A Welcoming Haven For Your Man

Whether your husband works days, nights, or around the clock… whether he spends sixty hours a week toiling outside the home or is a stay-at-home dad… whether he has a home office or leaves work at the door… his home should be a welcoming haven for him.

Now… I could write a preachy post about making sure you have the house scrubbed and tidy and lovely while wearing a fresh blouse and lipstick each day when he comes home.  I imagine that might be helpful… for a few couples out there.  But, not only would I be a total hypocrite to even write that post, it’s also not what my husband expects- or even WANTS- from me.


Know His Priorities


I think this is the most important thing to keep in mind as you set about making your home a place your man wants to be.  What matters most to him?  Does he feel unsettled in an untidy home?  Try to neaten up for him.  Do allergies mean dust can set him off sneezing and miserable?  Keep those bunnies corralled.  Will he overlook a sloppy kitchen if it’s the result of yummy cooking and baking?  Make sure he’s well fed!


For my man, keeping a clean, spotless home falls low on the priority list.  Taking care of the kids certainly tops the list.  Preparing yummy meals and keeping up on the laundry also beat out cleaning on his hierarchy.   Far better for him to come home to giggling children in a toy-ridden living room than quiet kids staring at a TV in a tidy space.  He’d certainly prefer a smiling wife standing on a sticky kitchen floor to a cranky one who mopped the floor to a gleam.  These are things I know and so I make sure the “important” things get done first.


Speak His Love Language


For some men, having a cleaned out, fiercely organized space makes them feel better.  They are more at peace and more relaxed.  Some couldn’t care less.  Some men appreciate an aromatic, home-prepared dinner filling their homes with scent.  Others are just as happy with a takeout pizza.  Figure out what delights your husband and try to make it happen.  Realize that this may mean letting other things slide.


There have been times when I (literally) had to choose between baking something for a dessert that night or vacuuming the (dirty) living room floor before my man got home.  I’ve learned, through trial and error, that my husband is far more likely to notice and appreciate cookies than a dust-bunny free floor.  Knowing this, I can make better choices in terms of making him happy.


Realize His Quirks


Most of us have at least a small handful of little things that drive us batty.  Learn your husband’s.  My guy cannot STAND when someone places a new roll of toilet paper on top of an empty roll rather than switching it out.  (And, really, how lazy is that??)  Still, for whatever reason, that one doesn’t seem to annoy me and, if I’m not paying attention, I could overlook it.  I work hard not to because I know it’s one of those nagging things that gets under his skin.


Don’t Underestimate Your Role


You- yes, you- are the biggest asset or liability when it comes to a welcoming home.  Your attitude will make more of a difference in whether your man can’t wait to come through the door or just braces himself for the onslaught.  Pull yourself together.  (And I don’t mean by getting all dolled up.)


It is important that I have control of this home when my other half gets home.  It should not be wild chaos with a frantic woman at the helm.  However.  I do NOT have to have everything all done and perfectly performed to be doing a good job.  There will be days when things fall apart and I cannot properly juggle all the tasks on my plate.  Guess what?  That’s okay.


I remember when I was a supervisor at a bank.  I had many employees to oversee and lots of expectations of each.  Most days, they handled those responsibilities without much intervention.  Some days?  They came to me essentially crying uncle and asking for assistance.  You know what?  Those days they needed help?  They were still doing their jobs and doing them properly.  Had they allowed themselves to get buried and flounder around drowning… that would have been the error and I would have been disappointed in them.  This premise holds true in our home too.  It’s okay if I ask him for help.  I dare say he expects that I should need his help from time to time.  Knowing that is a part of my doing a good job managing this place.


By remembering to keep control, bake some brownies, and switch out the TP roll ;) , I ensure that my husband will be delighted to come home to me.  Knowing what really matters to him is key to making this place a welcoming haven.  What keeps my guy content might drive yours nuts… but it’s what works around here.  Figuring that part out is half the battle.


What steps can you take to make your king thrilled to come home to his castle?


Don’t miss the great suggestions from my lovely and clever partners in this Honoring the Man They Call Daddy series:

Amy, Jessica, Mandi, and Tara


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19 comments to A Welcoming Haven For Your Man

  • What a fantastic post! I think this holds especially true when one’s hubby doesn’t like his job. I notice that if I greet him cheerfully at the door, he in turn starts to have a better mood. My hubby does appreciate a clean house as well as a home cooked meal and I try my best to provide this for him. But I think above all, all he really wants is a big and a kiss from his two favorite girls – his wife and his daughter :).

    • Oh, this is a great point! There are definitely oodles of men out there, working hard and doing their jobs even when they’re dissatisfied. Too often, we women think we have a corner on the “hard day” market… that we’re the only ones who have to sometimes “muddle through.” It goes a long way if you can make your home a pleasant escape from that drudgery. :)

  • Convicted. I have often felt that my husband comes in the door looking for a fight, but what if it’s ME who’s looking for the fight? I am the frantic woman in chaos most days. I need to find a way to change that.

    It’s easier said than done, isn’t it? How long did it take you after your littlest was born to feel like you had things under control?

    • Well, there was definitely some chaos with my littlest… Hubby lost his job when I was 6 months pregnant and spent the last months of my pregnancy traveling all over the country for interviews. About 12 hours before our youngest was born, he was offered a job in CT (we lived in Indiana). When G was two weeks old, we moved halfway across the country and stayed with my parents until we could find a house. (This was hard to do since housing is crazy expensive here.) Anyhow, we had lots of “extra” stressors going on during that time, as you can see, and it wasn’t possible to establish a “normal routine.” We were in our own house by the time she hit three months and I would say it was less than a month after that before I felt back in control. But, of course, the definition of “control” changes (by necessity) with the change of seasons. So, things didn’t look the same then as they do now. Does that make any sense at all? :) And, yes, I relate to realizing that (at least sometimes), I’M the one who causes the tension.

  • So very true! And I find that, if I can have things together most of the time (which, in my case, means dinner, things relatively neat, and the laundry put away), he’s MUCH more willing to bear with me on those days when things run out of control. If every day is chaotic, though, he gets overwhelmed too. Thanks for this post–I need the reminder!

    • This is really true, Diana. I think it’s kind of the whole “boy who cried wolf” thing, in a way. If you’re forever claiming you’re overwhelmed and struggling, it ends up losing impact. But if you generally handle it with grace and aplomb, then, well, if you need a hand, no one minds offering it. :)

  • My husband would much rather have me bake than vacuum, too! Thanks for the great post and reminder of what it means to be a helper to my husband.

    • I am forever amazed at what all my husband can overlook dust/clutter-wise. But I think I’d have a sad little camper on my hands if I went too long without baking something tasty. ;)

  • [...] post on Parenting Miracles this week was about making your home a welcoming haven. Is there anyone (man or woman) who doesn’t want to walk into a haven at the end of the day? [...]

  • My husband does appreciate a clean,orderly house. But even more important is having his clothes ready. When he has to go hunting through the dryer, the folded laundry on the couch, and his drawers just to piece together something to wear to work, it nearly does him in. That one is high on the list.

    • I think it’s fabulous that you realize (and respect!) how important the clothes organization is to your husband, Brenda! Each man will have his own priority list, to be sure, and we just have to figure out how to do our best to take care of those “top items”. :)

  • [...] But you know what?  There are most certainly common factors!  This past week, we talked about ways to make your home a comforting, welcoming haven for your husband.  While this may look different from home to home, one thing you’ll notice across is the [...]

  • Wendy

    Loved reading your post! I have been married 13 years and a stay at home mom for 5. I can tell you that it is so important to a man to come home to a peaceful environment, after facing the pressure and stress of being out providing for his family. I agree about the clean clothes as well! If I keep my hubby’s tshirt and underwear drawer stocked and folded, he’s pretty content! I try to have all the kids do a quick pick up before daddy comes home, and maybe offer a snack or drink if supper is going to be a while, but more importantly than anything, let him know you are happy to see him, and grateful for all he does for you and your children!

    • I love this comment, Wendy. YES- let him know you’re happy to see him and show some gratitude! I find if I show that I’m grateful for all he does, he’s more likely to return the sentiment. :)

  • [...] Parenting Miracles, JessieLeigh encourages us to Speak his Love Language: There have been times when I (literally) had [...]

  • I love this post. There are days when I know I’m probably ready for a fight, so I greet my husband expecting him to be ready for one, too. I love the idea of prioritizing what husbands would appreciate, but what if you honestly could not do it all? I have 2 little ones, 10 months and 2.5 years, and watch my 2 yr old niece during the day. My husband wants the house clean when he gets home. If there is anything on any floor surface, our counter tops, or kitchen table, he gets upset. He appreciates dinner, but if he comes home while I am still cooking and the kitchen is a mess, he has to have a comment for that, too. And I don’t even want to mention my never-ending pile of laundry! I always, always make sure his clothes are clean and in his drawer, but the kids grow out of clothes faster than I can go through them, so clean laundry sits out until I can go through the drawers. Sorry, I know this isn’t exactly a positive response, just an honest one. Sometimes people just don’t have enough time to do what some expect.

    • I truly appreciate your honesty, Sabrina. You are most certainly in a very busy season! I am very, very fortunate in that my husband feels like I’ve done my job as long as the children are cared for. He has remarked to co-workers before, “I bring home the paycheck, but she does all the work.” :) So I’m maybe not the best one to answer this, but I’m going to do my best. I think it’s likely an issue of misunderstanding. Because he has a job outside the home and doesn’t see all the little things that keep you so busy, your husband may not realize how challenging it is for you to complete all those tasks right now. I would recommend trying to have an open conversation about it. Maybe just say something like, “I know how important a clean home and cooked supper are to you when you get home and I want very much to make you happy. I find that I’m struggling right now to get everything done and I’m wondering if you would mind helping me prioritize tasks?” Actually talking about all you do in a day will hopefully accomplish two things: 1) he may realize that you really are incredibly busy and 2) he’ll be able to let you know what’s MOST important to him. I can tell you really want to meet his expectations and it may be that he doesn’t realize how difficult that is right now while caring for three littles who are 2 and under. I think you’re doing a great job and I applaud you for looking at this honestly!

  • [...] could spend all day making sure my house is a welcoming haven.  I could make sure all the details are in place for a great at-home date.  I could have his [...]

  • [...] A Welcoming Haven for Your Man Now… I could write a preachy post about making sure you have the house scrubbed and tidy and lovely while wearing a fresh blouse and lipstick each day when he comes home.  I imagine that might be helpful… for a few couples out there.  But, not only would I be a total hypocrite to even write that post, it’s also not what my husband expects- or even WANTS- from me… [...]

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