I'm preparing for marriage next summer. I am pleased with how my fiance and I are preparing for marriage together in terms of our relationship in our faith, discussions about our goals and desires for marriage, and matters such as finances and responsibilities. However, I admire your dedication to your job as a wife, and would like to ask you: How should I prepare in more practical matters to become a wife? I'm excited to care for my husband and our household, but feel that I should be doing things like preparing a recipe file, compiling a notebook with ideas for caring for our home in a frugal way, and discovering ways I can prepare for the duties that I will have as a wife. I'm just not quite sure where to start! My fiance and I are both young, and are thrilled to be making this commitment to God and to one another. If you could advise me on the ways I could practically prepare for the duties and roles of being a wife, I'd be so appreciative!"
My very best wishes on your upcoming marriage! May you be very happy as a new wife in your own home! I love being the keeper of our home - even though I'm definitely not perfect and have a lot to learn.
It's wonderful that you see the importance of preparing for marriage and homemaking - and that you have time to do so, without being overwhelmed by all the wedding preparations which are undoubtedly taking place.
I believe that each young lady who is preparing for marriage and running a household, should first and foremost focus on developing appropriate skills and abilities, such as cleaning, laundry and ironing, cooking, baking, organizing, time management, and living frugally. There are also extras such as sewing, knitting and other crafts, canning and gardening, which are lovely to learn, but can be acquired later on during your time as a new wife, which is a precious opportunity to become settled into a schedule.
Since I don't know you, I'm not sure where you stand in the area of homemaking, but now is a good time to improve any essential skills you feel you are lacking. For example, if you can't iron, now is the time to learn. Having a recipe file and a few schedule suggestions is lovely, in fact, it has been very helpful to me as a new wife so far - but I've also come to realize it shouldn't become my focus.
Remember a wife is called to be her husband's helper. This means you must first and foremost focus on your future husband's needs and priorities. There's no "recipe" for becoming an ideal wife - because all men have different needs and wants. Mr. X may like a clean, nicely decorated home and hot dinner most of all. Mr. Y will ask his wife to help him in a home-centered business. Mr. Z will want the family to have a garden. We sometimes have a tendency of trying to "have it all together", trying to live up to some standard - which usually causes unnecessary frustration.
My cakes and pies tend to be slightly burned at the bottom. It made me nearly rip my hair our countless times. I felt embarrassed; I felt inadequate; I wanted a new, better oven; I wanted to stop baking altogether... until I realized one simple, overwhelming fact: my husband loves my cakes. He thinks they are delicious, and he isn't faking it. He doesn't care about that little blackened layer at the bottom of the baking tray. He will eat it and enthusiastically ask for more! He still wistfully remembers the first birthday cake I made for him, which I considered so hopelessly lost that I baked another. Conclusion? While I will still definitely try not to burn my cakes, I stopped fussing so much about it. I realized it was stupid and pointless to drive myself up the wall about such a little thing that wasn't even important to my husband.
Sometimes, these matters can't be very easily defined prior to marriage, precisely because they are so flexible and practical. If you ask your fiance, "what is more important to you, a clean home or variety of meals, or always having an ironed shirt or..?" perhaps he won't be able to answer, until you are actually married and in the process of establishing a household.
Once you become a wife, adapt yourself to your husband's needs. Adapt your routine, as possible, to his schedule. Pay attention to what matters to him, and concentrate your efforts accordingly. Ask him if there's any specific dish he would like served, or anything in particular he would like you to do that day. Allow your husband to be involved as much as he desires. Perhaps he'll ask for your help with something. Perhaps he'll smile and say he doesn't mind as long as he has clean socks. In any case be his wife, his helpmate, and willingly commit yourself to what he needs. This is what truly matters.
Suggestions for this young lady from wives more experienced than myself will be greatly appreciated!