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1950s Housewife

Things are Very different form how there were in the 1950s. But we can all learn a little for reading about being a Good Housewife in the 1950s. what was a good housewife in the 1950s?
"The Basics" The following is excerpted from an actual 1950's high school Home Economics textbook: "ADVANCE: How to be a Good Wife

HAVE DINNER READY: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal--on time. This is a way to let him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned with his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home, and having a good meal ready is part of the warm welcome that is needed.

 PREPARE YOURSELF: Take fifteen minutes to rest so that you will be refreshed when he arrives. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift. Greet him with a smile.

CLEAR AWAY THE CLUTTER: Make one last trip though the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up children's books and toys, papers, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you lift too.

 PREPARE THE CHILDREN: If they are small, wash their hands and faces and comb their hair. They are his little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

MINIMIZE ALL NOISE: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise from the washer, dryer, or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.

SOME "DO NOT'S": Don't greet him with problems and complaints. Don't complain if he is late for dinner. Count this as a minor problem compared to what he might have gone through that day.

MAKE HIM COMFORTABLE: Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest that he lie down in the bedroom. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.

LISTEN TO HIM: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.

MAKE THE EVENING HIS: Never complain if he doesn't take you to dinner or to other entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his need to unwind and relax.

THE GOAL: TO MAKE YOUR HOME A PLACE OF PEACE AND ORDER WHERE YOUR HUSBAND CAN RELAX IN BODY AND SPIRIT." Most wives in the 1950's had one job: to be a homemaker. This meant wives must not only clean the house but also truly make a home. Being a homemaker in the 1950's meant caring for both your family and your house, as well as presenting yourself as picture-perfect throughout the day. Not only that, you had to make it seem effortless.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner • Wives in the 1950's had many fewer conveniences than today. You might wonder what a homemaker did with her time back then. She began by cooking breakfast for her family; there were certainly no drive-through restaurants where members of her family could grab a bagel and latte. There were no government-sanctioned school breakfasts, sometimes not even a hot lunch program for the kids, so she also had to make and pack lunches -- often for her husband as well. In the late afternoon when her children were home from school and her husband had returned from work, the homemaker of the 1950's was already busy preparing dinner.

One Car and No Microwave • Not only were wives in the 1950's expected to cook and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, they were expected to have a house that was neat and tidy, and to keep their hair and makeup attractive. There were no microwaves, sometimes not even an electric vacuum; there was certainly no dishwasher. A housewife cleaned and washed dishes and clothes, perhaps walked to the grocery store -- most families had only one car, which her husband took to work.

Changing Times • Early in the 1950's with the advent of television came frozen dinners; this precipitated changes in homemaking because homemakers were able, on some nights, to take a break from cooking. Instant desserts made their debut, as well as convenience foods such as ready-to-eat cereal and frozen waffles. Electric appliances become more affordable, and therefore commonplace, and homemakers were able to more efficiently do their work. Wives in the 1950's gradually were freed from many chores and able to expand their horizons beyond homemaking itself.

The Highest Calling • In the 1950's, homemaking was considered a woman's highest calling -- the pinnacle of her life. Many today believe a woman can find her highest calling in ways other than simply being a homemaker, but the homemaker of the 1950's was relieved of what many, then and now, consider an onerous chore in itself: earning an income. There our some good things and bad thing about all of this, back then Housewife had to do all of this other wise they were considered a bad housewife! now days if we want to do all of this for our husband and children they know we are doing it out of love and care not just a job. Many of us wife's can learn more on how to care for our family. so lets take a look at were we can Start. Go to "The Ultimate Housewife's role" Page on our Blog here.

Other Blog Post you May Like: Cleaning a HomeProviding MealsCaring for your HusbandMaking a House a Home


  1. I love your blog, thanks for taking the time to put it all together the way you have.
    I am doing a 1950's Housewife Challenge for 1 year. It started 2 days ago. I would love you to pop onto my blog and have a look and you may like to set me some challenges alon the way.
    I look forward to chatting with you further:)

  2. Just found this post and your blog and I am so excited to have found it!! Keep it coming! :)

    1. I'm Happy to hear you like it, And Welcome!

    2. I'm Happy to hear you like it, And Welcome!

  3. Im so happy I can get advice from you. You really have it together. I am new to stying at home. I needed to know how to not have my husband run right back out the door. Thank you for your wise words. Would love to lean more from you. Thanks again

    1. Thank You jessica!:)
      I have Lots of new things coming up and i cant wait to share!
      and Next month I will be having a very big announcement that i can't wait for, so keep checking in so you don't miss out.:)

  4. 'Don't greet him with problems and complaints. Don't complain if he is late for dinner. Count this as a minor problem compared to what he might have gone through that day' Great!! 1950s housewife dress:

  5. At first this made me laugh, being that I was raised in the 50's, to be a 50's wife. By the end I was in tears. My mother had a Masters in Music and Education. She met my father, who was just a sailor, and her career as a Concert Pianist was OVER! 3 children later, she was stuck at home doing everything in this article, and of course DAD had to have his DRINKS! This was not a better way of life! It did improve when she went to work, when we kids went to Jr.High School. She was then 'allowed' to be her own woman. Don't get me wrong, my dad was a good man, but he used my mother! I lived and cared for my mother after my father died, when she got Alzheimer's. She finally admitted she wished she never would have had kids and wished she continued her career in music. I've always made sure that I had my own car sitting in the driveway, and the financial freedom to pick my destiny! I'm 61 years old now, and happily married to a man who see's me as an equal partner. We're both living the most simple life we can, and I enjoy doing what I want in and out of the house. But you better believe one thing, he better wash of his dirty dishes before putting them in the sink.."That's the formula for happiness!" lol
    signed..."Never going back"

  6. Wow. I thought living in the 50's was living in an era of simplicity and happiness. More like stress and depression. Sounds like the men were happy at the expense of their wives. I am so glad I live in the 21st century where there is more equality and women are empowered to do what they really want.

  7. Fantastic data. Cheers intended for providing you a really valuable data. Sustain the great do the job as well as go on providing you much more top quality data every now and then.
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