You’ve probably already seen this as it’s made its way around the Internet:
The Good Wife’s Guide (from a 1950s-era home economics manual)
Have dinner ready:
Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready for your husband. 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 is part of this warm welcome needed.
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 house just before your husband arrives gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Light a candle. 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.
Minimise 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. Better yet, have them in bed.
Don’t greet him with problems or complaints or complain if he’s late for dinner. Just count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day. Speak in a low, soft soothing and pleasant voice.
Listen to him:
You may have a dozen things to tell him – the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.
Make the evening his:
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. 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.
A blog I read had a link to a YouTube video illustrating this guide. Actually, there were numerous videos on this topic and I wasted an enormous amount of time watching them today. Some were rather clever and amusing. Virtually all that I watched took a sarcastic approach. I know it seems rather out-of-date but I must admit that while I might not follow it precisely (I don’t, for instance, put a ribbon in my hair or take off David’s shoes for him) I do embrace the spirit of it.
David works really hard at his job and I am fortunate that I don’t have to work outside the home (I could if I wanted to but I’d rather not). It seems only fair that I offer him a peaceful home environment in exchange.
I have David call me just before he leaves work so I know when to expect him and can prepare. It takes about 20 minutes for him to drive home so that gives me time to brush my teeth, touch up my makeup and spray on a little perfume. I make sure the house is tidy, perhaps spray a little air freshener or light a scented candle, put some nice music on the stereo and start dinner if it isn’t too early. If I know it has been an especially grueling day I will often meet him at the door with an ice cold Corona with a wedge of lime in it. He brings in the mail and newspaper with him and we spend a few moments together looking over the headlines and sorting mail. If the music on the stereo inspires me to do so, I’ll often dance a bit with him in the kitchen. This always makes him smile. He usually sits at the counter and chats with me as I prepare dinner in one of my cute aprons.
Maybe this all seems silly and old fashioned but in return David helps me clean the kitchen after dinner. By the time he’s had a little pampering and good meal, he’s generally in a happy mood and we enjoy our time together as we put the kitchen back in order. It just seems to set the tone for a peaceful evening. I used to wonder if any of what I was doing was all that important to him. David is a really easy-going guy and never pressures me to do anything I don’t want to do. But he recently shared with me that he has told other guys that when he comes home from work I’m dressed nicely, usually in a skirt, hair and makeup done, and that I meet him at the door with a Corona. Apparently they have all been amazed by this and think David is one lucky guy.
Since the kids are now grown and I’m no longer a homeschool mom with a valid excuse not to work outside the home, I’ve struggled a bit with my role in life. I know very few people these days understand why a woman would choose to be a stay-at-home-wife after the children are grown but this is what works for us. I do my part by making our homelife peaceful, fun, and restorative for David. I do the cooking, cleaning, laundry, organizing, shopping, errands, pet care, etc. In return I don’t have to punch a time clock but have the freedom to organize my day precisely the way I desire. I think we both have it pretty good.
(Let’s see if this inspires some comments!)