I often joke with my husband that I have no portfolios at home because he pretty much takes care of everything. He’s the minister of admin and a lot to do with the house, including ensuring there’s always enough sugar-free tonic water for us, and I mostly fill in the little gaps.
My husband is a do-er and is as adept at grocery shopping as he is fixing the Internet, and changes more nappies and reads more bedtime stories than I do (by request of our two-year-old daughter – she adores him!).
Inspired by the renaming of the South African cabinet, I’m doing the same – naming the key people in my household and surrounds. I haven’t included every cabinet position – just the key ones that apply to us.
President and Deputy President
I’ve grouped these together as both these roles apply to me and my husband. I think we share the “key” roles at various times, depending on our strengths, and what we feel most passionately about. There’s not just one “Cyril” among us – we’re democratically and seamlessly Cyril and David.
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services
I hold this portfolio. I’m more of a rule maker and the “bad cop”, so to speak, when it comes to the kids. We don’t have a lot of rules at home, but the few times I think lines are crossed or the toddler is wanting something unreasonable, I’m the first to use my sterner voice and action things. I score about 5/10 for this portfolio because I don’t always follow through, but it’s still a good effort.
Minister of Basic Education
Our nanny Mellisa is the finest minister of basic education. While we’re at work, Mellisa is helping my son with homework if he needs it and ensuring he’s sticking to his study schedule during exam time. Mellisa plays all the developmental games with the toddler, and scores high in her role for also teaching kindness and manners, things that we value immensely.
“I earn money, pay bills and know the basics of saving and investing, but my husband, who works in banking, naturally takes on this ministry.”
Minister of Communications
Again, Mellisa takes on this role, and with merit. She’s always communicating what we need in the house, how the kids are doing and what’s happening around us. This forms part of a good type WhatsApp group, not some of those class groups that we often dread.
Minister of Women
You probably think I’m going to say that I’m the minister, right? But I actually think my nine-year-old holds down the fort here. He’s curious about women’s rights and often asks why there aren’t more women in government, for example, and he laments the fact that a lot of women aren’t paid the same as men for the same job.
Minister of Defence
From looking out for exposed areas in our house to ensuring that the electric fence never has a kink, my husband scores a 10 for his defence work (however, if defence referred to getting defensive all the time, I’d ace it here).
Minister of Environment
As a vegetarian and avid recycler, I think I do a decent job. There are still areas of growth, such as switching all our cleaning products to chemical-free, or remembering to take bags to the shops instead of asking for plastic ones. My kids also know to pop their paper, glass and recyclable plastic into our recycle bin, and they don’t eat meat some days. My son switches off his LED lights when not in use, and our baths are fairly shallow and our showers rather swift.
DON’T MISS: Age-appropriate kitchen tasks for children
Minister of Finance
I earn money, pay bills and know the basics of saving and investing, but my husband, who works in banking, naturally takes on this ministry. He’s also smarter with his money and won’t, unlike me, buy another pair of sneakers to add to the already full sneaker cupboard, or buy ANOTHER shade of red lipstick because it’s in pretty packaging.
Minister of Home Affairs
If home affairs refer to ensuring everything is in order – that there’s enough gas or milk in the house, and ensuring that the person at the gate is who he says he is, then again Mellisa gets top marks for this portfolio. She also ensures the dogs are fed, and everything runs smoothly.
Minister of Social Development
If by social development, we can include “social media”, then I’ll take it. I juggle several social media platforms, for myself and some clients, and rely on it for building relationships and communicating, and, on a more trivial level, having a glimpse into people’s lives and looking at pictures Paris and sneakers on Pinterest. I’m so connected that I run races while tweeting, and publish some Instagram stories, though basically this is a good excuse to walk and have a bit of a break.
Minister of Sports
Despite my love for running and gym, I’m actually not the boss here – that role belongs to my running coach, who each month sets me a running programme, which I mostly-ish stick to. The programme will usually dictate how early I’m up in the mornings and what I get up to exercise-wise on weekends.
Minister of Tourism
I’m great at wanting to travel more and go to Paris year after year, but I’m not the deal finder or “booker”. I’m a bit more impulsive and impatient, so will likely just click and book, without researching other viable or better options. My husband will read reviews of places, and even check them out on Google Street View. He’s found us gems in the past, and always has sensible advice.
Minister of Transport
I know the car basics, but my theory, rightly or wrongly, is that salesmen, mechanics and tyre places might take women for the proverbial ride. I know it’s a gross and unfair theory, but as a result, if there’s a rattle in my car, or a tyre needs replacing, I leave that to my minister of transport… you guessed it, my husband (see, I told you I didn’t have much responsibility).