Friday, July 6, 2012

Good Housewives Guide

So, I found this article on what a "good housewife" is.. this article is my favorite that I have found. Its do-able. I think it is a very good starting point.
Let me know what you all think? Or any other good points that you guys think should be added.



How to be a Good Housewife

A housewife is a married woman who is not employed outside the home. Most often, the husband works during the day and earns income to support the family, while the wife takes on most of the non-financial responsibilities, such as maintaining the home and, if applicable, caring for the kids. It is up to the couple whether this arrangement works for them. Sometimes it's a temporary situation, such as if children are too young to go to school and the cost of daycare is greater than the woman's salary. For other couples, it may represent a commitment to traditional values. Whatever the reason, if you have chosen to be a housewife, here are some suggestions to help you flourish in this role.

1.
Discuss expectations with your partner. Discuss realistic expectations, and how to meet them as best as you can. The definition of a good housewife depends on which house you live in. It is also very culture-dependent (see below). Do not presume that you have the same expectations because you may find out the hard way (through arguments) that you don't. Sit down and talk it over. What are the things he is hoping you will keep up with in the home? What are his responsibilities in the home? If you are primarily responsible for keeping the house clean, he may take responsibility for cleaning up after himself: putting his dirty laundry in the hamper, placing things where they belong after he has finished using them, emptying the trash near his desk, putting his dishes in the dishwasher, etc. If you are also caring for young children during the day, you may be surprised by how difficult it is to also keep up with household tasks. Your husband may need to help significantly with the cooking and cleaning, if possible.

2.
Maintain a great appearance. It is all too easy to stop paying attention to your appearance when you have a husband, but maintaining attraction is a key element of a long-term relationship. While it was important to keep a good appearance during dating/courtship, it is even more important in a married relationship, or any committed relationship. Try to spend some time each day making yourself look pretty, wearing clothes that delight him. If your husband oftentimes tells you he likes when you wear a certain garment or outfit, by all means, take the hint. Good grooming and hygiene are vital, so keep yourself neat and feminine by having a pretty hair cut, nice nails and smooth legs/underarms.

3.
Learn to cook. Plan ahead, with the aim to have a delicious meal on the table when he gets home from work. It is often said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and it is absolutely true! Microwave meals are not suitable cuisine, so find a recipe book you like and start experimenting. Having a great meal ready is a good way to let him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. A good meal can be an expression of love and a warm welcome for your partner when he gets home.


4.

Be mindful and considerate of your spouse's needs. Lots of men need space when they come home from a hard day at work, so welcome him home with a big smile and allow him to relax and unwind. Have his favourite meal and drink ready, and let him relax after a tough day of work. Be available to spend time with him and comfort him, but if he wants to spend time alone or with his friends and not you, take a step back and let him have his way.


5.
Listen to him. A good wife listens to what her spouse has to say without interrupting. Show empathy and learn how to have great conversations. The key idea is that to be a good conversationalist, you should strive to listen more and talk less, by engaging the other person to talk more about his interests. That is the mark of humility, respect, selflessness, and generosity.


6.
Tidy up the house and make your home a clean and pleasant place to live in.


7.
Improve your skills in the bedroom. It never hurts, and will only help to learn more about the sexual side of marriage. There are lots of books and websites that can help you improve your sexual techniques.


8.
Find a balance in arguments, but avoid them if possible. Nagging never works, and will only serve to irritate your spouse. Not speaking your mind is just as bad. Husbands are not tyrannic creatures: if you find a balance in arguments, and take turns to speak, things will surely improve.


9.
Love your spouse for who he is. Don't criticize him in an unconstructive, cruel, or nagging way. Whatever your image of the 'ideal' man may be, everyone is unique in his own ways, so try to respect that. Before you try to improve others, try to improve yourself first. If you find things disagreeable about him, let him know in a mature, sensible and loving way: chances are that he will agree on some things and/or explain others, plus it will build trust between both of you and save unnecessary conflicts.


10.
Let him take control of certain situations, more so if they are extra personal situations like choosing his hobby, his meals, his clothes, etc. When you are home a lot, it can be easy to want to take control of everything your husband does in the home, but this may not be your husband's preference. It's all right if you want to give him your input in a polite way, more so if he asked you. Otherwise, let him have his space, just as you'd want yours. He's a separate human being from you; always remember that.



Cultural considerations

Mexico

  • In Mexico, the wife is the core of the familial unit. Matriarchal families are very common and strong. Housewives are seen as benevolent, intelligent, wise, and almost magical creatures, since they are thought to have answers, remedies and solutions to almost every problem in the family's daily life, from a small cut to a heartbreak.
  • Being a strongly Catholic country, more so in rural places, Mexico is a country where women are usually urged to take on the roles of housewives and mothers as the Bible says, and have to know certain basics: how to cook, sew (and sometimes even embroider), to cure minor wounds (some even know minor 'first aid' maneuvers), how to keep a house clean and tidy, and even some book-keeping. Mostly in rural areas, if a woman does not know these things she could be very much frowned upon even by her family.
  • With the economy increasingly in crisis, Mexican wives have started getting a job, too, and still are housewives, just not homestead ones. Also, men have taken to helping their wives more and more, be it with children or the cooking or the tidying.


Feminist critique

  • Many feminists, such as Betty Friedan, have criticized the marginalization of women as housewives. Feminists generally suggest that 'housework' should be an appropriate role for a parent of either sex, believing that gender roles do not have any basis other than social conditioning. They also maintain that women can become socially isolated by being tied to their home. Some feminists would argue that the goal of feminism is not to close off any options for women, but to create opportunities for women to pursue careers in traditionally male occupations, as well as providing males an option to pursue roles that so far have been perceived as "strictly female". Indeed, the role of the stay-at-home dad or househusband has become more socially recognized as an available option in modern Western cultures.
  • Some feminists also point out that the monetary contribution of housewives' work to society is ignored in standard formulations of economic output, such as GDP or employment figures. Housewives work many unrecorded hours a week, while depending on their partner's employment to provide health insurance and household income. The State or individuals would have to assume staggering costs such as childcare in the absence of unpaid housewives.


Biblical considerations

  • The Bible has a lot to say about how to be a good housewife. Much of it is in Proverbs and the Song of Songs. For example, Proverbs xxxi. 10-31:

"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."


1 comment: