Saturday, September 8, 2007

Retro Housewife

Last weekend I watched the Mad Men marathon on AMC. It got me thinking about the roles women played as housewives in the 1950s and 1960s. (Warning-I'm about to scare the living daylights out of your feminist selves-me included!) I kind of looked on enviously. I mean the ONLY thing they had to think about was running the house, looking after the kids and taking care of their husbands. They didn't have a lot of choices, and although I think that would drive me really crazy, I also sometimes wonder if I drive myself crazy always thinking I should be doing something "bigger". Sometimes we forget that raising wonderful children is "bigger". Now I know, I'm super lucky to have a choice to stay home. It's an expensive world out there and although we have had to cut back, I'm glad that I don't HAVE to work. I also know it's easy for me to glamourize the old days, because I'm sitting here with a choice-I can work or not-and that's something a lot of women fought long & hard to give me.

All that being said, I decided to try to be a "Retro Housewife" this week. I did some research online and found a great website called Retro Housewife and found out I'm not the only one interested in this topic. So I took some tips from the site and began my experiment. I cooked dinner EVERY night. I mean complete with homemade dessert. I put on lipstick before my husband got home from work, I cleaned up the house everyday. It was exhausting, but it was also kind of satisfying. I mean, I felt like I really accomplished a lot. When I let myself get all busy & unorganized I often find that I feel like I ran in circles all week & got nothing done. The other bonus? My new attitude gave my husband a new attitude. Lots of "manly" stuff got done around here. Things fixed, garbage taken out without being asked (okay, nagged).

Have I been converted? Probably not completely. I'll take some of the stuff I enjoyed and leave some of the stuff to my ancestors. That's what our feminist mothers and grandmothers fought for after all-to give us a choice to do it OUR WAY and I'll never forget them for that.

To celebrate my Retro Housewife experiment, I created some collage packs filled with pages from 1950s and 1960s cookbooks and sewing books. Check them out here.

NOW, for some really exciting news. My mom has a blog now. Please go visit her & leave a comment. I want her to have a warm welcome to the blog world and I think you are really going to love her. I know I do. She's a great writer & and artist.
Go here for a peek.