Contributed By Coach Cagle
It’s no secret that the gender roles have undergone countless changes since the good old days. Whereas women were once expected to fulfill household duties, monotonous as they were, modern men are often the ones to stay home to care for children, clean,and cook. Perhaps the astronomical increase in divorce rates since the 50’s can be attributed to the evolution of marriage roles and household expectations. The following excerpt from the May 1955 issue of Housekeeping Monthly illustrates some of the outdated expectations of women in the home.
* Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
* Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll 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.
* Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper etc and then run a dust cloth over the tables.
* Over 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. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
* 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 all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
* Listen to him. You may have a dozen important 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 out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.
* Your goal: try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order, and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
* Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that 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 judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness or truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
* A good wife always knows her place.