The 1950's Woman...

'50's Woman... - '50's Woman...
@twoey68 (13651)
United States
August 26, 2008 8:43am CST
Women of the 1950’s were strong women. They handled the kids, the house, meals, laundry, dressed in dresses and pumps and still had time to greet their Hubby at the door with a cocktail. My Moms grandma was something like that. She took care of the kids, worked on the farm, tended to the animals, kept the house, cooked family meals (none of that Hamburger Helper in their house), sewed and still managed to look like a woman. Where they got all the energy is beyond me. I see women all the time barely keeping their houses livable or their kids clothed and fed. Their wore out and tuckered out by noon. I know some work and that’s understandable but what about those that are at home all day? Is it all in their mind…they think they should be tired so they are? Or did women of the ‘50’s have a secret weapon? I doubt that I could do a third of the stuff my great grandma did in a day and still have the energy to do it again the next day and they didn’t have near the conveniences we have today. I love to hear my Mom and my Grandma talk about my great grandma b/c she really was a strong woman. Are you a strong woman…going the distance every day or just barely making it through? Was your mom or grandma a strong woman when it came to running a home? How do you think they did it? **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
14 people like this
40 responses
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
26 Aug 08
Been there done that. It would get very tiresome doing the same old thing every day but if ya got up at 4 AM you could get most everything done then have time for other things Like I would take my sons fishing oor hiking during the day. Daughter never wanted to go so she stayed home and watched tv or slept! My grand ma had her wash day her bread making day and a day to really go thru the house but to me it seemed like it was never dirty. SHe cooked on a coal stove and made beautiful loafs of bread! Loved the house when that aroma went thru it . SHe pickd her fruit feed chickens and all that too and wrote for the news paper. Now Grand pa did the farm work and I would mostly help him when I was there,
2 people like this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
26 Aug 08
I seem to remember hearing that they had special days for certain tasks. I'd forgotten all about that. Also there were the times when water had to be hauled in or cooking was done on a wood stove so that was more work. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
26 Aug 08
yup I hauled in the water for Grandma She cooked with coal so had to fill the coal bucket too . I have cooked on wood stove So I have got out and chopped woor up for the stave we heated with it too so if hubby didnt get to do itI chopped wood for it too
• United States
11 Sep 08
I bought a book writen in the early 60's about how to keep a home. It was such and eyeopener to me. I felt so much better about the woman I am and the woman I am ment to be. I take pride in the fact that my job as a housewife is a worthwile job to do. It seems to be a dyeing job and it has been easy to feel like I can be doing more. I love what I do, but I do not wear dresses and pumps. Im still working on it though.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Sep 08
GREAT response happythoughts!!! Kudos to you, as housewives don't get much respect these days!!
@moondancer (7434)
• United States
26 Aug 08
I believe I am a strong woman, although I use to be stronger in health than I am now. In the old days, I remember that my aunt and I did much of the work in the home and helped granny out with the canning and we did the laundry even ironing everything. We satrted breakfast for everyone in the morning and cleaned up afterwards. Then started cooking whatever was going to be ate for lunch, cleaning up after everyone. Then starting dinnner, watching all meals while doing other house work. We dusted everything, swept, mopped, made beds, picked up and cleaned up. We helped make quilts and did many other things. Since this was the way I was taught, it carried on into my adulthood. After every meal we swept and mopped the kitchen floors. I have been kown to sweep numerous times a day and mop at least 3 times a day. Depending on if it was needed or not. I cook 3 good meals a day. And clean my home. I have done this even when I worked I kept house and cooked everyday. Needless to say my days were very full. I got up before everyone else and was the last one going to bed. Because I didn't do so much when my husband was home. UNless he was off of work for the whole day. Now I'm at home alone most times, unless my ganchildren come over or my husband is home for a few days to a week. I do as much as I possibly can even pushing myself no matter how badly I feel.
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (20147)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
26 Aug 08
Good for you!
@tyc415 (5706)
• United States
26 Aug 08
I can only remember my grandmother on their farm and she would be out in the garden in the mornings and or evenings and also gathering fresh eggs. When not doing those things she was in the kitchen cooking or canning and cooking. As for my mother I have more memories. She was a great and a very strong woman. She kept our house very clean and the wooden floors always had a beautiful shine to them. We had home cooked meals and baked goods all from scratch. My mother was also a great seamstress. I wish I had taken after her. I always tried to keep my house clean and food on the table for my kids and I even learned to sew thanks to my mother but I was and will never be as good at those things like she was. My mother has passed now and my children are grown and I miss those days so much. I am not as strong a person now mainly due to health but oh how I sit here almost each day and wish I could change a thing or two and be stronger. I feel like my grandchildren will not have the kind of memories of me like I would want them to have, like the ones I have of my grandmother.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
26 Aug 08
It does seem like a different era, doesn't it? A time that's passed on, kind of like having afternoon tea. Makes you yearn for the old days. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@nancyrowina (3850)
26 Aug 08
Women in the 50's were definitely expected to work harder than we are today, we have more technology to help us now and clothes are cheaper so people have almost stopped mending them completely and just buy new ones. I must confess I don't have a perfect house but it's clean enough for my liking and I don't have any kids yet so I don't have to look after them. I spend a lot of time on the Internet and am studying music so I do often neglect the cleaning a little. In the past people use cast aspersions on your character if your house wasn't clean but now we aren't as oppressed and it's socially acceptable to have house that is a little untidy.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
26 Aug 08
Maybe that was part of it...that women were expected to work harder so they did. Todays women aren't expected to keep up with everything so they don't. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
26 Aug 08
I don't think that I am a strong woman. I KNOW that I am!! I have been through a lot in my life and am a doer. I've held many jobs at once, worked in many careers, ran my own business, successfully for 15 years, survived cancer, the loss of my son, and other things. I do a lot of work around my home, I mean like building rooms, closets, decks, etc., on my own, can cook when I want (but hubby usually does it), travel a lot for business and manage to maintain a nice home that looks like it cost more than it did, because I am "Miss Bargain Hunter of the Year", lol. One thing I have learned about many (not all) of the tuckered out women is they have poor time-management skills. If they could be taught that skill, that would help greatly. Also, many don't feel they should ask for help, learn to say "no" or let less important things go for their own mental and physical health. So, I don't dust as much as some and don't always make my bed on a daily basis, but you know what? No one is perfect. It's a matter of choosing what's important and if time with my family means not vacuuming today, so be it, I can do it tomorrow. The women in my life were always strong, doers and fighters. My mom still is, at 80. She works part-time in the banking business, where she worked her whole life, and is not slowing down, much.
1 person likes this
@jillmalitz (5132)
• United States
26 Aug 08
I was a child of the 50's and 60's. My mother never had to work. Unlike the stereo typical tv mother, she did not wear dresses etc at home. But she would not go to town in shorts or jeans. She would put on a skirt and blouse. She was always busy not only with the usual housework but she sewed and made crafts as well as being an artist. I can understand the plight of women today. Many have to work to help earn the money or they are the money maker. I can understand why they are tired. When children are too young for school I can understand that too. My kids were three years apart. I had three kids, two were twins. I was glad when they went to school. Then I had to go back to work. Now that my kids are all grown and I am not working I don't understand woman who are at home all day and "too tired" to do anything. I am trying to find a job I can do at home. I like to read, too. I wish I had room for a garden. I have a lot of things that I do to occupy time before my husband comes home from work. I sometimes run out of energy or find occasionally that I don't want to do something. But some people are just bored because they don't have any interests or things to do. Not me.
1 person likes this
@palonghorn (5486)
• United States
26 Aug 08
I always liked hearing stories about my great-grandmother too. She took care of the house, the farm, cooked 3 meals a day, and raised 7 kids. I think my mother was/is a strong woman, she raised me and my sister, took care of the house, and worked full time. As for me, I was a stay at home mom for 24 years, raising two daughters. For 10 of those years I helped take care of the animals we raised, show goats, horses, rabbits, chickens, and the pets, 4 dogs, and a cat. My ex worked full time, so I also did minor repairs around the house, and for 8 of those years I was also a member of a volunteer fire dept. on call 24/7. And I kept the house cleaned up, laundry, yard work, etc. And now, even though I don't have any kids at home, my daughters are grown and on their own, I still work as a wildland firefighter for the forestry, and take care of the house, laundry, etc. I do have a wonderful man, that helps with the house and does the yard work. I have been on medical leave this summer (injury at work) and even though it takes a little longer, limited use of left wrist/hand, I have still kept the house clean and laundry done, etc. I don't feel that my s/o should have to do any of that since I am at home and he's working. I have never been able to understand women that don't work, some don't have kids, and they still can't seem to keep their house clean. That to me is just being lazy. And it bothers me that some that stay at home all day complain about how their husband/boyfriend, whatever, don't help out around the house, but yet they are working full time. Why should their man have to help out around the house after working all day, when they have been at home doing nothing. I don't think they had a 'secret weapon', they stayed active, they saw what needed to be done and they did it.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
26 Aug 08
Wow, your alot busier than I am. I've always seen my Mom as a strong woman...not b/c she keeps her house clean (she hates housework) but b/c she raised 4 kids on her own while working 2 jobs. Being the only girl in the family I was expected to help her and did. She had some help from the State but I can remember her working both jobs and coming home so tired she'd fall asleep with her shoes and coat on. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@Ritchelle (3797)
• Philippines
2 Jul 09
i never read a long discussion frankly but yours was the first. i like your topic. am a stay at home mom and it is only now that i realized that it is the women of the 50's i have in my head as an ideal wife. as with the house i do try my best. i mean i get up, bathe myself, prepare my child's food to school, drops him off, spend an hour online to work, turn off the computer for 30 minutes to do chores, work again, fetch my son from school, prepare the things he need to study at home, work online again, rest the computer, do chores, take my shower to prepare for the night, teach my child again in his school lessons, bathe him...if i can get some more time to work online...good. prepare nightime snacks for my two boys: child and husband . sans the pumps and well-kept hair. i have to cut mine.
@ANTIQUELADY (36488)
• United States
2 Jul 09
I do believe myself to be a strong woman but i had good teachers. My mother & both grandmothers were strong women so i had very good examples.
@SomeCowgirl (32270)
• United States
2 Jul 09
Reading your discussion, the thing that popped into my mind was that back then t.v.'s and radio's were scarce. To be honest, I don't remember when I've been told T.V.'s were first invented. I think that people were doing more activities such as walking and well keeping up the house and sewing, they had more energy because they weren't always on the couch, instead they were making an afghan for the back of the couch. I think it's amazing to read about all that women did back then. It reminds me of a article I saw online that was in an old magazine of a 1950's housewife and their duties to the husband. Thinking about it, the wife did have so much on her plate to do.
@onesiobhan (1330)
• Canada
14 Sep 08
Most of them were whacked out on valium.
• United States
11 Sep 08
This is a great discussion! I often feel I was born too late. I wish I could wear those dresses like that, have actual cooked dinner on the table every night. My mom always cooked dinner....we rarely ate out. Society has changed us. We're not allowed to stay home and watch our own kids anymore, due to the cost of living and all, and yes women have come a long way and great, women power, however, I wish we didn't have as much say in things, so that I COULD be a mom to my kids more. I work from home, so I AM home, however, am always doing something and feel pressed for time constantly. And we're not living the way we want to...we're living on necessities which is fine, I'm not a materialistic person at all, BUT it would be great to pay EVERY single bill, EVERY month ON TIME as well!! We have cut back on so much too, but still we struggle. Life is a constant battle, and it just seems like things were more peaceful back then. They had probs as well of course, and maybe all I know is stuff from the 50's TV shows, haha...BUT it makes me wonder where we as a society will be in 50 years from now? Scares me a bit....too reliant on technology and the 'easy-way-out' these days...I just can't imagine how things will be then for our children and our grandchildren....easier??? Or more probs, as each generation has though!!
@sharra1 (6342)
• Australia
11 Sep 08
The 50's woman did not work. My mother did not get a job until all the children were grown up and working. They cleaned the house and had social groups so they had a lot less stress. These days most women have no choice but to work. The cost of living is higher, it is harder to manage the meager amount of money they get. I never had children but I found working a full time job to be stressful enough, managing the house as well as a full time job felt like doing 2 jobs and it used to wear me out. Now I am home all day because I am ill. I do not get as much house work done as I do not have the energy for it. The thing is that you do not know what is causing these women stress. It could be money or illness or just despair. In the 1950's a salary was supposed to provide for a man with a stay at home wife and children. They had married wages and single wages. These days the wages are linked to the work type. No one cares if you are single or have a family to feed. Many people just do not earn enough to feed their family these days and it is wrong. Cost of living is so much higher now than in those days.
@peedielyn (1210)
• United States
11 Sep 08
I would love to know how they did it in the 1950's. I try getting up at 5 am and still don't get it all accomplished. I even write lists and check off what I need to do. Then I am wiped out. I had a boyfriend once who, as wonderful as he was, wanted me to be a doll. I mean like Betty Crocker with heels and pearls. He wanted my hair done, nails done, house spotless, dinner cooked, and be at a PTA meeting for his son all the time. I loved that boy and still do, I only wish I could be all that. Wow, that wore me out just reminiscing about it! I think they had more patience back then and different things to do. The security was there because back then you could have one income and still be comfortable. There is the "mothers little helper" that played alot in it too. But then again, Kudos to them! I don't think there is enough "mothers little helper" in the world to keep me right!! God Bless those women though.
@Alloy42 (372)
• United States
10 Sep 08
Back then women were also given hysterectomies as a treatment for hysteria, many had nervous breakdowns, and many more were on lithium. The modern image of the 1950s women comes from Hollywood and doesn't mention the Rosie Riveters who suddenly had to go back to the kitchen, the glass ceiling in the work place for those who didn't, nor the soaring divorce rates that "weren't talked about". My grandmother was a single Mom in the 1950s. She was the first female editor of a major paper and her kids all knew how to clean the house perfectly. Saturday mornings were the only times to relax all week. Otherwise the kids pulled their own weight and pitched in to help around the house. I don't think that much has changed (except maybe the amount of chemical by products in our foods), just now we spoil our kids more and expect ourselves to be able to do it all without help. Back then the women were more connected to each other also; communal stitch-n-*itches weren't that uncommon.
• United States
8 Sep 08
Life is too easy for us. That is why we wouldn't last a day in our grandmother's shoes. We have it so easy that it doesn't take long to run us down. I am both a stay at home mom and a worker (I'm a substitute and don't always get to work everyday). I get tired during the day when there is nothing to do. A house can only get so clean and a yard can only get so clean. I'm not saying my house is perfect by any means, but there is only so much I can do with the little room I have. But I think I am pretty strong for today's time. I take care of the house, the kids, cook, and still have time to enjoy the rest of the day.
@checapricorn (16066)
• United States
3 Sep 08
[i]Hi twoey, I love this post! Great one! I have a mother whom I would say is my idol for being a tough woman! She is a full time housewife with 2 kids to take care and a husband to take care also, a farm to maintain, a pets like pigs and goats, dogs and cats, then no washing machine that time! She gracefully handle everything perfectly without any complain and always have a smile and have time to play with my sister and I! I grew up having her routine and at a young age, I always learn doing things manually like washing the clothes, ironing, cleaning, feeding the pets and all! I can say that I am strong, though I have no kids to take care but I know I can do things household chores without relying on machines or whatever we have in the house, but, I know I can't beat my Mother! LOL![/i]
• United States
3 Sep 08
Yup but they didn't have to go to work and work all day and then go home and cook and clean like 95% of the women do today
@Munchkin547 (2778)
3 Sep 08
I'm always in awe of women from that kind of era! They managed to do all of that and still look fantastic in those beautfiul dresses and cute little pumps! I know i couldn't do it, if i spend a day doing housework i am wearing jogging bottoms and a baggy t shirt, and although i have a husband if he did, he certainlywoudln't be greeted at the door with a cocktail! I've never been overly houseproud, i spend a lot of my day keeping things clean and caring for other people at work, by the time i get home i'm exhausted and just want a bath and bed! My mother always managed to keep the house looking immaculate, look after two kids and put my father's meals on the table, but she never had to work. I wish i could juggle it all better, i think they had some secret weapon that they;re just not sharing, either that or i'm just not designed to be a domestic goddess!! hehe xxx