Reflections Of The Working Wife: Women’s History Month

Originally posted in Angel’s column at

Since March is Women’s History Month I thought it would be fun to examine the rules from a 1950s home economics textbook to todays standards for women. Let’s see how they compare.

1950s: 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.

Today: Call ahead to your favorite restaurant before you leave the office. I’m sure McCormick and Schmick’s in Atlanta offers take out. Make sure to time it just right so that it’s ready for your man to pick up on his way home. This allows you time to stop by Lenox mall in Atlanta to pick up those shoes that are on sale at Neiman Marcus before you head home.

1950s:  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.

Today: Use your me time at the mall to de-stress from the day at the office. Go by the makeup counter and pick up a new lipstick. You’ve had a long hard week and a makeover could be just the key to de-stressing your mental state. Nothing gives a woman a good lift and makes her more gay than uninterrupted me time.

1950s: 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.

Today: Be thankful on the way home that your hard earn dollars have allowed you to hire the housekeeper who comes every so often to clean up that mess you are too busy to clean yourself. When you return home to the smell of cleaning supplies and the vision of a tidy home you can breath easy. Although it may only remain tidy for about an hour before you and your family make a mess of it again, you can relish in the cleanliness for a moment.

1950s: 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.

Today: Children? We have children? When the hell did that happen?

1950s: 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.

Today: Try to enter the home quietly. If you can go without detection for a few minutes, you can catch a breath before you are thrown into an evening full of helping with homework, going over everyone’s schedule for tomorrow and making a mess of the house that was just cleaned. Also it will allow you time to put those new shoes in the closet before anyone notices!

1950s: 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.

Today: Things to avoid: Cooking, cleaning, homework and the price of those shoes.

1950s: 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.

Today: Get comfortable. Take off the heels and bra, put on a pair of lounge pants and ask your man if he wouldn’t mind pouring you a glass of wine while you dish out the yummy meal he picked up on his way home. You can do all this in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Because you know later you will be yelling at the top of your lungs for the kids to get in bed before your favorite television show comes on. I mean really, how many times is it necessary to get up for water?

1950s: 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.

Today: Once you’ve eaten, helped with the homework, gone over the schedules for tomorrow and gotten the kids in bed, listen to him. But, let him know that you just took an Ambien and it will start working in about 45 minutes. Ask him to try to get it all in before then or you won’t remember it tomorrow. This will save you from having those “you never told me that” discussions later.

1950s: 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.

Today: Make sure to remind him that the weekend is his. His turn with the kids that is. You and your girlfriends are headed for a girls night out and you’ll probably be home late.

1950s: The goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.

Today: The goal: Trying to find some peace and order while working, raising a family and still carving out a little piece of me time so you can keep your sanity!

We love and work hard for our families and we adore our men. Remember ladies, give yourself some love too sometimes! Take that to mean what ever you like!

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6 Responses to Reflections Of The Working Wife: Women’s History Month

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  4. Porter says:

    To put the cart before the horse.

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