The Good Wife's Guide
From Housekeeping Monthly, 13 May, 1955.
- Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.
- Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
- Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
- Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.
- During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
- Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.
- Be happy to see him.
- Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
- Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
- Don't greet him with complaints and problems.
- Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.
- Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
- Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
- Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
- A good wife always knows her place.
But some of them are quite compelling in regards to running a happy home. When we were children my mother made us put all of our toys away before my father got home from work. 5 minutes after he was home would could drag them all out again. He never said anything so I never understood why we had to do that. Then I became a working mother. When I would leave the house in the morning it would be tidy. When I would come home - NOTHING - would put me in a bad mood faster than seeing a messy house. Mommy was right. Isn't she always?
I learned that if I bombarded my husband with all of my problems and complained about what the boys had done the moment he walked in the door, it would get on his nerves. I learned to wait 15 minutes or so. And I too understand that. Geez oh man, I just got home. Give me a minute.
I love to prepare meals for my family. But, there are some people who just don't like to cook. My mother is one of them. Yet she did it anyway. And as a homemaker, I feel that my job is the house. Cleaning it, running it, cooking in it. I work very hard. But finally I have a job that I love. The rewards I get now far out-number the digits on my paychecks. And as far as not questioning my husband's judgment? Well that can be tricky. When it comes to finances and "big" problems, I do defer to my husband. The bible teaches women to be submissive to their spouses in all things. Not some things. All things. The husband is the head of the house just as Christ was the head of the church. But my husband will discuss plans with me. We make a decision together. However, if he was adamant about something or just "put his foot down", then, because that so rarely happens I would back down.
Now before anyone comes attacking me for my last sentence, understand that I'm not talking about illegal or immoral situations. I'm talking about the day in, day out happenings. And as far as the last bullet points - like not complaining if he were to stay out all night - well you can forget that one. And I do know my place. It is position of mutual integrity. And "serving" my husband gives me a sense of satisfaction that I never got in the workplace. Because he respects and appreciates me more than they ever did!
So while this article might seem a little antiquated to some, maybe you should reevaluate it. Take it for what it's worth. It's really about showing your appreciation for the one you love.