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How To Raise a Wife written by Lisa Ferreira

Posted By Rebecca Eckler on May 25, 2011

Tagged: Lisa Ferreira, Rave

“How to what a who now?”

This was essentially my husband’s reaction when I told him I was going to write something for  I expected as much, given that in our relationship, I am the one who required guidance to become the wife I am today.  Or, more truthfully, the wife I am still working towards being.

I had the most important parts of wifedom covered – loving companion, supportive partner, etc…I got that.  However, I entered into the relationship with no domestic skills whatsoever.  We are a backwards sitcom couple; I am the clueless Ray Romano to my husband’s frustrated Patricia Heaton.

My Mother-in-Law had dinner on the table at 6pm everyday.  She was, and is, a diligent cleaner.  That’s intimidating, when you think heating up soup is cooking, and the broom closet is where you hide things from company.  My own Mother had a house full of picky eaters, so she never cooked much.  She couldn’t stand my messy bedroom, so she would tidy it herself.  So who’s really to blame here?*

*Hint: it’s not my Mother.

When we bought our first house, it was clear I was slacking in every area but procrastination.  I believe my husband was appalled at my housekeeping, or lack thereof.   If not motivated, I could have happily sat around reading books, or playing video games, oblivious while dishes piled up.  OK, maybe I can still do that.  And while I’m being completely honest, by “dishes”, I mean paper plates.  And by “paper plates”, I mean plastic trays.

With gentle prodding, and only occasional nagging, I am getting better.  After 9 years of marriage, I am a decent cook, and I even enjoy it.  My house is clean, although cluttered.  Our doorbell broke last year and I have yet to fix it, just to thwart spontaneous drop-ins.  “You came by yesterday?  Oh, I must not have heard the knocking over all the vacuuming.”

I am not ashamed to admit that my husband raised a wife – I am thankful for it.  Maybe one day, I will be the intimidating Mother-in-Law some poor girl will have to live up to when she marries my son.

Until then, I will be waiting for the housekeepers to show up.

Can you be a perfect wife without domestic skills?  Has a partner changed anything about you?

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Lisa Ferreira is a wife and mother in the Toronto area.  She dabbles in music, writing, theatre, and using the word “dabbles”.  Give her an hour’s notice before you come over. You can follow her on twitter @MomofKai.

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4 Responses to How To Raise a Wife written by Lisa Ferreira

  1. Rosemary says:

    I wrote a whole book on sucking at housewifery! It’s called The Decadent Housewife, and right up your alley. ;)

  2. It’s so funny how differently dynamics can work within a partnership. I too, was/am like you! Domestically-Hopeless. And my mother-in-law is like yours, Domestic-Diva! Only difference is, I have resisted the transition into “Wife” with everything I have.

    It helps that I have a husband who LOVES to cook, bake, grow things and is an amazing cleaner. Maybe that’s allowed me a little bit of slack. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had periods of cooking things, keeping the house immaculate (well, clean anyway) and being totally up on all the laundry. But really, it just feels so unnatural for me. There are so many other things, important, exciting things, that I would like to be doing. So, our dynamic works like this: I handle the day-to-day things in the best way I can manage (for example, I don’t wake up in the morning and plan dinner like my mother-in-law would, instead, I might be planning it say, as I’ve called the kids up from the basement and they are following me up the stairs), and if we ever invite people over and need to demonstrate our domestic skills (i.e. dinner, clean house etc.), my husband will definitely take the lead on the that. Oh, and I can heat things up that he has cooked in advance.

    Maybe it’s backwards, but so far, it’s working for us. I have to say though, this post has got me thinking that maybe my someday I too could love (or like?) to cook. Perhaps I just have to push through the discomfort a little more. Hmmmmmm………

  3. Lisa Ferreira says:

    Thanks, Rosemary – I’ll have to check that out! Any tips on feining housekeeping proficiency are welcome!

    Allison, I learned to love cooking after I got a GORGEOUS retro-style apron one year, and I swear I started cooking more just so I’d have an excuse to wear it! But if your husband loves cooking, I say let him at it. :)

  4. Man Needs Help :) says:

    HELP NEEDED: The next step for my relationship was having my girlfriend move in with me after 1&1/2 years of dating (we’re in our mid to late 20′s). We’ve been living together for 6 months now. I am just like the men you speak of above. My girlfriend is just like the women you speak of above. Maybe separate from the women above, it feels like a lack of contribution on her part (from my viewpoint) & I feel like I’m getting the short end of the stick with the lack of balance which feels more like a lack of effort. How do a distinguish “lack of effort or caring” from something else that can be worked out? And do you have any words of encouragement on how to fix this problem because I won’t last forever in a relatiionship like this! Thanks in advance if you have any helpful input.

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