Some of you may have received The Good Wife's Guide in an email chain that's been circulating for years. The first time I saw it was at my old job. Some of my co-workers were reading it over and laughing hysterically. While some of the points may seem a little degrading towards women, overall I would have to say, "Why shouldn't we do these things for our husbands"?
Lets start with the first one: "Have dinner ready"-My husband certainly appreciates when I have dinner ready for him when he walks through the door after a 16 hour shift at the hospital. I recall one night during the first week of our marriage when he said "Wow Honey, this is such a great meal, considering you just threw it together.". I had to stop him right there. I asked him what he meant by "just threw it together" and he replied, "you know, you took a little of this and a little of that, and it all tastes great". First, I thanked him for the complement of saying the meal I prepared tasted great, but then I explained to him what goes on to ensure that he has a great meal prepared for him when he walks through the door. I showed him my dinner protocols!
First, I come up with 7 dinners for the week. Check out the Time Warp Wife blog for some awesome Meal Planner Print-outs. Next, I go over all of the recipes for those meals and make a grocery list of all of the items I will need for the week. ( I love this Grocery List Pad by Real Simple available at Target). Then, I gather any coupons I may have and head to the store. I can't lie, I'm admittedly a Whole Foods snob ( Mental note to write another blog soon about how I have actually started saving money since I switched from a traditional grocery store to Whole Foods). Each morning, I refer to my meal planner and make sure that I have thawed out any frozen items that I'll need for that night and do any prep work like chopping vegetables if time allows. After I get home from work that day I double check with my husband to see what time he thinks he'll be home and I "just throw it all together". haha!
Needless to say, my husband certainly appreciates each meal for more than just it's taste these days!
On to #2: Prepare yourself- I used to come home, take off my lab clothes (usually jeans and a polo-all clothes worn in a lab will be ruined, so my work clothes are not too glamorous) and then put on some of my husbands scrubs. I have recently started to put guideline # 2 into practice. I came to the realization that The Good Dr is surrounded by nurses wearing scrubs all day. I don't want to be another one of those Dr's wives who loses their husband to a nurse (not that my husband would ever do such a thing). He doesn't want to come home to another girl in scrubs. He'd much rather come home to a woman who's a little easier on the eyes. So, I have started to slip into a little house dress, freshen up my make-up and take my hair out of a pony tail. I have to admit, He noticed and approved of these changes immediately. As a result, I feel more desired by Him and have come to feel better about myself as well.
#3, 8, & 9 all kind of go together: Be interesting, be Happy, and smile when he comes through the door. I always stop what I am doing, and go to greet him with a hug and a kiss as soon as I hear him at the door. Then, I follow # 10 and ask him how his day was, and really listen to what he says. He sort of does # 15 on his own and makes himself comfortable, but I add to it by having a cold drink and some advil & an appetizer ready for him. While I put the finishing touches on dinner, we usually go over any errands he needs me to do and discuss any other concerns that he may have.
During dinner, He says grace, and we keep the conversation light and fun, which for us means talking about history, science, etc. (we're nerds!) If I have any concerns to discuss with him I always wait until after dinner. He's always happier when his belly is full! After dinner he usually retires to his office and reads or works on his research while I clean the kitchen, prepare lunches and his breakfast for the next morning.
I may sneak in a little TV if time allows after I am finished preparing for the next day but I try to shower and be ready for bed the same time as my husband (early). If I am not sleepy yet, I read & have my quiet time with God but He definitely appreciates having me next to him as opposed to staying up late watching TV in the living room.
#12-I believe our role as wives is to make sure our husbands come home to an inviting place where they feel comfortable and safe. Home should be their escape from "the office". We want them to want to come home, not making up excuses for having to work late because they "can't handle" coming home and want to avoid it as we see portrayed in countless movies. We should be their best friend and confidants. One day when we start a family I will do my best to follow # 7 as well, and make sure that my husband is excited to see his children at the end of the day, not weary about it. I am sure there will be times that chaos and anxiety are unavoidable, especially with children in the mix, but I do think it's in our best interest to minimize the strain and stress in our home and in our husband's lives.
You are in my prayers,
The Good Doctor's Wife