How to Be a Good Wife Today...From A List Written in the 1950's

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How to Be a Good Wife Today...From A List Written in the 1950's

 Sweet Apron I won from Andrea at The Freckled Bug

I'm so excited about this wonderful list that I just have to share it with you! Please understand--this is the REAL me. I love this list and have always tried to live by it. But I'd never seen it in print before. It was taken from a 1950's Public High School Home Economics textbook.    

Reading it again, gave me a renewed vision for my chosen 'career'. The things on this list are the most important goals I have as a homemaker and I love it!!  I've loved being a homemaker since the first day I married. I wanted to be the best wife and homemaker ever and I still do!is  In fact, this IS what I wanted to be more than any other job I might have aspired to pursue.

Home Comforts--My Favorite Homemaking Manual

Honestly, I sometimes lose sight of these goals. I've often heard that you should "schedule the BIG things and the LITTLE  things can just work around them". But I realized this evening how easily I can allow that perspective  to mess up my priorities as a wife and homemaker. Lately there's been a still small voice nagging at the back of my mind that recently reminded me that the 'little things really ARE the big things'.    They deserve more than just a 'lick and a polish'.

From the heart, I believe it is my calling to be hubby's much so that I originally considered calling my blog the name "Hubby's Helper".    It's also why I've had the same email monniker all of my computerized life (at least the last 12 years or so...  Homemaking@... the servers have changed..but not the monniker. But since the first day I married, I've struggled to stay focused. Keeping my priorities straight has always been difficult. Working before playing is not easy for me at all, even after all these years!! But I don't get down on myself about it, I just keep getting back on track :o).  (I'm the musical, creative  type person. )

  Please, if this is not your vision, just understand that I'm not trying to put it on you --I'm just sharing, very honestly,  what the Lord has put on my heart today. :o)  There are some readers who may appreciate this list of reminders and that's what my blog is all about.
"How to Be a Good Wife Today"

  • 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 prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.
  • Prepare yourself. 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 cheerful 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 schoolbooks, toys, and papers.  Then, run a dust cloth over the tables. 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 looking like treasures.
  • Minimize 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. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile.

Some Don'ts

  • Don't greet him with problems or complaints. (I personally take these to the Lord and try to get 'his' perspective so I'm not so worried or overwhelmed. We can talk about these later after the children are in bed.)

  • Don't complain if he is late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day. Make him comfortable. 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. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.

  • Make the evening His. 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.

"The goal: try to make your home a place of peace and order, where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit." 

Gosh, this list was such a great reminder to me! I so easily slip into forgetting that this is the calling I chose--with eyes wide open!  I have so much more freedom to schedule my work and my hobbies and projects too, than dear hubby does. I need to remember how much I loved doing all these things the first five years of our marriage and why I loved doing them!  

Our anniversary is only a few days away--so this was just the 'company vision' statement that I needed to read.  I know not everyone feels this way--in fact some may really feel this is demeaning or out-dated. I do understand--but I just don't feel that way at all.  I love my job as a helper to my hubby and I love using all my gifts, talents, energy, and enthusiasm to make my home a wonderful place for dear hubby, my children and myself  to enjoy and fellowship in.  

I hope I never quit loving my man this way. He's not perfect..but he's MINE--and He's worth my very best efforts. :o)
Happy 23rd Anniversary, Hubby!

Your Loving Wife,


Peach Rainbow said...

What a wonderful list!

I agree, there will be some who would consider this to be out dated but the role of a wife will and should always be the same.

Life would be smooth, divorces will be less, if all the wives tried to have these qualities.

Glad to know there are wives who still love to be like this.

Glad you are one of them!

Stephanie said...


I consider myself in so many ways to be a feminist! Women now have the right to choose what they do for a living, or if they are very lucky they can choose to stay home.

We downsized our house so that we could afford for me to stay home. I love my husband and children and feel very proud of myself when I'm doing a good job and I know that he loves it too. I used to be very career minded and I think if I still was then we would no longer be together.

Thank you for this post...:)

Stephanie said...

I just re-read my post, and I just want to add that I don't think women who work love their children and husbands any less...Just to clarify :)

Cindy said...

Donna..I recently found my senior statement..what do you want to be...I said a housewife..a mother of a large family and a teacher.Well I taught my kids at home..was and still say a housewife..with pride...and I had 5 children..and now 9 grandchildren..I think I had things figured out even way back then!! lol
I can't wait to meet you in person!!

Happy anniversary early..I am still having difficulty with this country computer

Love the cute apron!

Hugs..Cindy Rick-Rack and Gingham

Julia said...

Oh my, I'm afraid that I don't do any of the things on this list. I remember reading it way back sometime a long time ago. I will say, though, that we've been married 37 1/2 years so whatever we are doing is working for us. We've established our "jobs", etc... I did work full time and have three kids, who are now grown. He owned his own business and so was not home till after supper time every night. It worked for us. Now, we share most duties around the house. We also share the love for each other's parental care, etc.....

Trudy said...

Donna, I feel the way you do about our duties as homemakers, wives and mothers. But I also struggle with staying focused. I get sidetracked easily with all of the things I want to do, and I often have trouble prioritizing all of the various tasks that must be done in a day, but having this as a goal is always in the forefront of my mind. Thank you for being brave enough to post this and being so honest. I hope it helps many women and families. It is a good reminder and checklist for me.


Donna said...

Blogger Donna said...

You guys are amazing! And I appreciate your comments. I was just a tad nervous to so blatantly state my perspective on homemaking. I've been married 23 years on this July 18th. I've worked hard to be a homemaker since I was probably five years old-Tee-hee! I've also worked and had at one time planned to be an accountant. But my heart was always in homemaking.

And Julia, I do understand that women choose other careers and the jobs have to be divided out differently at times. Even my hubby sometimes does the things on that list for me because I have a full time job just homeschooling! I've been teaching for 20 years now. It's been a heavy responsibility. So we have shifted the tasks in our home around quite a bit when necessary.

I'd love to 'just do homemaking' but we were adamant about home education. So Tim has been as quick to jump in and help with babies or chores as any guy ever could, or to let me go lay down for a nap.

But as a wife, serving him is my ultimate goal. Even with the homeschooling, I found I could adjust my schedule much easier than he could and take the pressure off of him. He's always had demanding jobs and no option for scheduling until the last eight years or so.

Still, Peach Rainbow is would be smoother and there would be less divorces if we wives had a more serving heart and honored our hubbies as the 'main providers of our homes' as so many of them are.

Of course, I'm very old-fashioned and I consider Tim to be the 'king of our castle'. It helps that I don't mind that life is not focused on me but rather on him. (He is absolutely focused on the health and happiness of our whole family so this works both ways). I made a completely purposeful decision to accept Tim as the "head of our home" and the final decision maker.

Frankly, in today's culture, everyone in the family is being tugged in a different direction and in the end it's exhausting for everyone. Two people working on a common goal, for the good of the whole family, make so much more progress and everyone benefits. I bring in money too now and then and I know other women do much more than that. My job as homemaker and homeschooler isn't less work than Tim''s just more flexible. That's where a lot of stress comes from. If neither spouse has that flex then, a lot of stress can build up in the day. Add kids' schedules to that and you are talking about a lot of conflict and no one to comfort or nurture anyone. I like being that one. I think it comes more easily to most woman to be nurturers..much more so than to men.

Yes-I'm afraid I am stereotyping but it's just plain true. There are exceptions but I think most of us know that Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus--hello?

Debby said...

Anniversary to a wonderful wife.

Terri said...


I love the list!! I try to live by those things, too...I think being old fashioned rocks :-) Your blogs are beautifully designed and impressive.

Terri said...

I love your blog and the homemaking list. Being old fashioned rocks. :-)

Maria Killam said...

You are amazing! Your husband is so lucky to have you for his wife! He sounds like such a great guy too if you still feel this way after 23 years.
Great post Donna!

Jill said...

What wonderful post! Happy Anniversary to you both and many, many more!

Blessings, Jill

Anonymous said...

*L* So according to the 50's I fail..but hey, to my hubby I'm just right and I'm thankful for that. I wonder how this list has changed over the years?

Caroline said...

Happy Anniversary!

I've seen this list before, but always with a derogatory commentary on how this is not enlightened for today. I loved your perspective and it let me read it with new eyes. I do have alot more freedom than Kevin and although unlike you, I've not always loved homemaking, I am growing to love it and know that it is God's call for this season of life ... Thanks for the reminder.

(Our anniversary is next week, the 28th. #9!)

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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