Friday, September 19, 2008

How to be a Good Housewife

Home Economics High School Text Book, 1954

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal, on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so that you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, 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. His boring day may need a lift.

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the home just before your husband arrives, gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too.

Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair, and if necessary change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad he is home.

Some don'ts: Don't greet him with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he is late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.

Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie 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, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.

Listen to him. You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.

Make the evening his. Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.

The Goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

Is this true still true today, over 50 years later?

Even if you're not a housewife, what are your thoughts?

I can't wait to read them! :)

post signature


Beth said...

I can agree with some of those. If I was at home every day many of those wouldn't be nearly as difficult as they are right now.

I can say that since our routine here has changed and most of the housewife-type chores are my responsibilty again, my husband DOES seem more appreciative of them.

But, as a working mom, I wish someone would do those things for ME every now and then!!!

Wow, a quiet, clutter free house, clean kids, someone to take off my shoes......yeah, RIGHT!!

Amy said...

Of course, a lot of it is over the top.
But there's some truth to a lot of it. As sexist as we in today's society may think it is, it's still completely biblical to serve our husbands. (to serve others too, if you want to get technical).
I think some of our problems in our home might seem smaller or even disappear if I were to honor my husband more.
But I don't know if it's possible to keep my kids clean ;)

4funboys said...

Times "have" changed-- just look at the divorce rate; but some things will remain the same forever. Especially human nature.

I read a book called Created to be His Helpmeet several years ago that had some great perspective about the roles of Wives.

Having said that... I'll tell you that I haven't done a load of laundry in about 15 years, or filled up a gas tank, or loaded the dishwasher... or a whole bunch of "things" on that list--

but if you asked my husband, my family, or our friends... they'd all tell you that I love my husband and my 4 boys with all my heart.

It's that whole "love Language" concept. While I can "love" my husband by "serving" him... if HIS love language is "quality time"... he wont feel loved regardless of how many times I cook him dinner.

Now that I'm a mom...I see it even more. All 4 boys all have very different ways of both expressing and recieving love... While I can go "spend quality time" with the boys, if I forget to give 2 of them the "words of affirmation" they need to feel loved... I've missed it.

I used to try so hard to do some of those "things" on the list because I thought they were "right"... but a lot of those things he didn't even enjoy...

laurel said...

I also think the book The 5 Love Languages is excellent.
I thought this list was delightful. If only we were this attentive to our husbands and put that kind of thoughtfulness into our relationships (with the hubby and otherwise), I think we would see many positive repercussions. I found this list very encouraging and inspiring.

Deborah said...

Holy Cow, does this bring back memories!!!!! I was raised on this philosophy. I actually recall much of this taking place.

You ask is this applicable to today and I would share that it certainly is a goal, but not necessarily a reality to have it all at the same time or even on the same day! Only Donna Reed aspired to all of this, and that was on a TV Show! Still, to tackle a few of these at a time is still something woman aspire to and is perfectly fine to do.

I was born in the 1950's, but I grew up in the age of Feminism. I believe in it. Still, I believe in responsiblity and in the power of people to live the life they aspire to. Whether that means a home run by the wife or a home run by the husband, while the opposite spouse works, or a two income family where both chose to run the home.

The goals listed in the 1950's apply, if someone choses to accept them. That is what I think...I just hope that what I have written makes sense to you...

reprehriestless warillever said...

The specifics may have changed, but the spirit has not.

The only one I find completely ridiculous is Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair ....Allow him to relax and unwind. The only thing that I envy my husband for is his 35 minute non-congested commute. 35 minutes all by himself. 35 minutes in which he can relax... I wish I had that. Oh wait -- I do -- when he puts the kids to bed -- that's how I got on the computer tonight!

It is about respecting and serving each other. Having a warm dinner and a non-cluttered environment is the least that I can do (not that I manage the latter *every* evening).