1950’s Housewife Repost

Since I am feeling quite tired and uninspired today, I thought I would bring back a post that I wrote almost a year ago. Just looking at how organized and excited these women look, somehow inspires me!

Hope you all enjoy!

Yesterday, I was cleaning my house.  Cleaning is another source of inspiration for me.  This is a time when I can think clearly because my house is actually getting clean.  I used to be totally type A about my house.  But as I have gotten older and have had three kids, my standards are no longer like they used to be!  While I was cleaning yesterday, I was thinking of my great grandmothers book.  I was thinking about how well put together all the women seemed.  The pictures of the food were perfect and the meal planning was amazing!  I thought to myself, “Did women really do all of this?” “Did they really wear dresses while cleaning their house?”  “Did they really take this much time to put together a meal?”  As I stood there in my tank top and shorts with my hair pulled up in a ponytail cleaning my kids’ toilet, I was in awe of how they could clean in heels.
I decided to look it up.  And guess what, the majority of the women did do these things!  Now, I am fairly new to the housewife kingdom, but I could not believe it!  Women actually wore dresses when cleaning toilets!  Unthinkable!  The picture below is actually a normal picture for the 1950’s.

This is also a normal family picture.

Now I must admit that my pictures would be much different!  While cooking dinner, I would not be as happy in a beautiful dress.  I would be yelling at my kids in sweats!  And as for the happy family picture, my kids would have been so excited that they would have run into me, making me drop the cake, then I would begin yelling again, and my husband would have suddenly disappeared to avoid the chaos.

In a book I am currently reading called The Power of a Positive Mom, there is a section of how times have changed from the 1950’s to today.  She gives 10 ways to be a positive mother/wife from a 1950’s home economics book.  Here they are:

1.  Have dinner ready.  Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal on the table-on time.  This is a way of letting your husband know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs.
2. Prepare yourself.  Take fifteen minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when your husband arrives.  Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair, and be fresh looking.  He has just been with a lot of work weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting.  His boring day may need a lift.
3.  Clear away clutter.  Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc.  Then run a dustcloth over the tables.  Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too.
4.  Prepare the children.  Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces.  If they are small, comb their hair, and if neccessary, change their clothes.  They are little treasures, and he should like to see them playing the part.
5.  Minimze the noise.  At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher and vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him.
6.  Some don’ts:  Don’t greet him with a problem or complaint.  Don’t complain if he is late for dinner.Count this as minor compared with what he might havegone through during the day.
7.  Make him comfortable.  Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom.  Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.  Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes.  Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice.  Allow him to relax and unwind.
8. Listen to him.  You may have a dozen thingsto tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time.  Let him talk first.
9.  Make the evening his.  Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his need to be home and relax.
10.  The goal:  Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can feel refreshed.

Pretty impressive, although it sounds a little like the old horror movie Stepford Wives.  Regardless, I cannot help but think about how much times have changed.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it is for the better, but as I pursue my quest to cook from my great grandmothers cookbook, I see so much that I can learn from and how it has also helped my family.  Positives and negatives to both worlds!  Have a great day guys!

11 thoughts on “1950’s Housewife Repost

  1. I actually remember a time before women wore pants, yes that's right they didn't wear pants. My grandmother wore a dress with apron both did they had dressier ones for Sunday though. Love your post.Dolly

  2. I love this post too. I actually like the 10 ways to be a positive Mother/Wife from a 1950s Home Economics book. I admit I rarely follow any of these tips, but on the rare occasion that I do hit one of them, my hubby's face lights up, his mood is lifted, and we are both happy as kids. I think I am going to try to work on implementing a few of these tips from time to time. It can only show how much I care. He does work hard and doesn't expect much at all. He's low maintenance. Why not spoil him once in a while. Thanks for sharing these interesting ideas. I really enjoyed them.

  3. It's always mind blowing to think about the actual comparison between women now and then as far as house work goes. I mean most didn't work except for in the home. Even if I didn't work…my house would still resemble a chaotic war zone. Thanks for swinging by my blog! Sarahhttp://sarahazzouzi.blogspot.com/

  4. Gosh, this post brings back memories. My grandma always had on a dress and an apron when we came for a visit. I remember the kitchen smelling like baked bread and huge dinners. Good times! Thanks for the memories!

  5. When I was younger and first had the kids I quit work and stayed home- I'd do the book work for my husband's construction business (self employed). The house was clean (as much as a very tiny house with two kids and 4 animals can be), dinner cooked, ironing done, etc. When I had to go back to work after he was seriously hurt, he did a great job of keeping things orderly. When we both were working . . . well, not so good! I'd love to go back to the way it was in the 50s, except I want my blow drier and flat iron!

  6. I am glad you all are enjoying this post! Thanks for all the responses! It is fun to hear about your memories of your own family and how you were raised! Times have changed, and I am realizing slowly that it is not an entirely bad thing to spoil your husband. There are ways to make hime feel special without doing some of the items from the list above. There is no way I can make my kids look clean or me for that matter!Thanks everyone!

  7. These tips are too fun! I think if I had ribbon in my hair my hubby might think I'd truly gone round the " housewife bend ". On the other hand, it's probably a good idea to get the dirt and leaves out of my hair before he gets home from work! On a more serious note: I've been homemaking full time for the last 14 years. As I made the transition from career gal to homemaker some of these practices have found their way into our home. Home and Haven, that's our motto around here!

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