9 tips for taking care of your husband taken from a 1950s home economics book

Posted in Relationships.

Oh, to be a husband and dad in the 1950s! 

This extract from a vintage home economics book for girls on how to become good housewives is hilarious. 

If you feel your husband could do with a little more TLC from you though, then you might want to take some notes – because husbands in the ’50s were treated like gods.

Here are nine tips straight from the book, as well as some extras from us, on how to treat your man better after a hard day at work.  

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 prospect of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.”

OK mums, this means no last-minute frozen nuggets chucked onto an oven tray after the daycare pick up. Dinner needs to be thoughtfully PLANNED ahead of time, and don’t even think for a second that this isn’t your job. OK?

Cooking 1950s housewife

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.”

Wipe that “I’m so over it” mum face off right this second. He doesn’t want to see that! HE’S weary. HE’S tired. You are not. And no, you did not have a day at work either. Just tell the kids you need 15 minutes of me-time to get ready for Daddy’s arrival. Of course, they’ll understand! Oh and don’t forget to change out of that top that smells of spew.

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.”    

Yes, a haven of rest and order. DO NOT lose your sh!t at him for flinging his shoes off in the middle of the living room again, right after you’ve decluttered and yelled at the kids for never cleaning up their toys. Again, this is YOUR job. Do it without complaint. 

1950s living room

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.”

Yes, do rummage through the washing baskets and find clean clothes for your ‘little treasures,’ who have morphed into monsters come witching hour, which is right about the time he’s due home. Also resist leaving them grubby until bath time. He is not going to appreciate that. 

5. Minimise all 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.”

Don’t forget to give the kids this memo. Oh, and flicking on the telly for a bit of shush isn’t encouraged. What if the Paw Patrol theme song annoys him? Just ask the kids to be quiet and still. Easy.  

6. Some dont’s

“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.” 

Yes, yes. Do not annoy him with stories of how you juggled two little ones with gastro today while also having to work from home because they couldn’t go to daycare, oh and that now you can also feel your tummy starting to growl. Again. HE DOESN’T WANT TO HEAR IT!

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.”

Mums, this means no shouty mum rage, even if no one is listening to you and your man is looking at his phone instead of the full-blown sibling fight that is happening before his very eyes. No, just keep calm. Allow HIM to relax. You don’t need a drink. He does. 

1950s tips for looking after your husband

8. Listen to him

“You may have a lot of things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.”

Oh just shut up, alright! Again, HE DOESN’T CARE about your day or that your boss is a jerk, that his baby needs a change RIGHT NOW and you’ve got risotto on the stove that needs stirring, or that his pride and joy firstborn dropped the f-bomb at preschool today. Just zip it. Zip. Zip. Zip.

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 come home and relax.”

Yep, we’ve got it. He had a hard day. His barista coffee, that he got to drink without having to microwave ten times over, didn’t have the two sugars he’d asked for, and when he got to the office kitchen they were out of sugar. He didn’t have time return to the cafe because someone in the office had a birthday and he had to stay and eat cake.   

The goal

“Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.”

Did someone say spirits?! Now, this is a tip we can take on board because we need a stiff drink after reading this!


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