to make money”, here are the benefits of working away from your partner and kids- which will definitely be deemed controversial by some people:

Alone time, finally!

If you had been the primary parent at home, taking care of the children and putting in more physical and emotional energy to keep the home going, working away from the family will be your time to finally have some alone time to be an individual- not a partner to someone or a parent. It is exhausting to be someone to everyone else but not have time to be yourself. At this time, you will be able to focus more on yourself, what you aspire for your career and personal growth as well as rebuild your social life compared to the days when you had to sacrifice it to take care of your family.

You get to be financially independent

If you had been the stay at home parent and had no side hustle for income, you definitely depended on your spouse for money. Working away from the family will allow you to earn good money for yourself. You will be able to budget and send what the family needs while you can use the rest to build up your financial portfolio and finally get to do the things you want that you couldn’t do at your partner’s expense. You can even do private investments without having to worry about your partner at this point.

Reduced family pressures and stress

If you are away, there is less opportunity for you and your partner to be embroiled in conflict regarding your relationship and the family. You get to have peace of mind because of the physical distance. You won’t have to listen to those questionable phone calls that hurt your heart, you won’t have to spend time being suspicious of your partner, you won’t have to put up with annoying behaviors in the house and so forth. You will be free of the daily disagreements and this is something to look forward to.

You get to avoid the traditional gender roles, especially if you are female

Majority of households often have the man of the house working to provide while the woman is either a stay-at-home mum or has a small business to keep her busy. Her work is often much more than her partner’s who often just contributes money to the household, and the woman handles everything else. If a woman decides to take a job far away from the family, it will allow her to escape this unending ‘matrix’ and force the man to be hands-on with his family besides holding down a 9-5 job. He will be forced to partake in household responsibilities that were often a preserve for women and understand how misunderstood and underappreciated women’s roles in the home are.