"A Good Wife’s Guide"

There is something to be said about the old days.  The way families ran, the housewife, the working man.  Beaver Cleaver and the whole 9 yards. 
Times were simpler and life was less dramatic!

I will admit, I’m a hardcore “I am woman hear me roar!” type of gal.  I won’t be told what to do by anyone, husband included.  A gentle suggestion goes a lot further than an order.  Orders get shut down at the door.

So here’s a snippet from Housekeeping Monthly’s May 13, 1955; and my take on each of these items:
(Thanks to my friend Tabitha for posting this!)

I know, I know its small!  I will lay it all out for you.
1.  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 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 (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
2.  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.
3.  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.
4.  Clear away the clutter.  Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.  Gather up school books, toys, paper etc and run a dustcloth over the tables.
5.  Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare a light 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 for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
6.  Prepare the children.  Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they’re 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 or vacuum.  Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
7.  Be happy to see him.
8.  Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
9.  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.
10.  Make the evening his.  Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you.  Instead try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.
11.  Your goal:  try to make your home a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
12.  Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.
13.  Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night.  Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
14.  Make him comfortable.  Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom.  Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
15.  Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes.  Speak in a low soothing and pleasant voice.
16.  Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement 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.
17.  A good wife knows her place.
OK Now that you’ve had time to take that all in, lets bring this into the year 2010!
1. 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 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 (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.  This I have no problem with as a general rule.  I am a stay at home mom/wife.  I DO work from home but on my own schedule.  90% of the time dinner is ready or being made when he gets home.  Its just part of what I do to say thanks for bringin home the bacon.

2. Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. I like this idea.  15 minutes to chill!  HELL YES!  Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking.  A RIBBON?!?  REALLY?!?!  What am I…a doll baby?!?  I don’t think so!  Although I do usually make sure I don’t look like an extra from The Night of The Living Dead.   He has just been with a lot of work weary people.  And PLEASE!  He works with truckers and construction workers.  I could wear flannel pajamas and look sexy compared to those guys! 

3. 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.  Well, I’m an entertaining kinda gal, so this one is easy!  Aside from that, you’ve gotta just love how terms change over the years.  I know a lot of husbands who would love for their wives to be a little gay…and not in the way it was meant in the 50’s!

4. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Gather up school books, toys, paper etc and run a dustcloth over the tables.  Done & Done most of the time.  I’m a clutter freak!  I HATE clutter.  We have rules, if you’re done playing with it, put it away BEFORE you get something else out.  That goes for the adults too.  Whatever I’m working on, gets put away when I’m finished with it.  Great way to minimize clutter.  As for dusting…that’s just not going to happen every day.

5. Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare a light fire for him to unwind by. Yeah a fireplace is on the list for the new house! Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.  Uhm.  Yeah!  I do get satisfaction out of making sure my husband is happy, but there’s something about the way this is worded…I wouldn’t say CATERING to ANYONE gives me immense personal satisfaction!

6. Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they’re small), comb their hair and if necessary, change their clothes. Who realy has time for this?  If my kids are dirty, like DIRTY DIRTY, especially the baby, I change their clothes when they get dirty…so that’s not really an issue.  As a general rule the kids are playing when hubby comes home…they all brush their hair after school anyway so they usually look just fine.  They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. Unlikely.  We have 4 kids, a dog, and a very vocal cat.  Minimizing is still louder than most people’s homes.  At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.  We use indoor voices…that’s good enough!  If I shut off the washer and dryer just because he came home-laundry would NEVER get done! 

7. Be happy to see him.  I’m always happy to see him!  He’s the love of my life!  If I wasn’t happy to see him, that would mean I married the WRONG person!

8. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.  My husband saw this one and said “hell yes!” 

9. Listen to him. I’ll do my best.  You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Hmmm…sometimes it IS the time to tell him.  Let him talk first-remember his topics of conversation are more important than yours.  WRONG!  Welcome to 2010…my thoughts and opinions are just as important as his. 

10. Make the evening his. I bust my ass all day.  The kids bust their butts in school.  The evening is everyone’s.  We enjoy it TOGETHER.  Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you. We all need “ME” time.  As long as he isn’t out every night, I don’t mind him goin out with the boys every now and then.  Instead try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.  If he needs to be home and relax, why would he be out?  AH WRITER…YOU CONTRADICT YOURSELF!

11. Your goal: try to make your home a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.  Hell…I want my home to be a place of peace, order, and tranquility where I can renew myself!  That’s what master suites and “relax time” are for!

12. Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.  Agreed.  No one wants to come home and be bombarded instantly with problems.  Give the guy a minute or 2 to settle in, THEN hit him with “suzie got in trouble at school and mary won’t do her homework and little johnny smashed your grandma’s lamp today…and I think I’m pregnant again…”.  *Note:  NO I AM NOT PREGNANT AGAIN!*

13. Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. If he stays out all night, me complaining is going to be the LAST of his worries.  Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.  Yeah…horse shit!

14. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom.  As I type, my husband is vacuuming.  He will make himself comfortable when he wants. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Given time to do so, this is a great idea.  How about a cold one for me too!

15. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. He damn well better have taken his work boots off OUTSIDE!  I’m not cleaning up all that mud!  Speak in a low soothing and pleasant voice.  Lauren Bacall, baby!

16. Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity. I’ll ask him what I damn well want to ask him and he BETTER have answers for me.  If I have reason to question his actions, we have problems.  Better yet how about marrying someone who’s integrity and judgement you know you will not NEED to question!  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.  This is an idea best left in the 50’s.  I won’t even go into that.  I have every right.

17. A good wife knows her place.  And a good husband knows his. 

While a widely out of date article, there are some things to take away from it.  Don’t be Debby Downer when your hubby gets home.  If youre a stay at home wife/mom, for the love of God take some pride in your house-keep it clean, do the laundry and dishes, don’t let it be a place of chaos.  But don’t just do it because you think its what you’re supposed to do.  Do it because you want your home to be a nice place to be.  Do it for yourself as much as for anyone else.  Ask any man…no one wants to come home from work to a home that’s filthy, dirty, cluttered, a complete wreck and a wife still in pajamas with no make up on because she’s a lazy shit.  The same goes for stay at home dads. 

At the end of the day, thank God that my opinions and thoughts matter and that I’m a woman of the 21st century not the 1950’s.  While the style and cars and greaser guys have a certain appeal to them…there’s no way in hell I could have fit the Stepford Wife mold.

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~ by Not Yer Bitch on March 20, 2010.

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