How To Be A Good Wife (1950s Style)

A Woman in the 1950'sHere’s an excerpt from a 1950s high school home economics textbook. If their mothers acted this way, small wonder they’re confused by us millennium women! Do you ever feel guilty because you can’t live up to this fantasy of the “Good Wife”?

  • Have dinner ready.
    Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready 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 is part of the warm welcome needed.

  • Prepare yourself.
    Take fifteen minutes to rest so that you are 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. Gather up the books, toys, and newspapers. Dust the tables so that they appear clean. Your husband will feel that he has reached his haven of rest and order. Doing this for him will give you a lift also.

  • Today's WomanPrepare the children.
    Take a few minutes to wash their faces and hands. Comb their hair and change their clothes if it is necessary to make them look presentable to him. They are “God’s Creatures” and your husband would like to see them playing their part.

  • Minimize all noise.
    At the time of his arrival, eliminate all the noises of the washer, dryer, dishwasher, and vacuum. You’ve had plenty of time to do these things during the day. Don’t do them now. Encourage your children to be quiet. Be happy to see your husband. Greet him with a warm smile.

  • Do not greet your husband with problems or complaints.
    Don’t complain when he is late for dinner. Count this as minor when compared to what he had to go through today.

  • Make him comfortable.
    Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest that he lie down for a few minutes 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 speak first.

  • Make the evening his.
    He is special! Never complain that he does not take you out to dinner or to other pleasant entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to unwind and relax. Remember that you relaxed all day waiting for his return. Now it’s his turn to enjoy what you enjoyed.

Try to make his home a place of peace and order,
a place where your husband can relax in body and spirit.

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