So the 1950s Housewife Life continues. This week was much like last week. I kept up with the daily cleaning, deep cleaned two rooms, and made some discoveries along the way. OH YES, and a pandemic broke. More on that later.
Overall, my perception is starting to change and I think I’m beginning to see things like my tidy-person spouse does naturally. Case in point, I looked at this sink, and thought, unironically, “The dishes are really starting to pile up, ugh!”
Things are getting sparkling around here. I did the basic daily cleaning (dust/sweep/tidy) every weekday and did the deeper weekly cleaning in the kitchen and living room. AHB suggests I should be able to deep clean every room in two days, but that wasn’t quite do-able. I suspect that once every room has been deep cleaned, future cleaning sessions will be shorter.
No one can be dogmatic about the daily cleaning of various rooms in the house. So many things influence the amount of work that can be done–the quantity of dust or soot in the air, for example, the philosophy of first things first, the number of rooms that must be cleaned, the size of the family, the age of the children, and the help or lack of it that the homemaker has.
…[W]e set before you an ideal. How nearly you can approach this ideal, especially as to daily cleaning, we cannot know.
America’s Housekeeping Book, 1941
Me neither, AHB. Me. Neither.
Just as it would be silly to take Martha Stewart as the prototypical homemaker of today, looking to the home management books and magazines as an “authentic” guide to what every homemaker did in the mid 20th century is a mistake. As our pal, the AHB tells us, we’re talking about ideals. The mere fact that all these manuals exist speaks to the fact that “how to housewife” was not universal knowledge.
Woohoo, it’s March! The time we take to remember that women have existed for all of history.
Seriously, we’ve been here THE WHOLE TIME.
Generally, Women’s History Month focuses on the women who were remarkably ahead of their time. The Elizabeth Cady Stantons and Harriet Tubmans of the world. But here at Retrofitting Vintage, we’re leaving the luminaries to actual historians, and focusing on an everyday woman of the mid-20th century.
That’s right, we’re talking about housewives.
And how shall we do so?
Why, with an ill-advised guinea pig journalism approach, of course. That is, in fact, how I roll. That’s right, it’s 1950s Housewife Month.
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