Comparing Myself to a REAL1950′s Wife

On the Rachael Ray Show I was dubbed a “1950′s Wife“. But my grandmother, a mother of 4, is the REAL 1950′s wife. She is ALSO a Proverbs 31 woman. On Mother’s Day we sat in the Cheesecake Factory and I had my notebook and pen in hand and I wrote and wrote and wrote about what life was like in the 1950′s. Here’s some of what I learned.

My grandma had a weekly schedule that my mother rattled off as quickly as my grandmother did!! So this must be where I get my scheduling tendencies - it’s in my genes lol!!!

Mondays – Wash Clothes (by hand in sudsy water, ring it, rinse it, ring it, hang it outside to dry. This took all day.)

Tuesdays – Iron ( Iron everything – shirts, pants, and underwear. There was no permanent press – everything was very wrinkly. This took all day.)

Wednesdays – Mend and work on new sewing projects (She sewed patches onto pants and mended socks. My grandmother sewed all of my mother’s clothes until she reached the middle of high school.)

Thursdays – Cleaning of bedrooms and bathrooms (They only had one car which was normal in those days. Grandpa did the grocery shopping and grandma worked the garden.)

Fridays – Cleaning of living room, dining room and kitchen (Grandma baked every day. She made cinnamon rolls, pies, donuts and cakes from scratch.)

Saturdays – Prepare for Sunday by cooking double meals and giving baths etc. (Grandma always made hamburgers for dinner on Saturdays because they were fast. Then she focused on the Sunday Roast and sheet cake that they would eat after church.)

Sundays – Day of Rest


Grandma’s life was full and busy as she lovingly cared for her family. She served God by serving her family. She worked with eager hands (Prov. 31:13b), she set about her work vigorously (Prov. 31:17), she watched over the affairs of her household and did not eat the bread of idleness (Prov. 31:27). And the most beautiful part was she feared the Lord (Prov. 31:30).

Do I want to be a 1950′s wife? Not really, I certainly do love my modern day conveniences. But if there’s a 1950′s wife I’d like to emulate, it’s not June Cleaver – it’s my grandmother. Her God and her family were of prime importance and her daily priorities show this to be true.

As Proverbs 31:31 says “Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

My grandmother’s works are worthy of my praise. And I pray that my generation too would be remarkable in our care for our families and homes and that we too would be worthy of praise. We must work with eager hands! The world may not praise us but one day our husband and children will rise up and call us blessed and our works will bring praise. So endeavor today to make your God and your family your first priority as my REAL 1950′s grandmother did.

Walk with the King!

Comments

  1. A Little R&R says:

    What an incredible woman. It's amazing to think about how much our lives revolve around modern conveniences. I have a load of diapers in the wash right now – while they are washing I am going to get lunch on and put the other laundry away. Thank God it doesn't take all day. Now IRONING…I live in Europe and have no dryer (thus, no permanent press)- I totally relate your grandmother on that front, unfortunately! I don't iron the underwear because it gets "cooked" (washed on a hot cycle). It takes 3 times longer to wash (1 1/2 hours) but at least I don't have to iron those too!

  2. A Little R&R says:

    What an incredible woman. It's amazing to think about how much our lives revolve around modern conveniences. I have a load of diapers in the wash right now – while they are washing I am going to get lunch on and put the other laundry away. Thank God it doesn't take all day. Now IRONING…I live in Europe and have no dryer (thus, no permanent press)- I totally relate your grandmother on that front, unfortunately! I don't iron the underwear because it gets "cooked" (washed on a hot cycle). It takes 3 times longer to wash (1 1/2 hours) but at least I don't have to iron those too!

  3. A Little R&R says:

    What an incredible woman. It's amazing to think about how much our lives revolve around modern conveniences. I have a load of diapers in the wash right now – while they are washing I am going to get lunch on and put the other laundry away. Thank God it doesn't take all day. Now IRONING…I live in Europe and have no dryer (thus, no permanent press)- I totally relate your grandmother on that front, unfortunately! I don't iron the underwear because it gets "cooked" (washed on a hot cycle). It takes 3 times longer to wash (1 1/2 hours) but at least I don't have to iron those too!

  4. What a beautiful post and such a sweet reminder about the "priorities" of a wife and mother. Just precious… I love her schedule too! :) You are so lucky to have an opportunity to have Titus 2 women in your family to learn from and be mentored by. Thank you for sharing…

  5. Thanks for this post. I have a question, I guess for your grandmother really. Did she find that she could actually have a day of REST? It just is hard to set that up…as a wife and mother. It seems that whatever needs done that day falls to her…and it doesn't end up being so restful…ya know? Smiles and love to you today!

  6. So beautiful… I'm so grateful we are making our way back to appreciating the value and blessing of a wife and mother who creates a loving, nurturing home. You are blessed to have never lost that vision, and I am blessed to have found this blog!

  7. Reading this post makes me smile, because most of what your I still do. We are living a a budget so all of our modern conveniences like washer ans dryer are second hand (and have the tendency to break down LOL) but I do 6 to 8 load of laundry daily, so I pray daily that they keep working.

    my husband love meal and bake good from scratch (and as a baker himself I have to be good at it too LOL)

    We have one car (that work some of the time) and we live outside town, so when my husband goes in town he does the shopping and I take care of garden and our chicken.

    My days of working in our home are from 7 am to 10 pm, almost non stop (with 3 little girls 3 and under, you never have time to stop lol)

    But in the mist of all the work, my little one and my husband are being love and all have some one on one time with me, friend and family know that they can just pop in anytime for tea or a good talk or even work side by side with me as I do my daily work.

    I serve in my home, with my computer (encouraging other with blog or email) but my mission field is my home and children :-)

    Praying that I can be a better Proverb 31 women myself. What can I pray for you today?

  8. Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet says:

    Praise God that you can look up to your grandmother for a godly influence in your life! Definitely need to keep priorities straight. I can't imagine washing by hand or ironing all day including underwear. Thankful for modern conveniences, but need to make sure I'm making my house a godly home that my children and hubby want to be in.

  9. Courtney (Women Living Well) says:

    Stam House – thank you for asking how you can pray for me! That is a rare request! So thank you so much!

    My quiet time this morning was in Proverbs 8 on wisdom. I prayed on my knees this morning for this very trait! That I would be wiser – as a wife, mom, homemaker, friend and blogger. I need wisdom for prioritizing my time and opportunities. I have been invited to do a lot of different ministry things and it's hard for me to discern which are God's will and which will pull me away from my family.

    So that's what I need prayer for – WISDOM!

    Proverbs 8:11 says "For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her."

    Thank you for your prayers today,
    Courtney

  10. Such a sweet post.

  11. This is what I needed to read.I PRAY every night to make me a better wife and mother.I need The Lords encouragement to keep moving day to day without being discouraged to much that I might fail.
    I strive hard to be Wife and mother that I need to be.
    Blessings~

  12. ...::Heather @ Mrs. Southern Bride::... says:

    Such a beautiful post, and tribute to your grandmother! I'm inspired to be more of a Proverbs 31 woman in my home.

  13. Laura @ Just For Love says:

    Beautiful post today, Courtney. Your grandma is a GEM : )

  14. This was a lovely post. How wonderful you had such an opportunity to learn and hear first hand from such a wonderful woman. I chuckle on the schedule comment because I too use them for everything! It saves me a lot of time. Thanks for the great blog.

  15. As a teen in the 50's this is much the life I grew up with also.
    The life of Godly grandmothers, one on a farm, one in the city and a Mother at home on the land. She did not drive until late '50's or early '60's.
    It was not all bad
    It was not all good.
    Life never is.
    But God always is.

  16. GlowinGirl says:

    This makes me miss my grandmother — a great, godly, hardworking, FUN-loving, Proverbs 31 woman. She was always laughing and loving and doing.

    I think of her every day, and yes, I want to be like her!

  17. Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother! She sounds like a wonderful person. :)

    WW: Doggy Camp

  18. What a great post! My grandmother is similar – it would be cool if we would all interview our grand mothers and see what life was like for them. I think it could be beneficial in a lot of ways. It would probably be an eye opener, too!

  19. Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife says:

    This is such an inspirational post!! Wow, how things have changed. I LOVED hearing about life in the 1950's. Maybe I should start a schedule…hmmm. = )

  20. There are many aspects of that time that I would LOVE to preserve and incorporate into my modern life (and strive to do). Making bread by hand, however, is not one of them, lol. I *love* my breadmaker.

    How I wish I could sit down with my grandmother and listen, reeeally listen to stories of her life. One of my biggest regrets is not spending more time with her while she was here. I was in my early 20s and focused on self too much. Oh, how I wish I could change that. Thankfully, she knew Jesus as her Savior and I'm looking forward to chatting with her throughout eternity.
    BLessings,
    Toni

  21. Blessedmom's Simple Home says:

    What a wonderful blog. I'm so glad to have found it. I have often thought of both of my grandmothers as I did my work that needed to be done around my house. They've inspired me too :-) I find I have "day's" for chores, and am always trying to tweak my schedule at home to make it just a bit better.
    Blessings,
    Marcia

  22. All I can say is, AMEN!

    Many Blessings,
    Melissa

  23. Love that schedule, well maybe not washing by hand. My grandmother ironed everything, sheets and underwear included. Also my M-I-L who is about 16 years older than my mom irons everything. When I had my first child she was staying with us to help out. I came home from the hospital to find my bed freshly made with ironed sheets! What a treat that was.

  24. S Club Mama says:

    The thing I need most is a schedule like your grandma's (and yours). That is such a great idea to organize your cleaning. I'm working on it.

  25. This is interesting because I have a schedule that I follow. It's obviously not the same as your grandmother's, but I did sort of copy it from my own mother, who copied it from her mother. I do laundry on certain days, I do certain cleaning (vacuuming, dusting, bathrooms, sweeping/mopping floors) on certain days. And we always do baths and showers on Saturday nights complete with clipping of all the kids' nails so they will be ready and shining for church on Sunday. And I do a Sunday pot roast, a tradition that has been in my family for several generations. And then I use the leftovers from the roast to make one or two more meals for the rest of the week, also something my mother and my grandmother did. I never really thought about what I learned from these previous generations, or that what I do is "outdated", it's just what I do.

  26. Courtney, after reading your response to Stam House, I got down on my knees to pray for you. You bless us all so much. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Smiles and blessings to you!

  27. Home's Where My Heart Is says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Courtney. I love the idea of a schedule, too, it's a great way to keep on track and limit distractions. I also love how you wove in the Scriptures of Proverbs 31. Thanks for the inspiration today.

    Hope you have a great day :)

    Erin

  28. Thank you so much for the reminder that I serve God by serving my family. Sometimes my priorities get out of whack, and I need that wake up call.

  29. It sounds like your grandmother had it going on!

    Hehe…I do laundry on Monday…and it still takes me all day!

    I love your blog! It inspires me to always strive to be a better wife and mother. Thank you!

  30. I love to read about old-fashioned homemakers and their weekly schedules. If only I could be even a little bit like your grandmother! A wonderful woman, no doubt.

    Have a lovely day!
    Brandi

  31. Ginger Perry says:

    Your grandmother sounds wonderful! I just love my Nanny to pieces and she is a great example of a Proverbs 31 woman. I strive to be a woman like that and fall short many times, but I know God can help me in the areas that I fall short! I do have a question though, it seems that there aren't many women that are my age, that find this topic important, and I just feel like I am the only one around! I also have a womens Bible Study/Secert Sister Meeting once a month at my house, and this topic has been on my mind! How can I go about bringing up the fact that keeping a house is a woman's job and she should do it to please God most importantly and secondly her husband? I don't want to sound like I am pointing fingers at everyone! And was wandering if any of you had any advice and words of wisdom? Thank you so much for the daily encouragment to be a woman of God!

  32. I'm His Kid says:

    When I was in my early 20's with no children, I wanted to be an 1800's women. Glad I got that out of my system before my little one came along. lol

  33. Stam House says:

    for your prayer request Here are the verses that I prayed over for you

    Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, yours ears will hear a voice behind you saying, "this is the way; walk in it!"

    Proverb 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

    have a blessed day!
    Renee

  34. mykidzmomnow says:

    How beautiful! You've summed up her precious homemaking and inspired us at the same time. Thank you for sharing!

  35. While doing dishes and thinking and praying for you, psalm 139:32-34 came to me

    "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

    Praying for wisdom, guidance and discernment for the thing you have mention

    Blessing
    Renee

  36. A Hubbys Helpmeet says:

    I'm working on trying to come up with a schedule. I know a weekly schedule like that would make things go tons smoother. I'd love chore-free weekends too!!

  37. Courtney (Women Living Well) says:

    Renee and Sunshine – thank you thank you thank you for your prayers! They mean so much to me!
    Much Love,
    Courtney

  38. Janis@Open My Ears Lord says:

    What a beautiful life your grandmother modeled for your Mom and you. Her heart was devoted to serving her family. We've added so many goodies to our lives and our homes that cleaning three rooms in one day is nearly impossible!

    To be a 50s housewife would be a blessing.

    Janis

  39. Sharon Cohen says:

    I am amused / amazed by God's sense of timing.

    I just read your post – after preparing a dinner that is reminiscent of my childhood in the 60's! As I prepared the cube steak – baked under mushroom gravy, with mashed potatoes, whole kernel corn and morning baked ginger cookies – I was reminded of many meals like this.

    I can recall the simplicity of the kitchen gadgets – the egg beater, the can opener, the flour bin and its metal scoop. I can almost smell the new linoleum, the vinyl chairs and the kitchen table. I remember the quintessential apron and the cafe curtains that seemed to match.

    When I read your post – it completed the trip down Memory Lane.

    I love the examples of our mothers and our grandmothers from the 50's and early 60s. My grandmother was the ideal role model for me. Your post helped me remember the details that now mean the most;

    When a woman's time and energy focussed on home, family and God.

  40. Chrissy Ford says:

    This post made me think of both my grandmothers who are now gone. I was in the generation that grew up on McDonalds Smurfs and Marvin the Martian figures. But what they did teach me was to always be a host and if I am invited to someones house, bring a gift…even if it is a roll of paper towels.

    My mom was/is a gem, a true Proverbs 31 woman. She is the only one who knows how to make sweet potatoe pie the way I like it. These woman are my pillar of strength and I would not be who I am today without them.

  41. I love this!

  42. Darlene Schacht says:

    It's unbelievable when we consider how much they did. That's awesome! But your post serves to remind us that a Christ-centered, regardless of your era is the first and utmost priority. Love it!

  43. Great article! I recently subscribed to an awesome website that is really helping me with this, and for the first time I can really see light at the end of the tunnel. You've probably already heard of it years ago, but if you're like me, for whatever reason, you never checked it out. http://www.flylady.com. I can't say enough good things about it. One of the main things she does is focus on helping you build good habits, have a morning and bedtime routine, and break things down into "do-able" chunks of time. She also sends out "2 minute challenges" everyday where you clean an assigned part for two minutes as fast as you can. You wouldn't believe what a difference it makes! As part of my morning routine everyday, I clean my bathroom and it literally takes me less than five minutes because no dirt or grime has built up!!! My bathroom is my new favorite room, where it used to be one of my least favorites. And in the morning I have the pleasure of walking into a pleasantly clean and tidy kitchen that was cleaned the evening before. I've always struggled with housework and schedules, but I feel so much more positive now that I see the dirt and clutter being pushed farther and farther back. This may not work for everyone, but I feel like this is what I've been looking for for years.

  44. Courtney (Women Living Well) says:

    Diane – oh yes, I love the flylady and follower her on facebook :-)!

    Bobbi – you just gave me the topic for next Wednesday's blog post – so I will answer your question then!

    Ginger – you ask a difficult question – it's too complex to answer here in the comments section – but I'll give you a short answer (but first let me say – some women need to work for financial reasons – I never want to burden them with guilt – only build your sisters up!):

    1. It's God's design shown in scriptures from Genesis to Titus 2:3-5 that the woman manage the home – it's in there. And of course I LOVE Proverbs 31 too for this!

    2. I think the best way to show others how to live out this high calling of homemaking (which working women do also – they have a double task which I do not envy) is to live it and role model it. Do it with joy and do it well!

    I believe that it's contagious because deep in the heart of every woman is the desire to create a sweet home. So do it and do it well and ooze the joy of the Lord in your tasks and it will be contagious without preaching.

    I believe that women who complain and are down trodden about the role of homemaker do all homemakers a disservice…who wants to take on this role if it looks miserable?

    Embrace your role with joy – others will follow!

    Walk with the King!
    Courtney

  45. It all sounds so wonderful doesn't it? Simpler times. Followed you over from "The 'Unworking' Mom".
    Michelle
    http://www.heartfeltbalancehandmadelife.blogspot.com

  46. Another way to help someone enjoy homemaking is to HELP them with homemaking. Share a day of washing windows, or teach how to make bread or pie crust, or let the children play while working in the garden together. I have several friends I’ve done this with over the years. A dear friend taught me this by example one tired day years ago when I had lots of corn to put up. She showed up unannounced at my door with bowls, knives, her daughter and a video for the children to watch. She’s a great woman and has been a wonderful example to this late-to-come-to-Christ mom.

  47. I swear I was born in the wrong decade! Although the work was hard, I find it honorable and wish I had lived back then. Without all the high paced craziness we have now. So many distractions, so much stress…. Your grandmother sounds amazing and I wish to emulate her too!

I love hearing what is on your heart.

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