Respect to those who travelled this road before us. We may complain about life’s challenges but I believe we have it better than previous generations. However, we still have similar struggles and family demands. Today, the ‘supermum’ has to juggle career, family and still look good. I think mother’s from all generations would agree that motherhood can be physically and emotionally exhausting. This page pays homage to the sacrifices and skills of women from previous generations.
‘We just did what we had to do one day at a time’
Recently I watched a documentary on Al Capone. In one scene it showed footage of a ‘soup kitchen’ that had a massive line of men waiting for food. Not a single woman was there, so it made me wonder how women managed through this period.
With no or limited money coming into the household, how did these inventive and resourceful women cope?
It was interesting the number of articles that described women at being ‘invisible’ or ‘quietly starved’ during this time. They were left with the children and had to sell anything and everything.
To ‘make do’ could mean trading their labour skills or even their own body.
We hear the term ‘doing it tough’ being thrown around a lot by families these days. I have used it but I have never lived on or below the poverty line. My grandparents talked about getting through ‘The Depression’ years and the skills they acquired to survive. They appreciated objects and values that we discard without a second thought.
Maybe we can learn to be more frugal and satisfied instead of having an ingrained sense of entitlement.
A few sites: Frugal Lessons from People who Survived the Great DepressionWomen and the Great Depression,The Invisible Women of the Great Depression,
The detail and time put into these should be celebrated. How many hours of repressed female talent was spent on such endeavours’ to keep woman away from male domains. Keep the hands busy and minds docile. However if a modern woman was asked to apply themselves to such activities they would fail.
It’s important to acknowledge skills & talents from the past.
On a decorative note, you’d be surprised by how good they can look around your house. Can provide a nice balance and warmth to a modern interior. Play around with Granny’s doilies and you may be happy with the outcome.
The homemakers of the past had to be thrifty and inventive around the household. I happened to come across this little book in a coffee shop. It looked old but was actually published in 2012. It was full of ideas from past eras with cheap and very useful tips. It was amazing to read how these past pioneers faced the chores of daily life. No plaudits to celebrate their feats but completely overlooked as insignificant housework. I found their pearls of wisdom inspirational and still helpful in a modern home. Genius is in the ease of the solutions to the ‘mundane’ problems. I had no idea that ‘baking soda’ could be used in so many way!! Most of the time it sits in the pantry gathering dust. On further research I found some good sites devoted to this topic.
Recently I used this recipe to clean my stinky kitchen drain. (Drain Cleaner)
- Pour half a cup of baking soda and vinegar down the drain.
- Wait for about 30 minutes and then rinse with a jug of boiling water.
So simple and cost efficient, by just using the products you have in the cupboard. Here are some useful ones: grandmas cupboard, home-made dessert recipes, penny-pinching. Check it out!
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