Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mother's Labors

People Buying Bread in the Streets of Naples

I was thinking about the old days, when Mothers were always at home. Every mother in the neighborhood would be doing laundry, harvesting the garden or tending to babies. Children ran and played while the mothers looked on. 

There were even older mothers who had grown children, but still remained at home. These mothers still had porches to sweep, laundry to do, and dishes to wash. These mothers still had homes they were responsible for.

All the mothers had to shop in the market to stock their kitchens. These mothers used family recipes, passed down through the generations, to cook for their families. They also used a trusted Betty Crocker cookbook.

These women were diligent and dependable.

Any time a neighbor was in need, a mother was always home to help -  A Mother who knew pain and struggle and sacrifice, because she lived in the trenches of home-life.

Sadly, somewhere along the line, mother's labors were diminished in the eyes of society.  Mother was replaced by fast food restaurants and processed foods. Any child with a microwave could prepare his own lunch. Any husband could go to the drive through and order his dinner. There was no more comfort food. There was no more sacrifice and love in the presentation of mealtimes.  The thanks and the memories went to take-out places and companies who produced canned goods.

Society started to think that sloth was "in," and cleanliness was unncessary.  Wrinkled clothes were part of a new era of being casual. The irons sat un-used on closet shelves.

Walking into an empty home. . . one that lacked a Mother cooking in the kitchen at supper time . . . was a normal sight. Nobody was home to greet the family.

Many mothers headed off into the land of rush, rush, rush, and hurry, hurry, hurry.  The neighborhoods became empty. Somehow, someway, society forgot that creating a godly home required the steady efforts of Mother's old fashioned labor.

Mrs. White

Never forget that - Mother Makes the Home.

Raising godly Children - Mama, Dry Your Tears.

Looking for the Reward - What Sundays Used to Mean to Housewives.

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Joyce Ackley said...

Your post describes my life when I was a child. All the mothers stayed home and tended to their homes and families. My mother had a wringer-type washing machine. She had one day a week designated for laundry, and it took all day. The clothes were hung on the line to dry, (winter, too) and then she had an ironing day. Mother had a RC Cola glass soda bottle with a little sprinkler cap (yellow, I think!) that she used to dampen the clothes before ironing. Some items were starched first, then ironed. It was hard work. Mother canned fruits and vegetables, and that was hard work too. I remember her working in a steamy kitchen with a pressure cooker in the hot summertime.

While families seemed to benefit from Mother's labors, especially in the kitchen, I'm not sure I would want to live that life. I am grateful for automatic washers and dryers, dishwashers, microwaves and toaster ovens, and yes, even fast food! Love me a Hungry Howie's pizza or a sub sandwich from Publix deli! I think my precious mother would have been grateful too, at times when she was bone-weary and needed a respite from the never-ending work that had to be done.

Hopefully, mothers can find a healthy balance between running an old-fashioned home and enjoying the products of the modern era.

Julieanne said...

You have such a beautiful way of describing the joys, benefits, hardships, and loyalties of being a mother! I enjoy reading your postings each day.

While I have no desire to go back to a full day of doing laundry with a wringer, etc., I think my mom's own era of being a full-time mother was a very good one. In the late 60's and through the 70's, she was able to stay home with us, enjoy the comforts of automatic washing machines and dryers (no microwave!), and provide for our needs and still have plenty of time to spend with us and guide us in the Lord's wisdom.

When my dad became unemployed for several years during the recession in the mid-1980s and there was absolutely no work for him at all, even out of state, my mom had to return to the workforce. It was heartbreaking for her!

She made the best of it and actually did both her job out of the home and her ministry in the home very well, but it took a lot of discipline on her part. She didn't watch tv, read books, or do any of the daily frills of life that most women think are necessities today. Instead, she spent her "free time" sewing our clothes, baking cookies, preparing healthy and delicious meals on a limited income, and served others.

She didn't have to do any back-breaking work like tilling a field by hand or wringing out clothes by hand, etc., but she did work hard and diligently. My mom is one of my heroes!


Sherri B. said...

My children have left the nest and have homes and children of their own but I still stay home...Still my work is never done, as you pointed out, friends and neighbors have needs and have few to turn to that are not out in the work force. I am able to drop everything and come to the need of my daughter who is in danger of delivering our grandson too early. If I worked outside of the home, I would not be able to come to her and would be worried sick.

Thank you for this lovely, wise post.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Great thoughts of yesteryear and days gone by.

I still try to make Mom's popover recipe but it never turns out like she use to make them.


Debbie said...

Your blog is such a blessing to me. I look forward to it each day.

A friend recently let me borrow 2 books and they remind me of you.

They are both by Alexandra Stoddard and the titles are:
Living A Beautiful Life &
Creating a Beautiful Home

I actually found them on Amazon and bought my own, so I could have them on my shelf.

Blessings to you:)

Linda said...

My youngest child is 18 and a senior this coming year. We home-school and I keep busy at home. I love being home and feel very blessed to be here.We do without what a lot of people think are "must haves" but my children and husband are glad I'm home. Thank-you for remembering us older Mothers too.

TheLoriA said...

Beautifully said! Best Blessings