Friday, July 22, 2011
Sometimes I feel like a pampered housewife, who has it made. I don't have to earn money. I don't have to financially support my family. But I do have to work very hard at home.
In the old days, homemaking was more time consuming. Wash day was an enormous undertaking. Baking and Cooking, before processed foods were available, took the majority of mother's time.
Wealthier women could hire a cook, a maid and even a nanny to help with the children. These women were the pampered ones - they were the wealthy class. They did not have to work at all.
There is a middle ground - the white collar working class. I cannot speak for them, but I know they are well educated, work in specialized jobs - law, medicine, etc, and often hire help for some of the work at home.
As for the old fashioned, blue collar housewives, we are still here. There may not be as much heavy labor for us, but there is still so much to do! We must constantly economize, run errands, cook, clean, bake and care for our children. It is a struggle to come up with extra money for treats or presents. We have this healthy glow in our cheeks which comes from heavy labor.
Yesterday, I was reading Mama's Bank Account, by Kathryn Forbes. I love reading about life in the 1920's for the working class! This Immigrant Mama had such wisdom:
- Whenever she was relieved after a trial, or worry, she would say, "Is Good." This comforted her family and herself.
- "A mop is never good. Floors should be scrubbed with a brush." [I loved this one!]
- I also loved how she would take the weekly income, sit at the table surrounded by her family, and carefully put coins in stacks for things like "The landlord," and "For the Grocer."
She was such a hardworking mother. She was a working class mother. These mothers have helped build this country with their own hands.
We mothers are still the foundation of society. Even though money is scarce, and we are often tempted to leave home to earn an income, our work at home . . . our influence at home, is essential.
Let us not be the last witness of an era.
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