Confessions of a Slacker Wife

Today is Confessions of a Slacker Wife Day.

I love my husband, and he knows it.
But some days it’s easy to get caught up in life. As in,
 “oh my gosh I’m so glad you’re home, can you please take the screaming baby so I can go take a shower and can you feed the kids I don’t know what to do for dinner please?”


My husband doesn’t like that. He seems to feel like, well, like I only want him around for an extra set of hands or something!
{Yeah, that might be part of it.}

But I’m also glad he is home. I’m glad that I have someone to talk to, someone who won’t say “can I have this can I have this can I have that I’m huuuuungry,” one thousand times a day. I’m glad to have my friend, the guy who supports my crazy ideas, the man who loves his children more than anything. 
I just kinda forget to show it.

Recently I came across this blog post. Apparently there was a little bit of uproar over an email going around about a reported article from a 1950’s magazine called Housekeeping Monthly. The article was supposedly titled “The Good Wife’s Guide.” Snopes noted that it is most likely an “exaggeration with a point.”

(Click to Enlarge)

So, back to the article I originally linked to, a response, if you will, to the Good Wife’s Guide. In the article, Darlene says:

I clicked through several of the links, and nearly everywhere the guide was posted, it was up for much ridicule. The sad thing in all of this is that our role as a help-meet is being diminished by popular opinions that would rather scoff at good family values than face the truth of God’s word.

 “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22-24, (NIV)

 She goes on to post a version of her own “good wife’s guide,” or what she attempts to do prior to and upon her husband’s arrival. I’m not going to lie, ladies; feminists would shudder even at her relatively tame list. Here are a few of her ideas, refer to her blog for the full list. 

  • If the kids are excited about something, encourage them to wait about 15 minutes before they share their news.
  • Prepare dinner before he arrives. There’s nothing quite like the smell of home cooking when you walk in the door—especially when you’re cooking the food he likes.
  • Have the pots and pans washed ahead of time so that the kitchen is every bit as presentable as the meal.
  • If you have problems to deal with, wait until after dinner to spring it on him. Husbands are happier when their tummies are full.
  • Greet him at the door with open arms, a kiss, and a warm embrace.

 As I read this, I honestly thought, “Yeah. Right.” Not because my husband doesn’t deserve those things, but they seem so impractical. Dinner made and the kitchen clean before he gets home? Waiting until after dinner to start complaining about what the kids did today? And what about my need to get a break from the kids?Not sure what sort of utopia this lady lives in, but this is so not my house.

Then yesterday, by default, the kitchen was sort of clean after I prepared dinner. Gary was late getting home (and “late” is truly “normal” in our house), so I stopped and cleaned up. I ran the dishwasher. I thought, wouldn’t it be funny if I tried to do what Darlene suggested in her article?

I set the table, I finished dinner. I didn’t call him and start chewing him out for being late again. By the time he arrived home, I was calmly sitting on the couch waiting for him. When he came in, I invited him to sit down as well. He was exhausted. Then a magical thing happened.
He told me about his day.
Of his own free will.

We talked for about ten to fifteen minutes, then we sat down for dinner. Never mind that it was already really late and everyone was hungry. My husband being relaxed made me more relaxed, and we all enjoyed the meal together. 

Was it a fluke? Perhaps. Experimentally, I tried again today. Same thing.
My husband comes home to a clean house.
(My husband isn’t stressed about all the crap he has to maneuver around and stressing about who is going to clean it and when he’ll have time to do that, too.)
My husband comes home to a cooked dinner, ready to eat.
(My husband doesn’t have to pick up food on the way home because I have no meal planned, and he doesn’t have to wait until I cook dinner, meanwhile munching on food because he’s starving, then loses his appetite for dinner which really ticks me off.)
My husband gets to relax for a few minutes.
(He doesn’t feel like he’s coming home to his “second job,” he gets to come home to a wife who is happy to see him, not the boss who is mad he’s late again.)
My husband is happy.
I don’t think he even realizes what’s different. But upon his arrival, he’s so much more the guy I dated: happy and funny and glad to be around me. 

So… do I think it will happen again?
Maybe. Maybe sometimes when the kitchen isn’t too messy, and Abigail takes a long nap. I know I can’t do it everyday. But it’s nice to have my husband feel appreciated, even in this small way. And even if it is a little “1950’s,” then so be it. My house is a better place and I don’t mind.

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5 Responses to Confessions of a Slacker Wife

  1. A "Dandelion" mom says:

    As a working mom, with a stay at home husband, I don't think this is sexist. Because it can go the other way, too. I think that the one that is home should try to do what they can to help the working person relax and "come down" from a stressful work day. When my husband is relaxed, kids are quiet and the house is relatively clean I am able to relax- and then I am able to start pitching in, listening to any issues, and even sometimes going out and doing something fun.

    When the house is in chaos when I get home, I want to turn right back around and sit in my car and cry….and occasionally I have. It's stress on top of stress and I am not able to be there for the people I know that really need me. I appreciate any effort my husband makes to help me relax after work. Even if EVERYthing isn't clean or dinner still has to be made….or planned. It's the thought and effort that counts for me!

  2. newbiemama says:

    Great input! It's nice to hear the other side. (because I still haven't asked Gary if he's noticed!) Of course, there are days that I go out to my car and cry too! Haha. :) Some days it's easy to feel like he has it easy because he gets to come home from his job, where I'm literally on mine 24/7, but he DOES have a hard job and coming home to more work can't be any fun.

  3. Mo says:

    Great post with some good points all around. I'm afraid that I definitely do this to my sweet and hard working husband. Reading this gave me some perspective on how he must feel but never mentions or complains…
    I found you from 7 On A Shoestring.
    I'd love a visit as well at

  4. newbiemama says:

    Thanks for visiting mo! I followed you on your blog too. :)

  5. shh121 says:

    I, too, am a slacker mom and wife! Glad I am in good company :) Great thoughts here.

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