The Shamelessly Shallow Guide To Being The Perfect Housewife

One way to make sure your husband doesn’t slip into a daydream while watching Sydney Sweeney in “Anyone But You”? Become the woman he wouldn’t dare dream of living without.

By Anna Hartman4 min read
Getty Images/CSA-Printstock

Make his life so seamless, so joyful, and so fulfilled that living without you would be his own personal nightmare. It may sound morbid, but sometimes I sit back and think, if I were gone tomorrow, he wouldn’t know how to order groceries or what appointments to put on the calendar or even how to find the calendar in the first place. And that’s what we call insurance, ladies. 

Now, this little scheme of ours isn’t something that needs to be said outright. The audaciousness of that would miss the point. It’s in the subtlety, in our demeanor, in the little things we do every single day that add up to a life full of love, ease, and, well, security. 

So what are these little things, you ask? Here are 13 admittedly shallow tips on how to be the perfect housewife – from a girl who’s had the same man wrapped around her finger going on 13 years and two kids later. Let’s get into it.

Send Him Off with Breakfast and a Kiss

A good housewife knows exactly how her man likes his morning espresso and precisely how crispy he wants his organic bacon to be – down to the second. Want to sleep in rather than wake with your early riser before he heads off to work? Think again. How else would he get the most important meal of the day in his belly? Wawa? Oof. 

Pack Him Lunch

Pack him a lunch so he doesn’t have to beg for scraps like the single men at his workplace or rely on greasy, free pizza courtesy of the pretty sales rep who may stop by “just to chat.” My go-to meal to pack is a sliced chicken breast, pepperoni, and white American cheese combo with a freshly made basil pesto spread and garlic aioli on gluten-free toast. This sandwich, paired with fresh-squeezed green juice in a glass bottle and some kettle chips, puts to shame every other option he may have.

Have a Proper Uniform

It’s a dress or lingerie for you, girlie. Cleaning the house? A simple sundress will do perfectly. Lounging in bed after you sing the kids to sleep? A sexy lingerie set, or at the very least, a slip dress is the move. Sweatpants are for girlfriends and college students. Ready to upgrade to wifey status? It’s time you swap out the oversized hoodie and joggers for something that truly flatters your body and makes you ooze with femininity.

Surprise Him with Little Gifts

Speaking of clothes, your husband doesn’t have time (nor does he care) to shop for new items each season. It’s your job to not only shop for yourself and your kids to ensure that you look presentable, but to update his wardrobe accordingly as well. When you go thrifting, make sure to spend just as much time scouring the store for that vintage Prada bag for yourself as you do finding the most masculine button-down shirt for him. Gifts should also go beyond clothes though.

Plan Date Nights That Keep Him on His Toes

Concert tickets, adult-only mini golf courses, bungee-jumping – the sky is literally the limit here. Everyone loves a good fancy dinner, but if he’s already getting a 5-star experience at home, it’s on you to spice things up. Need more of an incentive? Couples that try new experiences together last longer (it’s science).

Freshen Up Before He Gets Home

Have a look in the mirror and do a quick touch-up to ensure that the first thing he sees when he walks in the door is the woman he fell in love with, not the goblin you were five minutes ago after cleaning out the freezer. A little brush of the eyebrows, some lip balm, and a toss of the hair for extra volume, and you’re good to go. It’s not rocket science. 

Have a Smile and His Signature Cocktail Ready

Can you imagine anything a man would love more than coming home from a hard day of work to a beautiful, happy woman and his favorite beverage? Come on, ladies, this is every man’s dream. Whether it’s a whiskey sour or simply his favorite beer in an ice-cold glass, this one will do the trick every time.

Take Care of the Bills...

What bills? My husband doesn’t even know that we have them. Have his checkbook and his bank information handy, and mark reminders for yourself in your calendar so you can stay on top of everything and either mail out checks or auto-withdraw online without having to bother him. This goes for your year-end taxes, too. If you see a bill come in that seems unreasonably high, you dial that little number up on the top of the paper and have a little chit-chat with whoever’s in charge. Use your niceties for negotiating so you can keep the money you saved for a free shopping trip (girl math, duh). 

...And Any Appointments

Speaking of reminders, your husband doesn’t need to be bogged down with making annual doctor’s appointments, staying on top of pediatrician visits, or ensuring the lawn people arrive when they say they will each month. In his eyes, these things get magically taken care of – no matter that you’re the one driving to and from these appointments with screaming toddlers and runny noses. 

Build a Grocery Store in Your Backyard

Making a salad for dinner? What’s better than romaine freshly cut from your raised garden bed? Cooking a perfectly medium-rare steak? Some fresh rosemary goes a long way with a dab of butter. Planting and growing your own herbs, fruits, and vegetables shows him that not only can you lean into your femininity to nurture your plants, but you also have a hobby outside scrolling TikTok.

Stop Telling Him about the Latest Viral Trend

I promise you your husband doesn’t care about where Kate Middleton is. In all likelihood, he doesn’t even know who she is or why every girl in the world seems to be trapped in this never-ending saga. If he’s nodding along as his eyes are glazing over, it’s because he’s a nice guy. In fact, it may just be time for you to quit social media (or at the very least, TikTok) altogether. Is it sexy when you’re curled up like a vegetable on the couch with your eyes glued to a little blue light instead of giving your full attention to him or the kids? Stop watching and worrying about everyone else’s lives. Being the perfect housewife means you cut out the noise and focus on your own family. 

Never, Ever “Let Yourself Go”

The cardinal rule, ladies. There’s truly no excuse. Work from home? Invest in an under-the-desk treadmill. Work from an office? Pack your HOKA running shoes and use your lunch break to take a few laps. Stay-at-home mom? Perfect way to show your kids the value of staying fit. Take them for a walk to grab your favorite strawberry matcha or practice yoga in your living room together. We all have the same amount of time each day, it’s how we choose to spend it (and how cute we look doing it) that makes the difference. We owe it to ourselves and our husband to take care of our appearance and our health and remain attractive for him.

Tie On an Apron and Get Cooking

Not knowing how to cook rice is not “quirky,” it’s sad. So you didn’t grow up with a mom who cooked three meals a day from scratch or taught you how to make the perfect apple pie? Me either. That doesn’t mean you need to settle for mediocrity and rely on your delivery driver to ensure survival. There are a few basic recipes every woman should know how to cook: a perfect juicy steak (done to your man’s liking), chicken au champagne, maple mustard lamb chops, and an authentic Caesar salad. Learn these first and expand your knowledge from there

Closing Thoughts

Now, I’ll let you decide which parts of this guide should be taken in jest and which should be, well, followed to a tee. And if you thought this list was shallow, prepare to defy gravity with 19 additional tips that will make you question everything.

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