Thursday, April 14, 2011

Modern Translation: The Awesome Wife’s Guide


In the May 13th, 1955 issue of Housekeeping Monthly, an article was (allegedly) printed that outlined how to be a good wife- aptly named The Good Wife’s Guide. If you’ve ever thrown a bridal shower, had a bridal shower thrown for you or attended a bridal shower, chances are you’ve heard these infamous pearls of wisdom read aloud, accompanied by the sounds of eyes rolling (yes, rolling eyes can be heard many feet away), chuckles, “oh, hell no!”s and a few “in his dreams.”

I remember the first time I read this article; I had it enlarged into poster-size to display as a joke at my best friend Nikki’s bridal shower. As I recited the guide to her slightly inebriated guests (it was a margarita-themed shower)  I remember thinking “I don’t understand what’s wrong with this.” Clearly, from everyone’s reaction, there was something definitely wrong with this way of thinking. But who was I to know better, I was a 22-year-old college student living in my parents home with an immature boyfriend who lived in my parents basement.

Fast forward five years later; I’m living in Pennsylvania, engaged, living the “career dream” in my ideal job, and visiting home (Ohio) for a “1950’s Housewife”-themed bridal shower of my very own. We didn’t read or display the Housekeeping Monthly article at my shower, though we did wear pearls & aprons, carried hankies, and my mother and her long-standing group of girlfriends sang “Stand By Your Man” to me in a very ceremonial passing-of-the-torch. To my mother and bridal party this theme seemed perfect for me- I liked to bake and entertain and I owned a pair of pearl earrings. To me, this shower theme was perfect for me, but for reasons much deeper. I believe that I can evaluate my quality as a housewife based on the 1950's standard set in The Good Wife’s Guide (well, maybe a modern translation of the basic principals) AND (here’s the clincher) I believe doing so will make me happy!  

<Dramatic pause so that the 50% of readers who now hate me can spout some intended-to-be-feminist remarks and slam down their laptop lids>

Those of you still reading, allow me to be clear- the home is not my place, it’s where I prefer to be. I have many friends who are Feminists. I’d like to, however, avoid a discussion on Feminism mainly because (as about to be displayed by my quoting of Wikipedia) I do not know enough about it to have an intelligent conversation around the topic. My friend Wikipedia says “Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women.” Yay- I’m all for that. Thank you to all the women who fought for my opportunity to chose to be a housewife!

Everything I will discuss on this blog is what works for me. I am going to explore topics that make me happy. I hope that some (if not all) of what I talk about makes you happy too. I never intend to infer that the lifestyle choices I and my family make are “ideal”, “right”, or what you should seek to do. I am simply trying to find the life that what works for me/us.  

I attended college. I even have a Master’s degree. A few short weeks after graduation I landed the job I wanted. I am still (currently) working at that job. I have no career aspirations above what I am doing now. If I have to work, I want to be doing this job. However, once I started working I had a huge realization- this does not fulfill me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe I picked the wrong career path. I believe in what I do and I enjoy it, but I enjoy being a housewife more. I have a nagging feeling I will enjoy being a mother more.

So, what is this blog about? (I better get to the point since it’s already long enough.) I love being a wife. I want to be the best wife I can be. I believe there is much I can learn about myself from the 1950's housewife- good or bad. I would love to quit my job, push out a few babies and be a stay-at-home mom, but there are challenges facing me- and, as far as I know, the rest of America. So, this blog is the story of my self-improvement adventure as I work towards the goal of being a happy, healthy housewife (and hopefully soon house-mom).

Some people think I’m already an awesome wife. (Horn tooting not intended.) I’ve been told I’m a good host, party planner and gift giver. In the past, I’ve fulfilled all these rolls frugally, but, if I’m ever going to reach my above stated goal (of being a full-time housewife/mom) I’m going to have to take frugal to a whole new level! This is my adventure of trying to learn how to keep my current standard of lifestyle, as someone who can celebrate & spoil their loved ones, balance it all and coupon with the best of them, on even less resources than before and while becoming the best person/wife/friend/daughter/sister/cousin/niece I can be. In addition to thoughts on being a housewife, this blog will contain couponing tips, inexpensive gift & party planning ideas, as well as any good advice I stumbling across along the path to frugal living.

I am a new blogger so bear with me! I am probably about to commit a rookie Blogging 101 mistake, but I am going to start my blog with a series: Modern Translation: The Awesome Wife’s Guide. If I think there is much I can learn from the ideals of the 1950s housewife, then I should probably a) read them,  b) think about them and then c) translate them for my life. Today is not 1950 (indicated by the fact that you are reading a blog) so I need to figure out how this guide can apply today- if it even can!

Stay Tuned!


  1. Love it! And for the record, I think today's society is more about being an individual as opposed to a feminist, super-mom, housewife - it's what you need and want in your life to fulfill you, make you smile and warm your heart. While I can't be a SAHM for reasons I'll withhold for my own blog, I'd love to do it, too. Stay true to you! Loved reading your blog.

  2. Thank you Anonymous- my thoughts exactly! Be sure to send me the link to your blog!

  3. I absolutely agree!!!
    I have just discovered your blog and am about to wander my way through your posts