If the Good Wife Level 3 is ambitious and conventional, the Good Wife Level 4 is ambitious and unconventional. Her ambitions take her beyond the mainstream norms, which she finds only an exercise in mediocrity, or even quite sinister and destructive. Thus, she becomes something of an oddball; an experimenter; an explorer; and many people do not approve, or even understand what she is doing. This, she finds, is very exciting. Here we must venture a little into fantasy, for hardly any real-world woman could excel at so many things as we will list here. Probably there are a few things that a real-life woman does at a Level 4 standard, and other things she does at Level 3 or Level 2, or Level 1. But, simply by making a list, we will perhaps inspire some women to become Level 4 in more aspects of their lives.
Where the Good Wife Level 3 is basically a herd-follower, the Good Wife Level 4 sees where the herd is going, doesn’t like it much, and goes her own way. This requires research and learning. The Good Wife Level 3 makes sure her children get all their vaccinations; the Good Wife Level 4 wonders if vaccination is a good idea at all, and begins to research the topic to her satisfaction. The Good Wife Level 3 exhorts her children to “excel” at the local public or private school. The Good Wife Level 4 thinks that these schools are not teaching her children what she wants them to learn, and looks for alternatives. This could be moving from public to a private school, perhaps a private school with a certain distinctive education philosophy — Waldorf or Montessori, for example, or a Catholic school or a boys-only school. It might mean adding a program of education at home, on top of what children are learning in school. It might mean dropping schools altogether and becoming a homeschooler.
The Good Wife Level 4 certainly refuses the Standard American Diet of junk food, but also thinks the Traditional American Diet is perhaps not so good, or anyway, need not serve as her guide and ideal. She looks into a Whole Foods Plant-Based diet, or perhaps a “paleo” or high-protein diet, or a raw food or raw vegan diet, and could talk about these for many hours if you allowed her to. Or, she might go a completely different direction, and perhaps spend six months mastering the cuisine of India or Thailand. If all this takes too much time, she might experiment with ways of creating healthy, wholesome and delicious food in very little time, or for very little expense, and spend months exploring all the variations of beans, rice and potatoes. She may spend months exploring the outer limits of fresh-pressed olive oil and parmesan cheese.
Her home is well decorated, but not in a conventional way. It does not look like the pages of Martha Stewart Living or the Pottery Barn catalog. It might be very eclectic, a somewhat disorganized jumble of individually-appealing pieces. Or it might have matching themes per room, for example a Persian room, an Art Deco room and an 1890s room. She is probably interested in vintage and antique furniture, as this presents a combination of interesting styles that are no longer contemporary, excellent workmanship and great values. All kinds of home furnishings can attract her interest and attention, such as dishware, towels, bedding, lighting, rugs and kitchenware; and each presents a whole new sphere of creative exploration. Decoration can easily extend to art, whether objects or pictures and paintings hung on walls. Here, she is interested in their artistic value, not just their value as decoration. She may begin to make fine art or artisanal works herself, such as photography, pottery, lamp shades or rugs.
Raising children is one of her chief concerns, and here she does not feel constrained by convention or the pattern of her own upbringing. She doubtless spends much time researching the topic, and, if you asked her, could probably say why breastfeeding is important to create an emotional bond between the parent and child; and that infants can actually become sick and even die if they are left in their cribs without physical contact, even if all their bodily needs are met. Moral education is a prime concern; but, what morals? This might be combined with introduction to a religious community and a religious tradition, or may be done independently.
The Level 4 woman is likely drawn to homeschooling, as she finds government schools to be intolerably mediocre if not rather sinister. Private schools are better, but her ambitions may extend well beyond what these can offer, and also, their expense may extend well beyond her budget. Homeschooling is a vast topic, with some methods that follow conventional norms and other methods that embark on wild experiments.
While the Level 3 woman floats happily on a river of mainstream media, the Level 4 woman probably finds the popular media, music and entertainment to be rather degenerate or even sinister, at best a waste of time and at worst a sewer pipe of Cultural Marxist brainwashing, and cuts it out completely. The Level 4 woman may eliminate “screen time” from her children’s lives altogether. Or, if not, she carefully curates what they are exposed to.
The Level 4 woman recognizes that physical exercise is sadly lacking in most people’s day-to-day lives, and may become very enthusiastic about working out, triathlon, running, dance, or some other form of physical activity. Combined with her interest in healthy food, the result is that she is in great physical shape, to the delight of her husband.
Naturally, if you have body like Annette Larkins, the Level 4 Wife becomes interested in dressing well; and this does not mean merely conforming to today’s norms in a pleasing manner, but the whole spectrum of potential regarding a woman’s dress (and that of her children as well). She might experiment with vintage fashions. She might decide that, as an experiment in traditional femininity, she will wear only dresses and skirts from here henceforth; and all of these must be below the knee. She naturally upholds a minimum dress code for her children; and you will never find her girls in tights alone or boys in dirty t-shirts.
The Level 4 woman may explore a variety of themes: she may become an extreme couponer, purchasing $400 of products for $15. She may experiment with living in a very small space: can a family of five live in a 600sf one-bedroom apartment? Or, in an RV, or a sailboat? She might try to live without producing trash, or experiment with radically reducing the family’s number of possessions. She may look into ways of living well while spending very little money; her husband might like that.
Her husband need do little but stand back and let her have her fun, as he and the children are the beneficiaries of all this enthusiasm, as long as it fits within his overall plan for the family. He regulates how much his wife can spend on her enthusiasms. If she thinks it would be worthwhile to spend more, she must convince him of its merits, and he must be convinced. Although the Good Wife Level 4 is having a great time with all of this, nevertheless all of it is in service to, and to the benefit of, her husband and family. She can have her own time too, but never do her own enthusiasms come at the expense of her responsibilities, or to the well-being of the family as a whole. At no time does she attempt to wrest control from the husband, against his wishes. But, normally the husband does not need much convincing, and his approval and support is nearly certain. The husband may guide her, serving as the 1% of inspiration that leads to the 99% of perspiration: “Honey, maybe we should improve our home decorating/eat a more healthy diet/improve the childrens’ education.” In short, all of her projects become his too, because he has approved of them, even if she does 95%+ of the work. Consequently, he has a responsibility to participate as is necessary, in a homeschooling program for example, and learn new skills or make the additional effort as appropriate. If these burdens are too much for him, then the couple needs to find a new solution. At no time does he become beholden to his wife’s schemes, against his consent and active support. Sometimes, he might have to put limits on his wife’s activity, or redirect it, as he perceives that it is causing problems or expending more resources than is appropriate. As with the Good Wife of any Level, she participates in the decision-making process, but is never quarrelsome or contentious, and follows the final authority of her husband.
All of our Good Wives are, of course, Good — that is, they create positive value, while creating a minimum of contention and difficulty, and other problems for her husband and family. But, if such Good behavior is often a matter of tradition, instinct and good upbringing in some women, the Good Wife Level 4 approaches it as she approaches other challenges in her life, as something to be studied and applied in a conscious and diligent fashion. Thus, she has the dedication to Good behavior that comes, in many cases, from doing it the wrong way first, and then mending her ways, often with diligent effort and careful study. Just as the shrewish Katherine eventually becomes a far better wife than the gentle Bianca, her sister (in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew), who doesn’t need to change and therefore never improves, the Level 4 wife’s Good Wifery comes from conscious application of principle and deep understanding. She probably has a list of favorite books and other resources on the topic, and also, some insightful and pointed criticism of some others who hold themselves out to be experts on the topic, but do not meet her high standards.
Being a Level 4 Wife can be a ton of fun, and engage the ablest women. The question of the children’s education alone is a vast topic worthy of many years of research, especially for a homeschooler. Best of all, she has the freedom to guide her activity as she pleases, for the good of the household. She finds her household duties to be a realm of near-limitless complexity and interest, and a realm where careful, deliberate action can lead to direct, real-world advantages in the daily life of the whole family. Other men’s families are overweight, unhealthy, flabby, live in a mediocre home environment where the children have a mediocre education and upbringing, and spend all their time watching television and playing video games. Her family enjoys fine food, good health, exercises regularly, looks great, dresses well, enjoys a beautiful home environment, gets a superlative education and in general spends their time in a high-value way.
It is unfortunate that many mothers feel that they need to work, basically due to perceived financial needs. Some women are just cut out to be career girls; so be it. But, the idea that being a drudge for a corporate boss every day for the glory — not of a woman’s own husband and family, her own children, community and nation — but increased earnings per share, strikes her as piteous. Too many women — she thinks — are so lost in delusion that they actually believe that being a childless, unmarried corporate workerbee is some kind of superior accomplishment. Too bad for them. Let some other man do that job. It will be no less tiresome and difficult, but it will serve as the foundational support for another woman’s family; another woman who could be having as much fun as she is.