Thursday, August 9, 2012

How to be the perfect housewife

 Image courtesy of Austin Fashion Week

A couple of years ago, someone gave me a book called Fascinating Womanhood. 
I remember my jaw dropping after reading some of the advice it gave on how to become a good homemaker, a great wife and have a perfect marriage. 

It mentioned things like "When you arise, take care of your appearance. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking"
And when your man comes home from work, "Speak in a soft, soothing, pleasant voice. Allow him to relax - to unwind"

 Then I realized it was written in 1965.  
I'm still kinda fascinated with the advice, though. Who can pull this off anymore? Do women still aspire to this high level of home service - no cubicles, no carpools but apple pies and a perfect home?? 

The basic rules for the perfect housewife:

Plan your tasks with an eye on the clock. Finish or interrupt them an hour before he is expected. Your anguished cry, "Are you home already?" is not exactly a warm welcome.
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 are part of the warm welcome needed.
Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. This will also make you happy to see him instead of too tired to care. Turn off the worry and be glad to be alive and grateful for the man who is going to walk in. While you are resting you can be thinking about your Fascinating Womanhood assignment and all you can do to make him happy and give his spirits a lift. When you arise, take care of your appearance. 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.
Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. in a bucket or wastebasket and put them in the back bedroom for sorting later. Then run a dustcloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order and it will give you a lift too. Having the house in order is another way of letting him know that you care and have planned for this homecoming.
Take just 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 look the part.
Especially give heed to this if your husband has to join rush hour traffic. At the time of his arrival eliminate noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet at the time of their father's arrival. Let them be a little noisy beforehand to get it out of their system.
Greet him with a warm smile and act glad to see him. Tell him that it is good to have him home. This may make his day worthwhile. If there is any romance left in you, he needs it now.
  • Don't greet him with problems and complaints. Solve the problems you can before he gets home and save those you must discuss with him until later in the evening.
  • Also, don't complain if he is late for dinner. Count this as a minor problem when compared with what he might have gone through that day.
  • Don't allow the children to rush at him with problems or requests. Allow them to briefly greet their father but save demands for later.
Have him lean back into 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 massage his neck and shoulders and take off his shoes. Don't insist on this however. Turn on music if it is one of his pleasures. Speak in a soft, soothing, pleasant voice. Allow him to relax - to unwind.
You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first, then he will be a more responsive listener later.
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 to relax. If he is cross or irritable, never fight back. Again, try to understand his world of strain.
Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit. Then add to this the application of all the principles of Fascinating Womanhood and your husband will want to come home. He will rather be with you than with anyone else in the world and will spend whatever time he can possibly spare with you. Try living all of these rules for his homecoming and see what happens. This is the way to bring a man home to your side, not by pressure, persuasion or moral obligation.

(Helen B. Andelin's Fascinating Womanhood, published by Pacific Press in 1965)

How do you rate? 


  1. wow! Bold post! what a reality check to how far society has come! One could easily rant and rave about the audacity this book has, but on a reasonable level the points this post makes could help both man and woman lives happier. I could absolutely see that marriage would succeed if both parties took steps to form a cohesive life with these tips. I would like to see a new age version of this article. I would recommend other readers to be open minded to how valuable some of this info is and would be to a working household in this day in age.

    1. Hmm.. what would the modern day version of this look like? The typical dad is no longer the single supporter of the family, so mom comes home from work too. Probably becomes more of a balance where the rules above apply more to both!

  2. I'm chuckling at the fact that I have done most of these things our entire marriage. Maybe that's why we're at 32 years together and still crazy in love? Yep. We are freaks. And I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

  3. Fascinating Womanhood is an amazing book. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a truly amazing marriage :)

    I'm a 29 year old atheist. We're not all feminists...

  4. Great book, I actually picked one up years ago from an estate sell.
    Life can be great when we put aside our selfish desires and look for what we can do to improve things for the " team".

    Being my husbands helpmate is both a privilege and a pleasure.

    I ' be been there done that , it helps and one can appreciate the other.

    Remain thankful for all things and living within your means.

    Life is to short not to enjoy!


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