When Seth Arnold's wife became ill, he took over management of the household until he himself became temporarily unable to perform the chores. He soon realized that although his daughters could perform various tasks, they had no idea how to take over planning and everyday maintenance of the home. He wrote The Intellectual House-keeper to help the girls plan for and anticipate the tasks necessary in order to become household managers and not just domestic servants of their parents. Through a series of questions organized by day of the week and season of the year, Arnold encourages the girls to think for themselves, develop independence, and plan in advance for home and kitchen chores. There are also sections on managing illness, wounds, furniture, and clothing. "This may be used as a kind of family school-book, to assist parents in educating their daughters for business. If mothers will take the pains to teach their daughters in a regular manner, one week [of chores], by a series of practical questions ... How much might they save their girls from unpleasant and mortifying circumstances, and their husbands from great trouble, care, anxiety, and unhappiness!"