The Return of the 1950's Housewife

Filed under: Opinions

retro housewife bookThere was a time when stay-at-home moms looked to be on the verge of extinction. After being told that not only could they have it all, but that they should also want it tall, more and more women left their families and went out into the workplace to earn a paycheck. And while many mothers did find happiness and fulfillment out there in the working world, many others did not. Having it all is not a one-size-fits-all idea and lots of moms who are lucky enough to have a choice are now choosing to stay home and make child-rearing their full-time occupation.

Staying home to raise children might seem to be an old-fashioned idea, but according to a recent Australian survey, some women are taking that idea even further. Instead of fighting against the image of the stereotypical housewife, they are embracing her as a role model. While they likely aren't wearing pearls and high heels while they do it, many SAHM's are perfecting the skills of our mothers and grandmothers. Sewing their own clothes and growing their own food, these modern moms look a lot like a 1950's housewife.

The survey, conducted by social forecaster AustraliaSCAN, finds increasing numbers of people participating in DIY activities - crafts, cooking, sewing and gardening. "There has been a substantial shift in our mindset to a more old-fashioned, frugal lifestyle – that real waste-not-want-not approach," said AustraliaSCAN consultant David Chalke. "There are a confluence of forces - the global financial crisis, environmental concerns and a new cocooning - which are pulling together to form the new homemaker. "That's why we are embracing the domestic crafts again," he said.

While some might see the return of the 1950's housewife as a giant step backwards, I do not. To me, liberation is about having a choice. And aren't we fortunate to have choices our mothers and grandmothers did not?

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