housewife survival guide. for the newlywed.

 

I have a friend who recently decided to give up the greatest freedom ever in exchange for something called nuptial bliss.  I’m talking single-hood people, not living in America.  My friend and her hubby are all cute and lovey and living in the middle of god-forsaken-nowhere-Montana or some place so they can live off the land and just enjoy being alone together or some delusional romantical jest.  Whatever.

Yesterday on her facebook she posts that they are finally getting television services hooked up to their cabin and how exciting it will be to watch something other than Anderson Cooper’s face through a blanket of grayish snow.  And I was so excited for her because last night was the Season Premier of Parenthood and she should probably get caught up on that show to make the drama of married life seem boring to her.  And because I freaking love it.  Yay for fall TV.

Then this morning I wake up to find her posting about now that they have cable and internet, (and oh my God how has she lived this long without the INTERWEBZ?!?!?!)  she isn’t sure if she should watch TV or play online or *GASP* do housework?  And I am immediately “Oh my god woman! Hasn’t anyone taught you the rules of housewifery yet?  Holy Shit let me break it down for you!”  And so here are the rules you guys.  Please make sure to share this with any single women you know.  I fear I may be too late here and she has already spent the first month of marriage doing crazy domestic dilly-dallying which he now expects and OHMYGODTHERE’SNOTURNINGBACK.  How was I not there for my friend before this mess started!?  HEED MY WISDOM!

Basic Rules of Wifery:

1.  Start slow.  This is the most basic rule there is, ladies.  You must pace yourself when you start this out or, let’s face it, your marriage is doomed.

When cooking, burn at least half of the meals you prepare per week.  You may be God’s gift to fine dining, but you need to give that man a wake-up call that this is not his mama’s house and there’s some rough roads ahead.  An occasional meal of PBJ’s also isn’t a bad idea.  This may feel a little beneath you for a few weeks, but  you just have to hold strong.  He needs to look back on these days in a few months and realize you have worked tirelessly hard to improve your skills for him.

Leave crap laying around the house for a while.  Don’t keep things spotless.  Leave a box of tampons out on the bathroom counter.  Leave his socks on the floor for a couple of days.  This puts simple boundaries in place.  You are marking your territory while simultaneously telling him you are not the effing maid and there will be equal work put in around this joint.

Put off doing laundry as long as possible.  (You may have to sneak a small load of your things in while he’s gone to make sure you can outlast him.)  This will ensure that once you do start doing laundry on the regular, but leave it in baskets rather than putting it away, he will not bitch and quite possibly will help put his own crap away.  This is housewife GOLD here folks.

You get the idea by starting slow.  Give yourself a few months to work up to your true self.  By the time he suffers through this time, he will think you’ve worked so hard to become a Grade A housewife, he’ll buy you diamond earrings for your three month anniversary.  It’s truly a win/win.

2.  Don’t spend your whole day doing crap around the house.  Listen, keeping your palace up to a quality living quarters does not take eight hours a day.  You are more than able to spend the first five hours lounging in your jammies and watching the Real Housewives of Everywhere every single day.  It takes three hours, at most, to shower and make yourself pretty (if you’re in to that sort of thing,) wipe off countertops and throw dishes in the dishwasher.  You can then chop up some veggies and throw them in a pan and by the time he gets home things will be smelling like dinner.  Take a few more minutes to throw some hot dogs on there too and it’s a meal.  This is not rocket science.

3.  {This is a mistake I made out of the chutes.  I fear there’s no turning back.  I also think he may have passed it on to the offspring.  Hear my warning!}  Do not find stuff for him.  If he’s missing some paper work and you know right where it is, just point him in the general direction casually.  Don’t, for any reason, go finding crap.  He will then lose his ever-living brain cells and thenceforward go about expecting you to find everything.  I swear to God in a few weeks he will cease lifting single sheets of paper to look under the stack for his own damn car keys.  You cannot let this happen.  Do not let on that your uterus is truly a navigational system for lost items.  This is a secret we must keep to ourselves or we will spend eternity searching for lost socks and someone’s quarterly report.  It’s just not an existence we want to suffer through!

4.  This is the most  important rule.  Do not start doing a certain chore if it is not something you want to be saddled with for the next fifty years.  Imagine for a moment your hubby has spent the first two years tirelessly mowing, edging and weeding your lawn.  Then one day, he has had a particularly long week at the office and you want to help him out and cut the grass for him.  This is a huge mistake!  Fight the urge to rescue your man and make his life easier.  Whatever you do, don’t give in.  As wives, once we give in and do an extra chore once, they automatically assume we’re just going to take over that job for the rest of forever.  That old “give an inch and they’ll take a mile” thing?  That’s 100% TRUE.

5.  This seems like a contradiction of rule number four, but it is actually just a tricky variation on the subject.  Occasionally, you may want to do something around the house that you know he’d like you to take on, but you’re just not willing to shoulder.  Let’s just use the previous example of lawn mowing.  When you cut the grass, do it in a way that has the neighbors wondering what crack-head lawn boy has been butchering your spring green.  Mess up the lines, go in three different direction and maybe take out a shrub or two.  When the hubs has a chance to check out your handiwork, act completely proud of your efforts as well as exhausted.  This will provide a) a chance for him to see that you really do think you’ve done a good job and are completely incapable of EVER doing this again and b)  a reason for him to tell you not to do it again. “Oh honey, that must be a little too strenuous for you, I better keep up on this chore.  WIN/WIN!

I know this may seem a bit underhanded to you newlyweds.  How could one ever be so devious and dishonest in marriage?  Well honey, honesty is the last thing you need in a marriage, trust me!

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16 thoughts on “housewife survival guide. for the newlywed.

  1. HAHA! LOVE IT!! And so totally true Kel – I’ve been kicking myself for the last couple of years for being so damn capable. Those abilities have turned into my responsibilities and trying to change things 11 years into things is like trying to turn the titanic. 😉

    • It’s just so difficult to keep our ability to do everything under wraps, especially when we do it so well. I really messed up on a couple of these rules too, which is why I can speak from such experience. I’m surprised my marriage is so close to hitting the ten year mark. 🙂
      P.S. I’m so glad you commented with your link- I just spent the past hour catching up.

  2. “Do not let on that your uterus is truly a navigational system for lost items. This is a secret we must keep to ourselves or we will spend eternity searching for lost socks and someone’s quarterly report.” Seriously hilarious!! (and true!) 😉

    • I swear some people really must think it is. I love it when my hubs has been searching for crap for 15 minutes, and I finally relent and get up to look for it. I swear 99% of the time, I walk over to where it’s supposed to be, lift something off the top of it (usually a piece of mail) and THERE it is. Walaaaa! My uterus is magic!

  3. You know I love your writing. But, when I saw that big ol’ long post and realized it was about housekeeping. I just couldn’t do it. I mean, come on…that’s why we all have hot 25 year olds living with us, isn’t it?

    • Dude- you’re totally missing out. And I can guarantee your hot hunk of ass is totally using some of these on you. You need to know. Consider it a PSA.
      (And, I KNOW. I totally got long-winded on this one. I was on a roll. I’m sorry!)

    • Well Thank you! I feel… Really freaking nervous. What if I don’t measure up. I’m not really even dressed for the occasion either.
      Also, there’s a really strong chance you are spam. But whatever, I like flattery.

  4. Oh, holy fuck. I don’t even know what to say. I’m old, and not even a housewife anymore, but, sweet, sweet mother of the invisible dude America worships, this entry is pure gold. Also, I have to say that this doesn’t apply to all of us. My husband is the primary wage earner, and yet he’s the one who does the cooking, the marketing and the laundry. He also does 50% of the cleaning. He’s fucking incredibly awesome. Yes, he has a brother.

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