1. 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 prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.
Mr TOPP is the main cook in our house. Mostly because he doesn’t do things like this.
2. Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will 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. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.
By the end of the day I am usually zonked. If I have remembered to put a face on then I am doing well. And my hair? Well, by tea time it’s usually wild. Maybe I’ll try the ribbon thing, but I have a feeling Mr TOPP would just laugh.
3. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. 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.
Haven of rest and order? Ha! I give you my living room circa 4pm
4. 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.
If Mr TOPP came home from work to find me with a ribbon in my hair AND the children all clean and tidy he would probably think he had gone to the wrong house.
5. Minimize the noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him.
Now this one I might actually achieve: I am always happy to see him. My warm smile may often be more of a “thank god you’re home I’m bloody knackered” smile, but that’s close enough right? I am also pretty good at eliminating the noise of the whitegoods – mostly by not turning them on. Getting the children to be quiet is the hardest part. Mostly because it’s impossible.
6. Things to avoid: Don’t greet him with problems or complaints. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner.
Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.
Au contraire, I think it only fair to warn him if, for example, the toilet seat has broken. NOT warning him could result in serious injury, which would not count as Being A Good Wife at all.
7. 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.
I always speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Always.
8. Listen to him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.
I can’t get a word in edgeways – Big M is always so excited to see Daddy. He doesn’t necessarily get to talk first though…
9. 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.
No problem. Take away, wine and a film and I’m happy.
10. The goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.
Umm, what about me? I like to relax too. Maybe too much sometimes, but still, that’s not the point. And if anyone knows how to make their home a place of peace and order when you have a toddler, a baby and a cat, could you please let me know?
I found the guide to being a good housewife here. I shan’t be reading it again. I am clearly not cut out for housewifery, so will stick to something I am good at. It will probably involve cake (and not the baking. Obviously.).