Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Importance of Keeping House

Dear Mrs. Rothwood,

     Vintage women's magazines are a bit of a passion for me.  I love collecting the housekeeping ones from the 1930's-1960's.  Within their pages are articles and ads that reveal just how important women's work was in the home.  It seems it was just taken for granted that women wanted to, and were needed to keep the home and thus keep the nation.

     I also have a collection of Bettina's cookbooks, a fictional lady who prides herself on keeping a lovely, modest home and feeding her family well on economy.  (A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband with Bettina's Best Recipes, A Thousand Ways to Please a Family with Bettina's Best Recipes.)

     Additionally, I have vintage housekeeping booklets meant for new brides as they take up housekeeping.  

     One thing is very apparent in all of these sources:  housekeeping was an important career for the betterment of the family unit, and thus our nation.

     I never really saw it that way before.  I always figured it was just a quaint way to go about my day, because, frankly, I hate the idea of having a boring old day job, and I loathe the idea of trying to balance one with raising children.  So, while I have been able to, I have been a stay-at-home woman.

    Something happened recently that really shifted my thinking, though.  My youngest son was diagnosed with allergies.  Usually stuff, really, but it hit me.  Listening to him sniff and snuffle and sounding like he's talking through a glass of water breaks my mother's heart.  The doctor told me that I need to make sure the dust and mildew of the house is kept down, and the air purified to help him.

     Now, my house isn't filthy and unkempt. But, coming home and seeing that it isn't immaculate worries me.  We live in a small cottage, and we are a larger family.  That means there is generally more dust and less air.  To accomplish cleanliness and health for my family truly is a full time job!

     My grandmother keeps her home immaculate, and always has.  She had a routine every week that kept her house spotless.  One may say that a well-kept house is the sign of a wasted life, but it certainly helped keep her and her family healthy and well.  

     It isn't drudgery.  It is life-saving!

     I am not sure how much longer I have to be a stay-at-home woman, so I am renewed and determined to make the most of it.  Lent starts tomorrow, so this is a perfect time to make changes.  

     Oh, and to purchase just one more vintage magazine before Lent...in which I promised not to spend needlessly on myself during that time.


Mrs. D. Scott


  1. Just found your blog on the Raising Homemakers link up.
    I am enjoying it very much.

  2. Dear Mrs. Scott, thank you for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth! I share many of your same sentiments and also love the old literature that prized homemakers. Bettina's cookbook is darling also with all the lovely illustrations. May your home continue to be a beautiful place filled with love and now more importantly, HEALTH. Love, JES