Tips to look after your husband (1950 vs. 2017)

Extract from 1950 Home Economics Book

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.

Decide what you might like to eat and if there’s enough for two, see if your husband would like to make it. If not, make it for yourself and point him in the direction of the crisps cupboard or offer him up the remains of the kids’ tea (unless you have already hoovered this up). Most men and women are hungry when they come home but it’s a dog eat dog world, let’s face it.

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.

Get into your skanky, grey pyjama bottoms as soon as you’ve got home from the school run, or the minute you walk in the door from your stressful day at work. Take off all make-up (if you had any on in the first place) and shove your hair up in a mum bun. Your boring day definitely needs a lift, so pour yourself a large glass of wine, and hope that nobody bothers to talk to you for the next 2 hours. 

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.

Mutter to yourself grumpily that nobody ever bothers to clear anything up, as you shove the school books, toys, iPads etc. into one big pile of clutter at the end of the kitchen table. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of slightly more rest if he remembers to never ever make the schoolboy error again of flinging his shoes off in the middle of the hall or dumping his coat at the bottom of the stairs. 

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.

Take a wet wipe to your children’s hands and faces if you really can no longer face the yoghurt smeared cheeks any longer. Otherwise just leave it till your husband baths them later. They can be little treasures but during the hours of 5pm to 8pm, ‘treasures’ is not exactly the word that springs to mind. 

Minimise all noise

At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, drier, 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.

At the time of his arrival (if you are indeed back before him) make sure that the PlayStation, repetitiveness of Capital Radio and all technological devices are playing at full volume, as well as the children being as moany as possible. If you’ve had to endure it, then so should he. Grunt at him and greet him with a download of everything that has been sh*t about your day. 

Some don’ts

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.

Don’t forget to greet him with problems and complaints. If you can’t offload on to him then what was the point of getting married? Don’t forget to have a go if he’s late for dinner, even if there is no dinner made. Dinner is just a time that you have in your head for when you think he should be home. He may not even know what this time is, but he shouldn’t be late anyway. 

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.

If he dares to sit down in a comfortable chair while you are dealing with sibling fights, iPad bans and why nobody is watching any more Dance Moms before they’ve done their homework, then he is –  in the words of the great B.A. Baracus – a crazy fool. Make sure you have a chilled glass of wine in your hand to get you through the aforementioned. He can get one for himself if he wants. Speak in the only way you know how to these days – loud, impatient and screechy. He may try to relax and unwind by sneaking off to another room with his phone to watch silly YouTube videos, but be it at his peril. 

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.

You have lots of things to tell him about your ungrateful boss, your turmoil at lunchtime when Yo Sushi ran out of sushi, the fact that little Jimmy has been giving his teacher some backchat in the manner of Liam Gallagher, and you have no decent clothes anymore because you’re too fat. Do not let him talk at all. 

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.

Constantly complain that you never do anything exciting anymore and he always seems to have time for client entertainment or pints with his mates, but never for poor old you. Do not give his world of strain and pressure a second thought, but do constantly remind him of yours. 

The goal

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

Try to limit crazy big arguments to one or two a week. Little bickery ones can occur on a daily basis. If either of you need to renew yourself in body and spirit then a retreat in Tibet is probably your best bet, but not together. Failing that, a night away with your mates should do the job.