Monday, February 9, 2009

Things you can do to help your husband with work

A stay-at-home wife has plenty of opportunities to be an asset to her husband. Often, a woman who puts her efforts into helping her husband with his work, makes a wiser move financially than the one who enhances her own career, with all the work-related expenses. And no, I don't mean only those who have a family business - though it might be a wonderful option to have the entire family working together.

The very fact of having a "keeper of the gates" at home is emotionally uplifting to a hard-working man. As trivial as it may sound, if he knows he's coming back to a clean, pretty home, a hot meal on the table, and a cheerful, relaxed wife who isn't frazzled from her own day at work, it's a huge boost.

It's important to be content with what your husband makes, even if it is little. What man won't be put off by a wife who constantly grumbles about not being able to afford this or that? It's also important to remain cheerful and optimistic, even if your husband is between jobs, or there is a chance he might lose his job. A wife who trusts her husband to provide for the family boosts his confidence.

The stay-at-home wife can make sure her husband goes off to work, especially if he has an important meeting or a job interview, looking neat and clean. Some men, if they are busy and work long hours, will hardly have time to find a pair of matching socks, not to mention iron a shirt.

How about packing lunch for him? Packed lunches seem to have gone out of fashion, but doing this will usually mean your husband eats better and healthier than if he ate out every day. And it will save money. You can also include a little note of encouragement in his lunchbox, which will make him smile during the day.

If you are a stay-at-home wife, you can save your husband time and stress by doing all sorts of errands for him during the day, such as sending his mail or calling to schedule a doctor's appointment for him.

If your husband is currently looking for a job, you can help him search for employment options. Perhaps there are also things you can do that will directly help your husband, such as calling clients or looking up material online. I sometimes do translations for my husband - it's something I can do even though I don't understand much about his work.

And last but certainly not least, the stay-at-home wife can pray for her husband to have a successful day at work, or to find better employment options. I have taken upon myself to do so daily. These days, when so many people are losing their jobs, remaining prayerful is probably the most important thing you can do.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anna, Your wisdom can only come from the Lord Himself, who is all wise. You are much too young to know all of these things apart from Him. I think you realize this.
Mrs. L.

Cindy said...

All I can say to this is that I wholeheartedly agree with every single point you made! This is my main goal each and every day. To be a help-mate to my husband. Sometimes, that means just taking care of our children and home. Sometimes, it means making calls for him, running errands, etc. It's important for a wife to find out what is important for her husband, and then to make sure these things are done for him. My job is to help my husband to fulfill the vision for our family that God has given to him. This is a tremendous honor for me.

Joanna J. said...

Great post, Anna. A little support and encouragement goes a long way with husbands! Even though my husband doesn't make a lot of money, he is a hard worker and I am so proud of him. We have come to realize that there are so many more important things than our net worth! God has always provided our basic needs, and hubby prefers me to stay at home and be a caretaker for our family. What a blessing!

simplebeauty said...

Anna,

This is a lovely post and wonderful suggestions! Thank you for yet again encouraging women to stay home with their families :O)

Sarah R said...

Very smart, Anna. And you're right on track. I help my husband constantly, and if I were at a typical office, I wouldn't be able to receive his calls when he needs me. For example, this morning he was lost in the middle of Alabama. I was able to pull up mapquest and guide him around a construction zone. (He's a big truck driver.) I've also googled phone numbers for him, found him routes, given directions, and even located restaurants for him when he's in a new state. I cannot imagine how much money I've saved our family over the years by being available to him in this way.

Mrs. Mordecai said...

Thanks so much for your excellent suggestions!

Ways of Zion said...

Anna,

Thank you for this post, so important in the current economic crisis!

Agree whole-heartedly!
Lindsay

Anonymous said...

Often, a woman who puts her efforts into helping her husband with his work, makes a wiser move financially than the one who enhances her own career, with all the work-related expenses.

I feel very strongly that women’s labor at home has economic value. All that stuff that wives do ain’t nothin’ – it adds up to VALUABLE work. If a person’s job depends on long hours, then the worker who has someone doing all the work at home will have a competitive advantage over someone who doesn’t have that kind of support. (I know because I am competing against men who have wives at home who do everything for them, whereas I have to do some of my own errands and chores.)

Of course, whether that adds up to a wiser move financially for the woman depends on whether her husband stays healthy, alive, and married to her.

-- Pendragon

Mrs. Sprinkles said...

Thanks for this post. I'm surprised by how many women expect their husbands to do things they could take care of doing the day. I just posted about this myself recently!

Thomas said...

Dear Anna, what a wonderful post. I am at the moment a housewife myself (though it is not clear if I will be able to continue so, although I'd like nothing better). I've been goin through a very tough time for about a year for various reasons, and as I get more depressed, I fail to fulfil my duty to my husband as a housewife, as his wife at home. Reading your post really brought this home to me. I cannot tell you what a great help and uplift you blog has been to me in these difficult times. Thank you so very many times! May God bless you and all you love.
Claudia

Anonymous said...

Anna,
Although you come from a different religious and cultural background than me, I always look forward to reading new things on your blog because they are usually encouraging as I try to be a better stay-at-home daughter. Just now, my father asked me to run an errand for him today, and then I came and read your article. Although I am not a wife, I find many of your points are applicable to me as a daughter.
Thank you,
Tiffany

Anonymous said...

I think it's very personal. A woman who stays home with one or two easy-going children will possibly have time to run her husband's errands on a regular basis.

On the other hand, I don't think it's realistic to expect all stay at home mothers to be cheery after a calm, quiet day. Mothers with large families, particularly if they homeschool (and I mean really homeschool, not just have the kids stay home) have a much more frazzled day than the average executive. And while such a mother will likely have dinner ready for her husband when he returns, I don't think she'll exactly have time to fill up the oil and go to the post office.

In many cases, a mother with a large family, or with more than one baby/toddler, will be busier and more harried than her husband who works 9-5. Especially if she doesn't get a full night's sleep.

I agree with Anna's ideas. The approach is right, but I don't think women need to feel guilty if they don't have time to do all these things. And I think men need to realize that just because a woman stays home doesn't necessarily mean she has more time or energy than they do (I know too many men that have lots of free time at work, to chat on the phone, surf the net, etc).
Tammy

Mrs. Anna T said...

Tammy,

I didn't mean to imply that every woman, at every season of life, can/has to do all of the above. I was merely making suggestions. Incidentally, this post was written in response to a childless stay-at-home wife who wasn't feeling productive enough at home, and wondered what she can, practically, do to help her husband.

His Wife and Their Mommy said...

AMEN!!!.. I totally agree with you.

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

Dear Anna, Your blog is lovely. I am a housewife with three boys and a working husband. I have been volunteering at the childrens' school so much that it is exactly like I am working - but for no money. I have decided to cut back on the volunteering because our home life is suffering. I am, as you say, frazzled, the house is messy and nutritious dinners are an afterthought. This is not what I had in mind for my life. I want a clean house, soup bubbling on the stove and a fresh tablecloth. I want the children homeworked and bathed and happy to see daddy.
I want to turn the TV off and pray with my family.
Thank you for this post.
~M

angela said...

Perspective is an amazing thing. So many would look at this and think how simple, some would even say stupid. It's amazing how something simple really is revolutionary. It makes me sad how women leaving the post of helpmate has destroyed so many. God bless you BIG for being a voice in the wilderness.

Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

Again, (in rsponse to Tammy's comment and your response), I think it's very inportant to remember that Anna's post is a general list of suggestions for a stay at home wife or even a stay at home mother with one or two small children. It stands to reason that a wife with 4 or 5 (or more) kids underfoot will not be able to do some things. But as a mother of many, with two aged 2 and under, I am able to do much of what you outlined in your post. I keep my husband's clothes ironed and ready to go. I proofread all of his memos (and they are many!), I keep his resume updated, and much more. All with kids at home. And I'm cheerful most days when he comes throught the door. My secret?

I wake up before the rest of my family to get a jumpstart on the day.

Bethany Hudson said...

Packed lunches (leftovers from dinners, since my husband detests cold sandwiches for lunch) and my running errands during the week so that we can spend the weekends relaxing as a family have really improved things for my husband over the past three years. Just as I know that he will bring in enough to pay the mortgage this month (something I would be frantic to do on my own), he knows that he can expect three healthful meals a day (something he could never manage on his own). When we can each throw our efforts into what we do best, we end up as a great team that "works more efficiently" as my engineer husband loves to point out.
~Bethany

Suzanne said...

I agree 100%, Anna! I have found especially that praying for my husband during the day, (for his safety, for his clients, for his company and coworkers, in addition to his actual work), makes a *huge* difference. Not just for him, but in my attitude as well. If I'm praying for him and his success and happiness at work, I find I am in a much better mood when he arrives home!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Anna. Every morning my husband gets a homemade lunch and fresh coffee to take with him. He doesn't need to worry about how the children are because I stay home with them. I also homeschool. Also when I have time,I sometimes bake muffins early in the morning so he can eat some still warm from the oven on the way to work. I know he appreciates that and the bachelors at his work think he's lucky to have a wife that will do that. We wives have an important job. And it's so very worth the effort. Holly

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,

While I generally disagree with your point of view, I find your blog wonderfully well-written and am interested to see your perspective as it so often differs greatly from my own.

I think this is a wonderful list, although I disagree with the neccessity of a gendered breakdown of this type of work. For example, my partner (male) often irons my clothes so that I look presentable for work, and we typically try to run errands together. He is also the cook of the family, although that is more because of his skill in that arena. My point is that we each try to make the time to make each other's lives a little less stressful and to make our home a little more cozy. Which I think is important for any relationship. Thanks for your thoughts and ideas!

-N

p.s. I also agree with Pendragon about the undervaluing of "stay-at-home" work. I am sure you are providing your family with a more secure future because of your hard work and diligence in that area!

Elijah's Mommy said...

Hi Anna,
I really appreciated your post today. I like to hear of ways i can be of help to my husband and I wanted to share it with the readers on my blog. So i hope you don't mind that I did. I put your name and links to your blog and post right at the top so they know where it came from.
Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with us.

Mrs M. said...

Amen Mrs T!
I think this is so true. When my husband and I first married, I worked and came home stressed and tired every night leading to quarrelling and bickering and more stress on poor Mr M. after a long hard days work.
Now I'm home, I am able to do as you suggested, and also manage to save us more money through budgeting and meal planning.
Another wonderful post!
Mrs M.

MarkyMark said...

If I could find a gal like this, even I'D get married! Seriously though, you're spot on with everything you wrote. A man with a wife like you will move mountains for you-or he'll die trying! Now, if we could only clone about 100 million more women like you, the world might be a better place...

Ivy in the Kitchen said...

It really is the "little" things that add up, isn't it? I find it quite funny, that at my VERY liberal university (bad choice on my and my parents' part), most of the young men in my group of friends have actually expressed their desire to have a stay-at-home wife. If they don't know me well, they'll so often rush in to add, "But, you know, it's up to a woman if she wants to pursue a career, etc...". They've been thoroughly indoctrinated with this idea that one cannot go against feminism, even though many of them express the desire for a wife of the more traditional kind.

Hope you and your family are safe.

-Ms. H.

Zora said...

I make my husband's lunch every day and he LOVES it. Some of the persons in his office have commented on it, with admiration or sometimes with thinly disguised jealousy.

Each day I also make a small piece of art -- not a Rembrandt ;-) -- just something with stickers or stamps or different coloured pens to tell him I love him or to tell him a joke or to offer encouragement. Sometimes serious, sometimes silly, it means a lot to him and I really enjoy doing it.

CappuccinoLife said...

I do many of those things. Dh gets lunch packed by me every morning (and a goodbye kiss!). It's never really even seemed like an inconvenience.

Unfortunately for him, I'm great at cooking and making our home a haven, but not so great at financial stuff. It's taken several years for me to get our household finances organized in a way that works, and it's still not "up to snuff". And as much as I would like to know where everything is at any given moment, I don't have the brain matter to manage that.

Currently we have a little disagreement over who exactly it was who lost the extra keys to the house we're preparing to rent out. :O I feel very bad that I have no clue where they are. :( But in the midst of a chaotic move, with three small children, there's only so much I can do in the business side of things. I feel bad for my husband, but the truth is, he didn't marry a brilliant secretary. He just got me. The person who loses freshly brewed cups of tea and has very poor short term memory. :p

Looking Heavenward said...

Thanks for another great post. If only I had known what you already know 20+ years ago when I first got married! Only in the last few years have I truly grasped the wisdom of seeing myself as an important part of my husband's work. Before, I had my own life at home, home-educating the children, learning many things about natural health, etc. And he had his own life at work...But now I see myself as his "at-home" administrative assistant. I am a sounding board for some of his business ideas, I do internet and library research for him; I read books about his line of work and distill the info for him, since he doesn't have much time for extra reading; I forward news items to him that pertain to the industry that he works in, etc. I have even changed our homeschooling methods and routines to allow me more time to help him with these things, and I incorporate some of these things into my children's school day, to allow them the opportunity to learn more about their father's work and to involve them in his life more. And for us, this is really essential, as he works extremely long hours and their time with him in person is very limited.

This mindset has made our family a much stronger unit, and more organized as well. I pray that other readers will not see your post as a burden, but rather an opportunity... and that they will seek the Lord and learn from Him how they can work more closely with their husbands for the benefit of their whole family. The particular "workday" will look vastly different for each woman, depending on her unique circumstances(energy levels, number and ages of children, husband's schedule, etc.)but the blessing is there for all!

Anonymous said...

Great post Anna! I am a work-outside-the-home-mom and wife but luckily I have a flexible job. I am able to take care of so many thing for my husband so when he arrives home we can have some calm time together. It's tough to balance work (I'm an attorney) and home but with intense organization and priorities it can be done well. I just always remember that my husband and children come first-that puts it all in perspective.

Shannon

Anonymous said...

You must be a saint: I tended to greet my husband with the baby and a bottle...take the baby so I can have a few minutes to pick up and cook dinner.

Karen said...

This is so true. Just to day I scanned and organized some documents for him.

I really like what you said about being content no matter what he can provide, because that is such a pitfall for a lot of wives I think. Men like to feel like they are able to provide and make thier wives happy. If they can't, then they often give up and want thier wives to work instead.