Housewife Runs Academy To Teach Women How To Treat Husbands ‘Like It’s 1959’

by : Emily Brown on : 22 Jan 2020 08:45
Housewife Runs Academy To Teach Women How To Treat Husbands 'Like It's 1959'The Darling Academy/Instagram

A British housewife gave up her job and set up an academy that teaches women good manners, etiquette, homemaking and how to ‘spoil their husbands like it’s 1959’. 

Alena Kate Pettitt had worked in marketing, but decided to quit when she got married and welcomed her son into the world.


The mother settled down in the Cotswolds and is now a proud ‘#TradWife’; a ‘homemaker’ of her generation who is ‘happy to submit to, keep house, and spoil [her] husband’.

Woman gives up job to become a housewifeBBC

While women have battled issues of sexism and equality to be seen as more than mothers and wives, Pettitt told the BBC that’s exactly what she was born to be.

She explained:


The culture [in the 1990s] was anything but what I enjoyed and it definitely made me feel like an outsider.

It was all kind of, let’s fight the boys and go out and be independent and break glass ceilings. But I just felt like I was born to be a mother and a wife.

What I really related to were the old shows of the 1950s and 60s.

While working made her feel ‘unsatisfied’, Pettitt now enjoys making sure her husband comes home to a cooked meal made of food she’s purchased with a ‘monthly allowance’.

The mother discovered a number of other ‘traditional’ women who enjoyed living the same lifestyle as her and has since set up a website titled The Darling Academy, which encourages women to put their husbands first.


The academy also shares recipes and tips on etiquette, supporting a return to ‘traditional English manners, lifestyle and values’. Pettitt gives further advice in her two books, Ladies Like Us and English Etiquette. 

While the ‘#TradWife’ trend seems like a huge step back for women, Pettitt has argued feminism is about choices.

She commented:


To say you can go into the working world and compete with men and you’re not allowed to stay at home – to me is taking a choice away.

Pettitt certainly makes a valid point, and if she’s happy staying at home, cooking, cleaning and caring for her family then she has every right to do so. A more troublesome aspect of the lifestyle is the repeated references to ‘living like it’s 1959’, when staying at home was less of a choice for women and more of an expected trait.

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Continually dating your spouse is SO important ♥️ We can get so wrapped up in the kids, in the hum-drum of daily life that it can become so easy to forget each other and let romance slide. When I was filming with the BBC last month, they raised an interesting question about whether I have put kids first ahead of my husband since we became parents – and the answer to that is a big fat NO. I love my child fiercely, as any Mother does, and kids are our greatest responsibility, but my husband comes first, and he ALWAYS will. Because without him, I’d not have had my child, because of him my child and I are safe and well fed. Because of him, because of the romance that blossomed between us all those years ago we actually have a family… and when we are empty nesters in 10 or so years we’ll be staring each other in the face each and every day with no one to distract us. When we do that, I want to see a face that I’ve paid attention to for all those years, whose laugh lines I’ve helped create, whose gray hairs I’ve witnessed come in one by one. Yes, children are important, love them, nurture them, raise them well, but don’t adore them. The adoration should be kept for your spouse, and *witnessed* by your children. Children flourish when they witness a strong undivided relationship between their parents. In Matthew 19:5 (originally referenced from Genesis 2:24 upon the creation of Adam & Eve) Jesus teaches on divorce, but I think what he says is also SO profound as a model for marriage. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So therefore they are no longer two, but one flesh”… 💗 STOP PRESS ✋🏻***A man shall leave his father and mother and fly the nest***. That very man is your child, Mama! Who will one day have a wife of his own. 💍Show him by example that his marriage matters most, before all other things ♥️ Don’t forget *your* partner in crime while raising him! Your other half will be right there beside you when the church bells ring and confetti falls for your offspring. Have a best friend to turn to on that day, not a stranger. Date each other! Your spouse comes first ♥️

A post shared by Mrs Alena Kate Pettitt (@thedarlingacademy) on

The trend is certainly not for everyone, and the mother has had her fair share of backlash, but she believes shaming people for ‘traditional’ lifestyles is counter-intuitive because that in itself is ‘not progressive’.


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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, British, Equality, feminism, Marriage, Relationships


The Darling Academy and 1 other
  1. The Darling Academy

    A Return to Traditional Values

  2. BBC

    ‘Submitting to my husband like it's 1959': Why I became a #TradWife