During the 1950′s, the society placed high importance on women’s behavior, particularly at home. In many ways, the roles that women were supposed to fill were relatively constrictive and repressive. During those times, women were expected to become good wives, which was defined by how well they attended to their spouse’s needs and how obedient they were in following their spouse’s every order. For the most part, home economics for women in 1950′s taught them how to become a diligent homemaker and caring spouse and mother, which is exactly the way society, expected them to be.
The 1950′s high school home economics textbook for women simply prepared women for the demands and responsibilities of married life. It served as a good wife’s guide on how to fulfill the duties expected of her by her spouse and by the society as a whole. Such a guide followed ten basic steps:
Step 1: Always have dinner ready for your husband and for your family. A good wife is expected to plan ahead and serve delicious meals on time. This gesture allows women to let their husbands know that they are well prepared in attending to the men’s prospects of eating a warm hearty meal at home after work.
Step 2: Make yourself presentable. Make sure that you look refreshed by the time your husband arrives. It only takes a few minutes to re-do your makeup and touch up your hair. There is no better way of welcoming weary and tired husbands than by welcoming them with your beauty at the end of the day.
Step 3: Make sure that everything is in order. Before your husband arrives, make sure that all the clutter in your home has been cleared. Gather your children’s books and toys and clean up the surfaces of your furniture. Make your home a haven of rest and order to lift up the weary mood of your husband.
Step 4: Attend to your children. Help them wash their hands and faces, change their clothes or comb their hair. Nothing pleases a husband more than being welcomed to a home with neat and well-kept children.
Step 5: Keep noises to minimum. Dinnertime is never a good time to run the washer, dishwater and other home appliances. Also, make your children accustomed to bearing their best behavior especially when their father arrives after work. Greeting your husband with a quiet home and warm smiles is perhaps the best way of saying you all are glad to see him.
Step 6: Do away with problems. Never greet your husband with complaints even when he comes home late.
Step 7: Keep your husband comfortable. After he arrives from work, fix him a nice drink and have him seated on a comfortable chair to allow him to relax.
Step 8: Learn to listen to your husband. Even if you have concerns, it is essential to allow your husband to talk first.
Step 9: Evenings are intended for husbands. A good wife takes pride in her ability to see to the comfort and needs of her husband without being told.
Step 10: The ultimate goal of any wife is to make a home where her husband can rest and relax. A good wife takes immense satisfaction at happily caring and nurturing her husband.
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