How to help your wife feel more appreciated as a homemaker

I have been blessed to be married to a caring and supportive man who consistently finds ways to demonstrate his appreciation for what I do. Husbands can show gratitude by:

Communicating appreciation. A phone call from work, leaving notes or a face-to-face "thank you" are tremendously uplifting and lets wives know that their efforts are appreciated.- Being partners in the gospel. Praying together, reading scriptures and living the gospel as husband and wife helps keep an eternal perspective on priorities.

Being in tune with wife's needs. I remember a while ago I was having a particularly hard time with the daily routine. My husband not only lent a listening ear, he also took a day off from work and gave me a much needed rest.

Sharing the work load. At the end of the day, husbands and wives may be tired. Two sets of hands not only complete the work faster, but more important, it demonstrates importance of the wife's position.

Spending as much quality time with family as possible. There are few things that bring me more happiness than seeing my husband laughing, teaching or playing with our children. Participating in activities that put our family first reinforces his appreciation of my role.

Take wife out on dates. Continuing to strengthen marriage and to deepen the bonds of friendship and love is a wonderful way to show appreciation for one's wife.

I am so grateful for a supportive husband. His appreciation for what I do reminds me how absolutely important my role as a homemaker is and helps me maintain an eternal perspective. - Kari McOmber, Louisville, Ky.

What we did:

Feel like royalty

It's been my blessing in our 32 years of marriage to have always felt appreciated as a homemaker. I have always been thankful that my husband and I agreed on the idea of me staying home. He has expressed appreciation for my sewing and canning skills. Even as newlyweds, he cheerfully and willingly ate what I prepared. He tactfully let me know when I didn't need to fix a certain recipe again without hurting my feelings.

He seems genuinely pleased to find his drawer full of clean clothes, and compliments me on "ordinary" household chores that every homemaker does as part of her daily routine. He doesn't make an issue of dirty floors or bathrooms, but notices and praises when they are sparkling clean. He tolerates some of my cluttered collections without complaint, knowing I will eventually put them in order.

He flies for a living and is with a different crew each week. When he's asked if his wife works, his favorite answer is: "Yes, my wife works very hard. If you mean, `is she gainfully employed?' No." He makes me feel like royalty in our home. - Caryn L. Alley, Spokane, Wash.

Grateful for each meal

My mother-in-law taught each of her nine sons to say "thanks" after every meal. My husband carried it a step further. He says something positive about the meal and my efforts. Following their father's example, the children acknowledge and express gratitude after each meal. - Gwen S. Robinson, Newdale, Idaho

Small moments

Small moments of encouragement or affection lighten the load of the day. Appreciation is about recognition of what I am doing for the family. After 47 years of marriage, he still exclaims when dressing, "How wonderful it is to have clean clothing."

As soon as he comes in the door each evening, he kisses me, and then takes out the garbage. Nothing comes before those two acts. He listens to my day, and reports every experience, especially funny things, of his day. He shares with me his discoveries, what he is writing, and hilarious aspects of Church history.

If I'm bottling fruit, he takes out the squishy stuff every time he passes through the kitchen. He has a Greek dictionary in every room of the house so he can answer my New Testament questions immediately.

He compliments me on the beauty of the fresh flowers and comes around the table to kiss me after every blessing on the food, no matter how hungry or tired he may be. If I give a lecture, he quickly comes to the podium to hug me, no matter how good or poor my effort was. - Carma de Jong Anderson, Provo, Utah

My best friend

I won't say it's easy to have a young family of four boys under age 6, but I have come to know, just as President Hinckley has taught, that "there can be so much of happiness if there is an effort to please and an overwhelming desire to make comfortable and happy one's companion."

I feel appreciated as a homemaker because of the "absolute loyalty," shown by my husband as taught by the prophet. Loyalty to a spouse means more than having eyes for none other. It also means putting your wife and her feelings above all else. He shows appreciation by respecting my sensitivity to foul language. He has asked many a teenager to not use such language in front of me.

He shows appreciation by speaking kindly of me and our boys to others, and by not raising his voice with me. His appreciation is manifest in how seriously he takes his responsibility to provide for his family and be an example of service to others.

He encourages my participation in Church and civic activity, helps develop my talents, loves, trusts and walks with me as my best friend.

He exceeds my expectations of a righteous priesthood holder, and in the process of magnifying his priesthood, I feel appreciated in my role as mother and homemaker. - Tiffany L. Packard, Bountiful, Utah

Thoughtful ways

The magic about my husband is that he can take the ordinary practice of gift-giving and turn it into an adventure. I feel appreciated because of the clever schemes he devises to give me a gift.

On our first Christmas after getting married, he took a cloth wreath that had been given to us and personally embroidered the year of our marriage. Another year, on my birthday, he taped a note to my steering wheel with an incoherent letter. During the day I received a balloon bouquet with another incoherent letter. Still later I received a singing telegram with yet another illogical letter. When I had all the letters, I placed them together and was able to read one word from each card in sequence to decifer the message.

His clever and thoughtful ways of showing appreciation keep me feeling like a newlywed, even after raising two teenage boys. - Penny Eardley, Salt Lake City, Utah

How to checklist:

1 Express appreciation to wife,

compliment her on "ordinary" household chores.

2 Be in tune with her needs,

lend a listening ear.

3 Encourage her participation

in Church and civic activities,

help her develop her talents.

4 Continue to strengthen,

bonds of love with wife.

Write to us:

Aug. 15 "How to help your husband feel more appreciated as a provider."

Aug. 22 "How to protect your testimony."

Aug. 29 "How to plan ahead for the different stages of life."

Sept. 5 "How to cope with the sudden loss of employment."

Sept. 12 "How to care for your children when they misbehave in public."

Sept. 19 "How to help young people emotionally prepare for missions."

Also interested in letters on these topics: "How to avoid greed," "How to make transition from being newly married to becoming new parents," "How to overcome compulsive eating," "How to avoid the gambling trap."

Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, send fax to (801) 237-2524 or use internet E-mail: Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.

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