Late last night a friend posted a link on Facebook to a blog about a 1950’s housekeeping monthly article on “How to be a Good Wife.” The author picked the article to pieces and explained in some very colorful words her distaste for the article. The friend of mine that posted this also announced her distaste for the principles brought to light. After seeing my friend’s original post and strong view point on the subject I felt I had to see what she was talking about before I made a rash judgement.
So I read the blog. Here are the 1950’s suggestions:
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 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 dust cloth 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.
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.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t 100% agree with all of thses suggestions but I do have to sit back and think that maybe, just maybe if we as women were to try to regain some control of our house holds and instill some of these values then the world might be a better place.
For example: What would happen if we eliminated eating fast food in the car 5 out of 7 days a week rushing from this class to that practice and from this game to that recital? What would happen if dinners were ready as soon as dad got home from work and the entire family sat down at the table to have a full conversation that didn’t involve competeing with the sound level of the tv or the distraction of our smart phones or facebook? Would things run a bit smoother in your house being able to discuss everyone’s daily lives? I know they would in my home.
Secondly, what is so wrong with doing away with the clutter? We in America have way to much stuff. Why on Earth do we need so much junk lying around the house? Is it really getting us anywhere? No, I didn’t think so.
The next item that I think is, well, a given is to be happy to see him. The man is your husband for goodness sake. Shouldn’t you be happy to see the man you have choosen to be your life partner walking though the door at the end of a long day? And even if its for no other reason than you can now know that there is an extra set of hands to help with the kids.
“Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.” Ok, that one isn’t as easy. But I have found that if I give Dusty just a few minutes to get in the house and get settled before I lay on him how long or horrible my day might have been he is usually more willing to help me through the problem. Even if it means he watches the kids while I go for a walk alone. If he comes into the house to nothing but complaints the last thing he will want to do is help you out. I promise.
Htoes are the four that I find to be the most prominent. The ones that, if instilled into American families today, might just have an impact on the direction the country is going in. But thats just my opinion.
One of the comments that I read on that particular blog post said that it seemed to her that the article was more like an ideal, or a guideline on how women during that time period should strive to be. She stated that very few women actually managed to live up to everything on that list. When I read that my mind immediately jumped to Proverbs.
Proverbs, this stong book with explaination after explaination of what a Godly, God fearing man is. Then you come to the end of the book. Proverbs chapter 31. This chapter dedicated to what a Godly woman is. And everywoman would just love to skip over that chapter, because, well lets face it, no one can really live up to that. I read that book and instead of feeling impowered I just feel more frustrated, with thoughts that I might be letting my family down because I just can’t be all of those things. But then, I find out that, the guideline isn’t really for me. Really, its a lesson for the men on what to look for. That if a woman has even a few of those wonderful qualities he would be lucky to have her as his wife. And that gives me encouragement. Because I know that with in that laundry list of talents written in Proverbs 31 I have at least one or two. And that I have the atributes that I need to best suit my family. So, maybe this article in the 1950’s magazine wasn’t just a guideline for a woman on how to do her domestic duty, but it was also a check list for a man. To find a woman that will know how to be what she needs to be to her family. Food for thought? I think so.