Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How to be a 1950's Housewife

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Do you dream of a time in the 1950's when rock and roll was just coming on the scene and every girls dream was of her wedding? Well here are a few tips if you want to relive that period of time as the fantasy housewife.

Things You'll Need:

  • Lot's of energy.
  • No opinion.
  • Talent in every area.
1) As a housewife of the 1950's you won't be required to hold a job outside the home. In fact you really won't be allowed to because it would be an insult to the male of the family for not being able to provide for his wife and family! So relax and buy a box of bonbon' s.

2) Always wake at least two hours before your husband so you can shower, do your hair, put on make up and a really nice dress and high heels. You must always look your best when he see' s you first thing in the morning and never, ever have morning breath or look sleepy.

3) Next cook a nourishing breakfast for the whole family. Stuff them with eggs, bacon, biscuits made from scratch, gravy, milk, orange juice and don't forget the perfect jams and jellies you canned all by yourself during the dog days of summer. Stuff them until they can't move and are sure to gain enough weight to be a battle ship in dry dock.

4) Be sure when they are getting ready for work and their school day you have clean clothes out for everyone. Do not make them choose their own outfit. Silly woman, that's your job! Always make sure they are wearing the latest up to date styles so everyone will think they are keen.

5) Be sure you pack a good lunch for them. For the kid's pack a good sandwich, chips, carrot sticks, cupcakes, fruit, a thermos of milk and a thermos of hot soup! Don't forget the note with words of love and support.

6) Now it's time for you! First refresh your makeup and hair. Then start with cleaning the kitchen from top to bottom. Don't worry if the floors look clean enough because it's still best to clean them again so your family can make you eat off of them and not worry about your health.

7) Now for all the laundry you must gather from each room in the house and start washing. Never dry them in a dryer. That is a waste of money when you can spend time hanging them on an outside line for the fresh air scent. When they are finished drying you will bring them in, sprinkle them with a little water and roll them in a tight ball so you can iron it all the next day. Make sure to keep it all in the laundry room out of sight of the husband and kid's. They deserve a relaxed life.

8) Next pick up the living room, bedroom, and all other rooms in the house. Dust everything within an inch of it's life and vacuum all floors. Now clean the bathroom and scrub every surface for the fresh clean smell. You would never want your family to see anything disgusting in your bathroom and you really don't want the neighbors to inspect your work when they come to visit.

9) Well, it's time for a break. Make yourself a light lunch of salad, no dressing and an apple. Don't want to lose the figure you had the day you got married. You know, when you were 18 years old, 2 less kids, one less husband and 20 less years! While you are eating you can watch your favorite soap opera while darning the socks of the whole family or creating lovely clothes by hand or polishing all the stainless steel you own. Never let the grass grow under your pretty high heels! Be productive while relaxing.

10) The kids will be home from school soon so you must make sure you have made a batch of home made cookies with plenty of butter and sugar. A big glass of chocolate milk and their favorite TV shows while they do their homework.
You will be making dessert for tonight, putting the dinner to cook of ham, fresh peeled and mashed potatoes, fresh green beans with bacon, more biscuits and lots of butter!

11) Now all you have to do before hubby gets home from work is set the table, clean the rooms again, make the kids clean up and look cute as pie, refresh yourself with a new dress and different shoes. Evening hair do, nice makeup, a happy smile and NO complaints about anything.

12) As he walks in the door you hand him the paper, his favorite drink, ask how his day went and then leave him alone for 30 minutes while you finish dinner, get it on the table and quietly announce it's time to eat.
After he and the kids finish dinner you clear the table, wash all the dishes by hand, dry them and put them away, clean the kitchen again and look perky!

13) The family watches TV together or plays a game, eats more dessert and then wanders off to bed.
Now it's time for you to go to the bedroom, turn down the covers, fluff the pillows, take a quick shower and put on a pretty nightie, put on fresh makeup, do your hair again down this time and call for hubby to come to bed. You read while he relaxes and when he is ready for a little fun you will be just as ready and excited he is giving you his time. Oh,oh...he is tired now and finished. He rolls over, goes to sleep and you slip away to the bathroom to put on fresh makeup in case he wakes in the middle of the night and sees your face. You must always look your very best!

14) Ahhh... peace at last. Now for the well deserved 4 hours of sleep before you do it all over again.
Tomorrow is ironing day, baking bread day, going to the store day for anything the family wants and you will do it all as the lovely, skinny bride you were 20 years ago and with a smile on your pretty little face. After all you don't have to hold a job and support the family.
Where are those bonbon' s?


  1. Hmm... I am sure this is meant to be sarcastic and a joke. but in another sense, it's a bad generalization.. and while i know those women did not have it "great" from their men who depended on them for every thing, its not that bad. I am a housewife now with 2 kids and do most of the things included. Plus I work from home, and honestly I hardly ever feel "overwhelmed" by work with no time for me.
    In fact in my "me time" I keep a vintage blog.
    It is not that much different working as a housewife than it is working a 50 hour a week job.
    I don't know I kind of felt like this was attacking people who made the choice to stay home...
    and to be honest, there were many women who chose to stay working after ww2. its not as unusual as the leave it to beaver mentality makes us believe.

  2. I am a new follower and reading on with your blog, I feel you meant this as a joke, and not as a serious attack as you identify as a housewife.
    I just think it may have been in bad taste?

    I dont know maybe I am just sore because I have to put up with so much flack about the fact that I stay home and dont have a "job" that I get sensitive to the subject :*(

  3. hmmmmmm...maybe a joke...but poor taste and offensive...for i try and lead that very life you explained...from my real vintage life and clothing to being there for my childrens needs above my own...playing the games and having family time around the t.v. where we watch the same thing together keeps my teenagers talking and not in their rooms with computers and ipods...i would take that life over "now a days" any day!!!!! I agree with twila...maybe a joke...but then again i live it and am proud to do so!!! I feel very accomplished ! So i take offense that my efforts to have a beaver clever family is a joke!

    By the way i was a little offended when a few gals metioned to come see your blog...because of my button! When you take someone's paid art as my button is...it would be kind to give credit to that person...it is ment to link to my blog...

  4. It was a joke lol as I myself am a housewife and enjoy it very much. I read some of it on a google article and I just had to post it here. I think the housewife is very underrated. I love being a housewife and mother and I enjoy it very much. But the work can get overwhelming at times, especially if you have kids. You pick up a mess and 5 minutes later there is a mess somewhere else around the house. Feels like a neverending job. Anyway vintage housewife I don't know what button you are referring to but I can assure you that all the pics I have on this site are taken from google. So i'm sorry if I've taken something that belonged to you. Never meant to offend anyone.

  5. the button you use for your picture when you post a comment is a paid button i had designed from shabby chic designs..."I'm a vintage housewife" with the red polka dots and lady in yellow apron...

    I never get upset when gals email and ask for anything on my blog but not asking or giving credit is offensive...when i clicked on your vintage talk forum...it was odd that one of your rules was no copy written photos...then poof there was mine...you can understand how that would make someone feel

  6. Of course I do understand you. I would be upset too. But like I told you I got it from google, I have had that problem happen to people before. They post their work in certain sites and somehow it ends up all over google. Once again I'm real sorry. If I would have known I wouldn't have taken it. I'll be sure to change it to another icon, it's really not a big deal to me. Now I just gotta figure out how to do it as I'm new to this whole blogger thing LOL.

  7. I loved the post ... I'm surprised it ruffled feathers.

    Will be back to visit often :)

  8. Thanks wendyvee, yeah it's a shame people get offended very easily. Sometimes people should think before they speak, cause if I meant harm with this blog then I would be putting myself down too cause I'm a vintage housewife and proud of it.

  9. I really love the images on your blog, they are fun. I used the "we're not gossiping we're networking" one to illustrate a Facebook group for mums in my little town in west London, UK. I tried being a housewife but hated it so it's wonderful you've found a fulfilling and joyful vocation.

  10. Calling all Mad Men fans!

    I have entered a contest to win a walk-on role on the retro-licious show "Mad Men".

    If you would take two seconds to vote for me, I would really appreciate it. Just go to my blog, or use this link to go straight to my photo page.


    Thanks a bunch!

  11. That's awesome, thanks for sharing with us Mad Men Girl.

  12. Hi, well i have to say that i loved it i found it greatly written with light humour and the fun touch added.And being into everything 50's myself and being a single parent and working 4 days a week i still do all of the bove and love every part of a being a mum and when i was married a house wife. Great features love it ;-)

  13. What a weird, extremist take on life in the 50s. Have you ever talked to a woman who was a wife back then (a grandmother, etc.?) Or watched any of the TV shows from back in that time? Mary Tyler Moore's Laura Petrie was an equal partner to her husband. And Donna Reed's iconic housewife character of Donna Stone had a weekly cleaning woman visit her -- she was featured in several episodes in the first season alone. Donna and her fellow neighborhood wives also bought their cakes (at a bakery in Hilldale called Pepe's) and spent the show having lunch together or trying new hobbies such as acting in the town play. And these were the IDEAL depictions of wives back then. Reality is never has perfect as it is on TV, so the average wife didn't even have that much pressure.
    I don't know where this weird stereotype of women vacuuming in pearls and heels came from, but it really is a modern invention if what we THINK a 50s housewife did. Try doing some research about the era. Read magazines from the time, etc. You might be pleasantly surprised!

  14. Hello. I have just stumbled upon your blog after sitting here for hours trying to find typical images of the 1950s housewife as seen in adverts of the time, and I wonder if you could help me? I am a cake designer/maker, based in the UK, and want to revamp my website giving it a 1950s feel. I need to find a housewife image that I can use as part of the layout. So far, I have not been able to find anything that is not under copyright and am getting deperate. I don't really need the whole advert or whatever, but something where I could possibly "cut out" the figure using photoshop. Do you have any advice? I'd be so grateful if you could help

  15. This blog is awesome!!! I was cracking up! I have 3 kids 7,4, and 6 mo. old. I stay home with them full time. I have a bachelors degree. I crave to work part time again in my field (mental health). My house is a mess yet I feel like I clean it sun up to sun down. I do NOT know how my grandmothers did it, God bless them, but about 7pm I need a xanax!

  16. Dear Miss Retro,
    I think your blog is wonderful! This post is especially funny, and people shouldn't be soo sensitive. I too am a housewife, I love my daughter and husband very much, and I enjoy being a housewife. I dream of being back in the 50's and love everything retro. Keep up the wonderful work and I hope to enjoy your lovely blog as it continues!

  17. I thought it was adorable! Especially the part about fresh makeup after sex but before bed. So silly :)

  18. Hilarious! This post shows perfectly how feminists caricature 1950's housewives. Can't believe people didn't see this when they were reading the post.

    And, it takes a long time to learn about blogging -- like how not everything on Google Image Search is ok to take for your blog. I learned this the hard way, and it's hard to know. If you click a picture that you want on Google Image Search and it takes you to a blog, you should contact the blog author and ask permission to use the picture; usually they will let you if you make a link back to their blog. If you don't want any of your pictures taken and used by others, you can google: "disable right click," and tutorials will pop up showing you how to do this (you will have to type in the code for every single picture in the html, but if you want to keep them "yours," then it is worth it. You can also "disable left click" so that nobody can take your text.

    Anyway, funny post! I've signed up to follow your blog: Mary.

  19. This was SO funny! Obviously it's a sarcastic joke on the "ideal" portrayed in magazines, movies, and commercials in the 1950's when we all know our mothers and grandmothers were just regular women. I don't see it as a joke on housewives, but a joke on the stupid ideal forced upon normal, average, everyday women back then who were just living life and raising their children. What is described above is a Stepford wife. What I find offensive is that movies like Stepford wives and some modern women think of "housewives" and their husbands who love them as women striving to BE that ideal, when in fact we are not. We are just striving to do our best and be happy. I read this out loud to my husband and we both got a good laugh. Thanks for posting!!

  20. Oh, and if you ARE trying to be that ideal Stepford wife....Knock it OFF! :)

  21. I LOVE your blog! Am reading the whole thing right now. You mention you got some of this from a googled article. My adorable DH recommended I read an article from an Australian magazine called New Idea and specifically an article from the 1950s about being a housewife and what you wrote sounds very similar. But I can't find the article online. Have you come across this article and if so, can you provide a link. I would love to read it. I'm a vintage housewife through and through. By choice. My favorite time was 1930s.

  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  23. Apologies for deleting the last comment - it was full of typos that were frankly embarrassing.

    I was simply saying that we may laugh about the 1950's housewife, the home she ran and her ideas, however there were a lot less divorces. Remember our parents and grandparents were married through this time and it was a case of a partnership where the roles were very much defined. The husband provided finacially, supported and loved his family and by contrast his wife kept the family unit together with pride and comfort.

    Not many couples can boast 50-60 years of marriage because the present day union often comes down to a battle of egos, competing for the Alpha spot. I like a little chivalry and being protected by my man. And it would make me happy to let my feminist side blur a little at the edges. He does a manual job all day and only asks to rest his weary head in my lap when he is ready to relax. I can't begrudge him that!

  24. Sounds great! And I'll also get a super duper workout while I do all that housework. Oh I agree, I never greet hubby in anything other than a freshly pressed suit with matching hat - there are all sorts of flittergibbets at the office just waiting to take my man unless I pull out all the stops.

  25. Well said. I just shared this post on my blog, after feeling like a 50's housewife for the very first time, haha. Nice blog!

  26. I've just found your blog and LOVE IT!!! It's sweet, tasteful and funny.

  27. Love this funny blog. I just moved into a 50"s house and I love it. Worked all summer trying to make it mine, still have tons of projects to go. check me out www.toodlestothenoodles.com