Saturday, March 13, 2010

50 Days as a 1950's Wife

I have an idea that has captured my imagination for the past week. Summer will be here before you know it, and we have already begun to make plans for home repairs, vacations, etc... But I have a more intriguing idea. What if I spent 50 days treating my husband (and our home) the way women did in the '50's?

"What do you mean?" One of my friends asked when I told her about this idea. I mean, what if I took care of Clay the way my grandmother took care of my grandfather? What if I treated my responsibility as a wife as my number one responsibility? What would that look like?

Here are 10 reasons why I am considering this:

1. The life of a wife has changed over the past 60 years, and in many ways, it has changed for the better. We experience equality at home, share the workload, and more. However, I believe that my grandmothers were true artists, expending their energy to make their home a beautiful haven. I wonder what that is like.

2. I'd like to learn how to do things women used to do (and some still do) such as make their own jam, pickle cucumbers, sew, and even play bridge.

3. I want to wear a cute little apron every day!

4. It might be fun to spoil Clay, to see what his life would be like with a woman who devotes her day to making his home a delightful place.

5. I'm fascinated with women who lived through this era. I'd love to meet with them and hear their thoughts about the changes they've seen over the past 60 years.

6. This experience would draw me closer to my parents and grandparents. That kind of time together would be priceless.

7. I wonder if I could do my vacuuming in heals and nylons, the way my Mima says she did.

8. My life verse is, "Whatever you do, do it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not men." Colossians 3:23. I'd like to see what it's like to be a wife with ALL MY HEART, to really focus on this endeavor with all my attention, creativity, and drive.

9. As a teacher, I have the unique opportunity to try something for a summer. I will still be receiving a paycheck, but can pretend to be a stay-at-home wife.

10. Most importantly, I'd love to try something new! I have always been adament about the kind of wife I will be, and this would be a complete departure for me. It's an opportunity to grow, and experience something completely different from my everyday life.

What kind of differences do you think exist between today's wife and the wife of the '50's?

Be advised, I know that this era had plenty of problems... such as civil rights issues, rampant smoking, etc... I am not attempting to revive the entire era, rather to understand the dedication women had to taking care of their home and husbands.


  1. Sounds like an interesting premise. While not perfect by any means, I do think women in the 50s had a clear purpose and goal for each day, whereas modern women try to be the perfect wife AND often the perfect professional, too. Our priorities can get fuzzy, but we are blessed with much. I'll bet your hubby would enjoy it. Good luck.
    Lori Lowe

  2. I can't wait to hear how this experiment goes. I was impressed with how many items on #2 I actaually know how to do! it will take you all 50 days to understand how to play bridge!!

  3. I hope you will post frequent updates if you decide to do this. It sounds very interesting and maybe even fun!

  4. How fun! I personally wear an apron when I cook because I think they are so cute too! I will NEVER, however, wear hose and heels while vacuuming! ;)
    Good luck! I can't wait to hear all about it!

  5. Kristi McClanahanMarch 16, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    This is going to be fun my dear daughter--to see if you can give up Starbucks and fast food.

  6. I've been inspired! I have summers off as well and I've been taking baby steps every summer for the past 4 years towards becoming that typical 50's wife. You know, like cooking a few nights a week, waking up with my hubby when he leaves for work (instead of sleeping until noon) and making him a sack lunch every night. That has usually fizzled out in the first two to three weeks. This time - I'm really gonna go all out! I'm not going to tell him what I'm doing...let's see if he notices:)

  7. Love this, Em! Hope you are doing goood:) I know exactly what you mean because my grandmother was the picture of the perfect southern belle homemaker-and she worked as a teacher later-but wow, her home, food, silver, china, etc. and making sure everything was perfect for my grandfather was so important to her home life. I love that-just don't know how to do it working and with 2 kids! Hope to get to see you again sometime! Much love to you and Clay!