Who is Miss Abigail?

Abigail Grotke
Silver Spring, MD
email: missabigail at missabigail dot com
twitter: @DearMissAbigail

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Miss Abigail has a collection of over 1,000 classic advice books, spanning from 1822 to 1978 and covering a variety of topics, from love and romance to etiquette and charm. The collection sparked the idea for this site, then a book, Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage, which has inspired an Off-Broadway production of the same name!

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Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy’

Suggestions to the Husband

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

soothe her irritationsHere’s another in the “my sister is pregnant so I’m going to write about it” series (oh, gee, I hope she doesn’t mind!). After a week of doctor-ordered bed rest, here’s some advice from 1904 to help dad-to-be help mom-to-be be happy and comfortable during this (ahem) special time of her life. Although walks are out for now, some of these other ideas might keep them both busy!

1904: Suggestions to the Husband

Be more the lover than ever before. Tenderness now is doubly the wife’s due. Contrive little diversions for her; bring home at one time a new book by her favorite author, to be read aloud together; at another, a fruit of which she is especially fond, or a favorite flower, picture or piece of music; at another, bring some intimate friend of the family, who will join you in an innocent conspiracy to get her out to a social meeting, a concert, a lecture, or some desirable form of entertainment, not too exciting; but if the hall be too crowded or overheated, you may show thoughtfulness enough to take her home.

Occasionally invite her to walk, choosing some favorite place, and make the walk a leisurely one, pointing out objects of interest and beauty and calling her attention to various things that may have amused her before, even though the merest trifles; for this, from the association of ideas, would start a pleasant train of thought, which in all endeavors is the chief object to be attained. It is your highest duty and privilege to calm her fears, soothe her irritations, and anticipate her desires. Short, easy journeys to places of which she is fond will be beneficial. See that disagreeable people are kept away from her and surround her frequently with congenial, welcome friends. Cheerful society is of great importance; the faces that she now sees should always be genial, happy ones.

This constant, loving sympathy, untiring in its watchful tenderness and unstinted in its sacrifices, will free the troubled mind from many a dark cloud, and in so doing will add many and priceless joys to the life of the thoughtful husband and prospective husband.

Source: Melendy, Dr. Mary Ries. Vivilore: The Pathway to Mental and Physical Perfection. Chicago: W. R. Vansant, 1904.
~ pp. 389-90 ~