Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Good Wife's Guide

What makes a good wife? An immaculate home? Always being "ready and willing"? A hot, 4 course meal on the table each and every night? Birthing 8 9 or 10 babies? Or is it more simple? Listening, sharing, friendship, and laughter among other things?
I specifically remember in Jr. High our home economics teacher, Mrs. Hales discussing the article I will put at the end of this. She spoke about how times have definitely changed and roles are more equal. Women have now *gasp* entered the work place. You don't see women vacuuming in high heels anymore, but, I'm hard pressed to think that was ever the way it was. You see it on Leave It To Beaver, but it just doesn't make sense. Did the fumes for the oven cleaner kill the brain cells? High heels and pearls while I scrub out my oven just seems so impractical. If I know it is a cleaning day, I usually stay in my jammies til it is done.
I think it takes so much to be a good spouse, and while none of the ideas on this list are bad ideas, (except for a good wife knows her place) they just don't seem to match today's woman and the needs of family. I think back then, Mothers weren't busy running Jane to gymnastics and Peter to soccer. Little Mary didn't ballet and Timmy Debate Club each night of the week.
Mom's today spend so much time playing chauffeur that often it is impossible to have those sit down dinners every night. When my children were small, lessons fell during the day, but now they are in school and any extra activities take place in the afternoons or evenings. Tonight Aspen had Activity Days and Kyson had Boy Scouts. They were home for 50 minutes together at the same time, so I had to make sure dinner would be ready as soon as Aspen came home so we could eat together before Kyson had to leave.
The last thing on my mind tonight was if my hair looked nice enough for my husband. I was too busy looking for the pan to cook the chicken in (it isn't where it goes for some reason) and checking on my cookie dough (which is STILL in the fridge) I needed to iron Kyson's scout shirt and make Aspen's hair presentable for her activity tonight. I never found the pan, so instead of Chicken Tetrazinni, we had pasta with Pesto sauce and garlic bread. Making these last minute changes ensured there was no way on Gods Green Earth that dinner would be on the table promptly at 5pm. We ate about 540, and it worked for us and that is life.
That is one of the reasons (besides cost) that I didn't feel too terrible that Kyson missed football sign-ups. I want our evenings back. My husband is back to working days, home at 415 each day. My children are all in fulltime school starting in two weeks. I will have no children home during the day to run around to playdates and swimming. There is no reason why a nice hot dinner shouldn't be on the stove each evening. I am looking forward to having our evenings back. No softball, no baseball, no dance, no football. Dinner and board games, dinner and books, just dinner and family time. (though Farren usually retreats to bed after dinner due to his work schedule.)
There are so many aspect's of the list that I want to embrace, and some that I want to yell at my computer about. For example..... the part where it says that his topics of conversation are more important than yours... Sometimes that may be so, but sometimes I just need to tell him something or get something off my chest. I listen to him, but he also listens to me. That is a mutual respect. I don't think he would like it very much if I didn't have any honest thoughts or opinions.
One aspect I love is just greeting him and making sure you are happy to see him. The day I dread seeing my husband walk through that door is not a day I can even imagine happening. Anyways, here is the list, judge for yourself. I know that there are aspects that SHOULD be followed, however, the day I stay quiet and don't mention if he just doesn't come home, well, that would blow the list out of the water. (not that he ever would) (It is not determined if this is a real piece from a text book or not)
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 prospects of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) are part of the warm welcome needed.
Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will 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 more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and it is one of your duties to provide it.
Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables.
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 the noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
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. Afterall, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
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 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.
Make the evening his: Never complain if he comes home late or goes to places of entertain,ect without you. Instead, try to understand that his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.
The goal: Try to make your home a place of peace order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
Don't greet him with complaints or problems.
Don't complain if he is late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he may have gone through in the day.
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.
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 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.
A good wife always knows her place.


Sarah said...

Good post! It's hard to find that balance of letting the kids be involved but not letting it take over every evening.

Thanks for letting me know about my blog. I think I fixed it. lol

And this baby is due 10 days before Eli's first birthday. EEK! haha!

Seven said...

I must say that I agree with that list in another time or place. But nowadays women are taught that their opinions and feeling matter. My feeling are very important to me and I would love someone to cater to me more often. But honestly, sometimes I look at my husband and wish I could be that way for him. Would it take some of the stress off his shoulders if I were more Donna Reid-ish? But like you said: who has the time. Gotta go. My daughter has to be at drama in 15 min.