Give her Husband - When Disasters Come - Appreciation of Home Life
There is no reason why business life should render a girl less womanly or tender towards the man who may gain her affections. A capable girl, trained to her work, and taking an interest in doing it in the best possible way, should not have lost her feminine characteristics or charm.
She may certainly have learnt to fend for herself, and no longer is she helpless as regards the conduct of her own personal affairs, but that same girl is usually the most appreciative of a man's whole-hearted love and care. She is only too glad to drop the manner that may be verging towards too much independence, that may, in fact, have been cultivated for her own protection.
Not only will she be the home-maker, but she can be of the greatest assistance to her husband. In these days of strenuous living and keen competition he requires all the help he can get if he is to succeed, or even secure a competence for his loved ones.
A Common Fallacy
It is urged by some that being in business renders a girl less likely to settle down to domestic life, less willing to devote herself to the care of husband and children. She has become used to independence, to doing what she wants to do without, let or hindrance, and tends to be somewhat cynical and hard in her outlook on life.
It may be conceded at once that in certain instances' this may be so. But, if the truth were known, it has not been the mere business experience that has produced this result, but some hard struggle with fate, or circumstances over which she has had no control.
There are, also, some excellent business women who frankly state they have no desire to be married, and that they are far happier as they are. They are perfectly right, and had they remained at home would never have become domesticated, or made good wives and mothers. To such the openings now available for women are a real blessing.
But the average business woman is working because she must keep herself, and, in the event of her not marrying, must provide for her own future. In many cases, too, she has to help in the support of other members of the family. Having taken up her work, she throws herself into it with all her heart, thereby acquiring self-reliance and capability. These qualities will stand her in good stead should she marry.
.Her business training and experience will have given her an understanding of the strain and worry of city life. It has also given her a knowledge of men as they realty are when they are ' off guard ' and not desiring to make a good impression.
She may not idealise her husband, but her affection will be none the less sincere and strong, as few men remain on the pedestal for long. She will thus escape the shock of disillusionment, which sometimes spells tragedy.
A girl with no experience of office strain, even during her engagement, is apt to be cross and show displeasure if her fiance or husband, as the' case may be, is not able to be at liberty always to fall in with her wishes for some amusement. The business girl knows just how he is feeling at the end of a long day, and will cheerfully wait another opportunity for her pleasure. There are few men who will not appreciate her forbearance, and another arrangement for some entertainment will soon be forthcoming.
A girl who has spent years in office life is by no means necessarily ignorant of the ways of a household. Most girls help in the house considerably in the evenings and over the week ends, and even if this is not the case, her business training will enable her quickly to grasp the new situation. Probably the house will be run on quite smooth lines from the very first. Even the most domes-ticated of home birds is often in difficulties when setting up in her new nest away from her mother's guiding counsel.
A course of cookery lectures will quickly make a business girl as much at home with pastry-board and roller as with the clicking keys of her typewriter. Her habits of punctuality and neatness are valuable assets in a home, and an ability to keep accounts, and thereby a check on expenditure, is surely not to be counted against her.
The pretty things of the home will not be neglected, for the business girl will enjoy the opportunity to indulge in the less severely practical both in house and dress. Her husband will not necessarily be faced by a badly dressed woman at meals, even though during her office life she may have had to confine herself to the strictly practical. The "Understanding" Wife
The business girl should be the " understanding " wife. From her own experience she knows what it is to be "on edge" and to have the "not-to-be-spoken-to" feeling on arriving home, and until dinner is over, and life once more seems worth the living.
That important meal will be ready on her husband's return home, and she will see that no "shop," either of office or home, is talked of during its progress.
After dinner she will, as a rule, reap her reward, and the day's worries, and pleasant happenings, too, will be reviewed, and her doings asked for and chatted over. Then is it that the business trained girl can often be of the most use, especially if she thoroughly understands the ins and outs of her husband's particular business. For, as men so often find with their women clerks, she is able to bring a different judgment to bear upon debatable points.
Such a wife can do much towards making things pleasant and as comfortable as may be for any women clerks her husband may employ. She knows, as no man ever can do, what a strain office work proves to some women, and how easily this can be lightened in many instances. One woman, who had not forgotten her office days, persuaded her husband to arrange that his staff of girls-he employed some half dozen - should have an afternoon free a week, one or two at a time, so that they might do their shopping in comfort. The cheerful alacrity displayed by all in seeing that the work did not suffer loss in any way through this concession proved how much it was appreciated.
A Wise Helpmate
It must not, however, be supposed she is only a business partner. She will enjoy the pleasures her husband is able to afford her all the more intensely for not having had the full opportunities of some girls before marriage. She will not expect him to neglect his work and escort her here, there, and everywhere, but when he cannot be with her she will find her own amusements and occupations. The plaint of the "lonely wife" will not be hers.
When her husband is kept late at the office the business girl wife will be waiting for him with sympathy, and not chidings. She will discover the best methods for keeping his food hot and tempting, and not make his uncertain return an excuse for dried-up meat and spoilt vegetables. Neither will she wait without food herself, so that he finds an exhausted and possibly weeping wife when he does arrive. Nor will she keep the children up long past their bed-time in order to give them the doubtful pleasure of a hurried kiss from their tired-out father.
If the husband be engaged in literary or journalistic work, her knowledge of shorthand and typewriting may be of signal service. She can look up references for him, correct copy, and she will find he is anxious that she should be his first critic.
The knowledge of the value of money and how hardly it is earned will enable her to spend it to the best advantage for her family, and she will be, therefore, far more able to put a check on the small expenditures that can be well done without. If financial or other disaster comes, a business girl wife will be far better equipped to deal with it than a woman who has done nothing practical before marriage.
Far from being less fitted for wifehood, the business girl who has by nature the womanly instincts for husband and children of her own, comes equipped with additional qualifications. For, in truth, the average man's business is his life, and if his wife cannot be with him in sympathy there, it follows she is shut out from a very large share of his confidence. Comrade as well as wife, she is sure to retain his love and loyal devotion in thought and sincerity.