Back Away from Daddy’s Chair

Naw. It’s nothing like that, really.  My husband does have a favorite chair, but what makes our home inviting to him has little to do with the arrangement of our furniture and much more to do with the heart.

To honor the man they call daddy at our house, very little is needed to set the stage.

1.  Slap on a smile.

It’s no fun for my husband to walk through the door after a long day, greeted by my “get these kids outta here” growl as I fly around the messy kitchen in a desperate attempt to throw supper on the table.  Truthfully, the man would prefer to eat cereal for supper five nights a week if that’s what it took to see a smile on my face when he walks in the door.

Our surroundings are not just physical.  What makes the home is the heart. In our home I have the power to set the tone when daddy walks in the door as I choose my own attitude and do my best to control the circumstances.

  • Regular menu planning keeps the last-minute “what’s for dinner” stress at a minimum.
  • Prepping supper early in the day when possible frees me up to deal calmly with whatever comes up in those crazy hours before daddy comes home.
  • Putting forth a small effort to make myself presentable makes me feel more like smiling when he walks through the door.  I know I sure wouldn’t want to come home to me on the grungy days.

2.  Pleasantly playing children.

Well now, wouldn’t that be a lovely scene at the witching hour when everyone is getting tired, hungry, and cranky all at the same time?!  There are no guarantees when it comes to children’s behavior, but I have found a few tricks to keep them from losing it when daddy walks through the door.

  • Let there be snacks! We have an open drawer policy on fruits and veggies in the afternoon.  Yes, I like to cap it off to ensure they’ll eat a good supper, but really, if we stick to produce I can just say that they ate part of their supper a little early.  😉
  • Chores first. Our family functions better if the drudgery gets out of the way first.  It’s no fun for my husband to walk in and have to be the bad guy all evening, seeing to it that homework is done and bedrooms are clean.  If I take care of that earlier, then there’s no chance of the kids whining about it when he gets home.

3.  Clear a path.

Dust and smudgy windows don’t phase my man.  He only occasionally pokes fun of my clutter boxes in inappropriate locations, such as our bedroom.  He doesn’t even mind if the dishes haven’t been done.  Leave a toy or other such obstacle on the floor for him to trip over, though, and we’ve got ourselves a problem.

4.  Respect his things.

The things I value aren’t always the things he values, and that’s okay.  While we consider most of the stuff in our house our stuff, I still am very careful not to do away with his things during a fit of decluttering.  Those are his decisions.

For 11 years and 3 moves, I hung on to the immersion blender he owned before we were married, even though I had no idea what it was or how I would use it.  To me, it was just another thing crowding my kitchen drawers.  Until I used it one day, just for kicks.  Guess what is now one of the most used small appliances in our kitchen?  Uh-huh.

Setting the stage for a welcoming home means different things for different families.  How do you welcome your husband home at the end of the day?



  1. I just love that your husband had an immersion blender from before you were married. I don’t think mine even owned forks… 😉

  2. Okay, so this post is about dads….and this is great advice. BUT my big take-away is your open-drawer policy on fruits and veggies! Snacktime is getting out of hand at my house (hungry, hungry, all the time!) and I have been brainstorming ways to solve our Snack Crisis. I’m going to try this and see how it works for our family. Thanks!

    • I think for kids (and for me!) there’s a difference between being HUNGRY and wanting a snack. If they are truly hungry, a piece of fruit will do. 😉 And I should tell myself the same thing when I’m ready to reach for the dark chocolate and peanut butter!

  3. Candice B. says:

    I am so going to learn from this post – it’s simply amazing! Thanks for taking the time to post a how-to for great evenings. It’s all about attitude.

  4. This is a great post. I will have been married for 20 years in just one week. It took me a while to really discover what was important to my husband, but there are definitely certain things that bless him and make him feel important. My husband works from home so I don’t have the “prep time” before he gets here. What really blesses him is stopping what I am doing and really listening to him while he is on his lunch break, or when he stops for the evening. Like your husband, mine doesn’t mind some of the mess unless it is on the floor blocking his path and he is pretty easy to feed as long as it is not burned. Marriage is wonderful, especially when we’re willing to lay down our own agendas, and bless one another.

  5. Loved this post and especially loved Heather’s comment above: “Marriage is wonderful, especially when we’re willing to lay down our own agendas, and bless one another.” Wow. I’ve been really bad about focusing on my own stresses and hardships lately, to the exclusion of my husband’s. This reminder was a needed one. Thanks to you both!

    • “I’ve been really bad about focusing on my own stresses and hardships lately, to the exclusion of my husband’s.” Guilty. It’s so easy to fall into that trap.

  6. Jenna McLucas says:

    GREAT article!!! My husband would probably prefer a smile and cereal too, LOL! Love your idea on giving the kids as much fruit and vegetables as they want throughout the day- I’m always looking for ways to get them to eat more of those. I think I will start that policy in our home this afternoon! Thank you!!!

    • I hope it works well for you. *I* need to be as eager as my children are for a banana or an apple some days. 😉


  1. […] at The Finer Things in Life gave lots of concrete suggestions for managing the chaos so that her husband sees a smiling wife and children playing happily when he gets home. Our surroundings are not just physical.  What makes the home is the heart. In […]

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