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5 Ways I Am Like a 1960s Housewife

You know how you always hear about those ridiculously outdated pieces of marriage advice from way back when?

The kind that makes women sound like slaves to their husbands and offers such helpful tips as, answer the door dressed in bubble wrap?

Well, I decided to look up some ol’fashioned advice to poke fun at it for the purposes of this article…only to discover that (gulp) I am more like those 1960s housewives than I realized. I follow a lot of the same advice, such as the fact that I…

  • I plan dinner. 1 of 6
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    One of the first pieces of advice to be a good wife, as listed in a 1960's marriage tip book (via Glamour.com) is to always have dinner ready for your man, piping hot and served up just the way he likes it. 

     

    "Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal -- on time. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed."

     

    The truth is, over the past year of our marriage, I've totally fallen in love with meal planning. Every week, I set a meal for each day, make a detailed list of ingredients, post my menu on our fridge, and prep as much as I can ahead of time. And although I rarely (never) actually have the meal cooked and waiting for my husband to dig into, I confess that I totally plan dinner in advance. 

     

    Photo via x-ray delta one/Flickr

  • I freshen up before he gets home. 2 of 6
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    "Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. His boring day may need a lift."

     

    Granted, I'm not making myself cover-ready, but if I haven't managed to change out of my pajamas for the day, I will make a mad dash upstairs to throw some clothes on, run a brush through my hair, and maybe some bronzer on my cheeks before my husband gets home. I still haven't decided if I do this to try to fool him that I'm not actually a lazy slob, or because it makes me feel a little bit better before I make the switch into having another adult in the house after a long day of working from home with small children, so in all honesty, I think it's my boring day that needs the lift.

     

    Photo credit: 1960's magazine cover, photographed by Theresa Bright

  • I clean the house before he gets home. 3 of 6
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    "Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dust cloth over the tables."

     

    Minus the dust cloth, I actually do this one. And the strange part is, I really don't know why. I even wrote about this strange cleaning phenomenon on my own blog, admitting that somewhere around 4 pm every day, I embark on a frenzied 15 minutes of picking up the house with the kids before my husband gets home. Surprisingly, I found out that a lot of stay-at-home or work-at-home wives did this too; we figured that it was our way of taking a break from the day and kind of gearing up for the evening, almost like hitting the "pause" and "refresh" button to make the switch from day to dinner. Alternatively, I have theorized that it's my attempt to justify the fact that the rest of the day, we are a complete and total disaster. This is something my husband would probably care less about it, but nonetheless, something I feel weirdly compelled to do. 

     

    Photo: Flickr/peapod labs

  • I ask him how his day was first. 4 of 6
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    "Listen to him: you may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the tie. Let him talk first."

     

    Once upon a time, when I was working two jobs from home, and one as a nurse, I would pretty much ambush my husband the moment he walked in the door. 

     

    I'd throw him a kid or two, point to the direction of the fridge, and lock myself away in my office, desperate to get one job done before I had to leave for the other. After awhile though, this type of juggling act really started to wear on us. Although we were both working, I realized it must not have been very pleasant for him to walk in the door, only to be greeted with the silent treatment from me. 15 minutes of downtime, chatting in the kitchen and listening to how his day went did wonders for us -- and really wasn't that big of a deal on my part. So yes, I do this one too. 

     

    Photo: Vancouver Film Schools via Flickr

  • I make him comfortable. 5 of 6
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    "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."

     

    Hahahaha. 

     

    Ok, so I'm not a 1960s housewife after all. Glad we got that cleared up!

     

    Photo: Italian voice via Flickr

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