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You’ve Come A Long Way Baby!

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Monday, February 01, 2021

You may remember a time when our bathrooms looked like a segregated zone. As newlyweds, we had ‘His’ and ‘Hers’ embroidered towels displayed like artwork. That meant ‘he’ was to keep his paws off ‘hers.’ (or mine) It was a fad. The problem was it confused the guests. Where were they to wipe their hands?

My husband will attest to my hollering when his dad came to visit. “Tell him not to touch the towels! They are for looks!”

“Is the soap and TP for looks too? Should we go to the filling station down the road?” lol
The distinct roles of the sexes was cut and dry.

In the fifties, I came home from school to find my mother dressed in her crisp apron, and juggling her domestic ‘duties.’ …. Tra la la. Men were the breadwinners, and the women were ‘homemakers’ who baked the bread.




It was plain to see there were ‘his and hers’ duties and if asked to help with housework, men protested loudly. “That is WOMAN’S WORK!” Domestic “duties” such as, laundry, ironing, cooking, washing dishes, changing diapers, or making the bed.



I worked with a woman, named Lois, who juggled all the above with her career. Every Monday she came to work looking as frazzled and frayed as if she had wrestled a mountain lion. (true story-names changed tho).

“Chester got on my last nerve!” she said. Started out—I made out the weekly grocery list as I always do after cleaning the whole house!. Chester waited in the car so he could smoke cigarettes and stay warm while I shopped. We get home, Chester conveniently rushes inside (to get warm) while I lug in all the groceries and proceed to put them away!

Chester yells from the next room (as he is surfing channels). .. “What is for lunch Lois? I’m famished!”



In his usual groan he asks: "Why don't you ever tell me when there is food stuck in my teeth!" .... Arrrgh!

(Of course Lois found ways to ‘get even.’ Lol
I appreciate you stopping by today! And would you say we as women have come LONG way?
P.S. My husband gets a pass because he got right in and changed diapers, gave baby a bath, and is not afraid of dishpan hands---Plus he is a good cook and cooks most the dinners.(He is not fond of mopping though--But he makes up for it w/ all the other things he does) .... Working as a team has kept our marriage happy and strong.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • DJ4HEALTH
    emoticon emoticon
    44 days ago
  • SHARON10002
    I am lucky like you in that my DH chipped in from day one. Our first agreement the day after we were married was that whoever did the cooking did not have to clean up the kitchen and the dishes. He chipped in from the gitgo after our son was born, too. Being the eldest of 6, he had lots of practice. Me on the other hand, being an only child had none, and I was embarrassed at times, but grateful.
    53 days ago
  • DARCY-B
    emoticon
    58 days ago
  • NOSEYME
    I just had this thought..remember the underwear with the days of the week. We need them now as senior citizens..it is so hard to keep track of the days..
    64 days ago
  • QUARTERMASTER3
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    65 days ago
  • NANANANA
    I remember my mother wearing an apron in 1949. Her housedress didn't button because she was pregnant. She rarely baked and 'early on' turned some cleaning duties over to her children. My dad was a better cook, he sewed, could do the laundry and other domestic duties. He also loved being around his children and taking care of them. He also expected his daughters to use their brains.

    With my husband I'm not sure who does what. At one time, he baked the bread while I worked on the car.
    65 days ago
  • WEIGHTNITOUT60
    I guess since my last heart attack and mo longer working , I really changed gender roles. I do all the house work, laundry etc. But I do it so when everyone gets home from work that they dont have to do these things.
    65 days ago
  • no profile photo GRAMPIAN
    We've come far. emoticon
    66 days ago
  • SAMMILESSACH
    Awesome☺

    It is amazing how different times are.
    66 days ago
  • LGRIF22
    This is so true! Our children seem to have moved into the new age and share more of the chores, and my husband did share in the baby diaper changing. Not so much in the feeding. I did most of the housework while he was at work away from home. I didn't work outside the home until our 5 kids were all in school.
    Retirement has changed a lot! My husband likes to do most of the shopping (of course, that is what I like to do best too). He does a lot of the cooking on Sundays when we have our children come for dinner (which we still do even now), and he helps me make the bed every day and change the sheets too. Not much of the rest of the cleaning. He's not a fix-it man, so he hires the help for that. It was different with my parents, but we all make adjustments in marriage. He's a good man; honest and loyal and serves others with a grateful heart. I count my blessings!
    Some things are rather a natural divide. If the woman is home, it's the work that's there. If she works outside the home, there is more housework for them both to do on the weekend, or when they get home and have children to take care of. One of my daughters insists her husband put the kids to bed since she has had them all day long. That seems a good share. She has done a LOT of cooking since COVID ...and her husband works in his private office on their third floor all day.
    66 days ago
  • no profile photo INCH_BY_INCH
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    66 days ago
  • WHERESMYPADDLE
    I grew up in the 60's, I remember my Dad putting a Ray Charles album on the big Magnavox stereo console and cleaning house every Saturday morning. Both of my parents worked outside the home, all chores were shared duty. My wife and I are the same today in our household, we both clean, cook, shop, cut grass etc.
    67 days ago
  • 1ZIPPYC
    Some things have changed over time. I think it depends on a person's work ethic and or personality. Some women LOVE to do housework, cooking, etc. My Mom did and my Dad always did the yard work, washed the car, heavy duty stuff. He had a job, Mom didn't. She took care of all us kids too in top of that. Unless we got on his nerves or we needed punished, a firmer hand.
    Since DH retired 8 months ago, he's like my Dad, heavy duty jobs, (things I can't do) , car wash and yard work. Plus, he does all the cooking! emoticon
    So I don't mind doing the majority of housework, and the laundry and budgeting. I enjoy it most of the time. But, I'm still trying to maybe get him to do one or two things here and there "in" the house. emoticon
    He'll either do it, if he feels like it or tells me, don't worry about that, we'll do it tomorrow. Ugh-- King of procrastination!!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    67 days ago
  • _CYNDY55_
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    GREAT blog!!!!!
    67 days ago
  • HEART261
    Life is sure different now.
    67 days ago
  • GOLDENYEAR66
    That is the way we grew up and I guess I am still in that era because I do the housework and he is the one that goes to work.
    That is after 35 years of me working and taking care of the house.
    So I do enjoy being a housewife after working so many years away from home.
    67 days ago
  • TOMATOCAFEGAL
    Hilarious.
    67 days ago
  • JUNETTA2002
    I was raised in the stereotypical house hold my dad worked and my mom took care of the house.
    67 days ago
  • GMADONNA70
    Sure glad things have changed over the years! My Mom was a stay at home gal, she never learned to drive so poor Dad, because he worked in a grocery store, got to do all of the shopping and Mom had to cook what ever he bought. My Dad liked to cook and did on the weekends but that was about the limit to his domestic duties.
    Thank goodness I got a gem for a hubby! I always told his Mom, who raised 6 boys, that she trained the best wives us girls could ask for! When they left home they all knew how to do laundry, cook, do dishes and take care of babies. My hubby loves to cook and we do dishes the old fashioned way every day. He's not afraid to drag out the vacuum cleaner or the dust rag. If I'm not feeling well he will do the laundry, maybe not the way I would, but at least he tries. He was good with our girls, he would even get up during the night with them after he had worked all day.
    YES indeed I am glad things have changed from when we were growing up!
    Love this one Jan!
    67 days ago
  • MARKSMOM3
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    67 days ago
  • no profile photo RACHNACH
    Times have changed.
    67 days ago
  • TOUDLES
    I grew up in the 50's and 60's, and yes there was a definite division in household duties, Mom stayed home, had dinner on the table every evening around 5:30, did the shopping, house cleaning, laundry and made most of our clothes, plus balancing the family social calendar, Dad took care of the yard, the car, anything that was broke, and also helped with heavy housecleaning, getting us kids out of Mom's hair frequently, and pitching in with cooking, dishwashing, and diapers.

    This goes for both my Mom and Grandmother, they got a lot of respect. The home was their castle, Men took an allowance and handed the rest of the paycheck over to Mom to run the household. Whatever house rules Mom made, Dad backed up 100%, when they disagreed it was not in front of us. Both Mom an Grandma were socially active in clubs, scouting, and church and I think they were very proud of their lives.

    On the other hand, after 10 years of marriage, we moved to follow my job, so I worked full time, and my husband stayed home and raised our daughter. I caught a lot of catty comments about supporting him, It started out to be just for the summer, but it was such a luxury to have one parent at home it became permanent.
    67 days ago
  • TERRIJ7
    Although my mom worked full time, my dad didn't help much with housework; however, neither did he sit in front of the television. He was always outside, taking care of the yard, building fences, pouring concrete under the clothesline so we'd have a "clean" place to hang the laundry. Mom didn't raise us with segregated chores (brother and I both washed dishes, put our laundry away, made our beds and helped Dad rake the lawn and whatever else was age-appropriate) but we did sort of move into the tasks we were each better at. Brother never cooked, but he could make himself an interesting sandwich. I think he put things together just to gross us out (bologna and peanut butter???) but he ate them.


    67 days ago
  • 1DARKHORSE
    That's nice that you and your husband make such a great team! He sounds like a terrific guy.
    67 days ago
  • LIS193
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    67 days ago
  • NANCY-
    Thank heavens things have changed since the 50's. I did identify with Beaver though. I do wish kids were polite like they were back then.
    Working as a team does work best.
    67 days ago
  • DSJB9999
    Excellent blog, yes we too are a super team and hopefully we also set a good example to our children with this, times have changed and its a really good thing (overall emoticon ) emoticon
    67 days ago
  • ANNIEONLI
    Teamwork makes the dream work! I'm thankful that my DH is a team player - we work according to our strengths and weakness - and nothing is off limits - from diapers to digging ditches!
    67 days ago
  • PHATPAT18
    My husband is a keeper too. washes the pots and pans unloads the dishwasher and does the laundry. How lucky are we?
    67 days ago
  • UPTOIT59
    Things have changed slowly- growing up I remember feeling lucky that I didn't have to really have a career, that I could stay home and be a housewife. Little did I know that a housewife never gets off of work. We had a traditional marriage for many years - he worked and I stayed home with the kids. But times changed and I went to work as the kids were older. I worked for 10 years in a full time position and I always say those were the worst years of my life. Luckily my husband was always a hands on dad and true partner - his dad was to a degree so it is passed down through example I think. Now my husband does most of the cooking and grocery shopping - that is a tremendous help. emoticon
    67 days ago
  • RHOOK20047
    Since my wife worked as a nurse we always shared the house duties. Equals all the way in work and play. Still are today, even though I will admit she still doesn't think I do it as well as her. I will get the jobs done, however, it takes me a lot longer.
    67 days ago
  • WALKINTOFIT
    When my husband and I got married, he was so shocked I cooked him lunch... he thought he would have too... we have shared the workload since.
    68 days ago
  • SMORSEBVR
    I was a kid in the 1950's but my mom worked and my dad helped out with the housework. They both did the yard work.
    68 days ago
  • SHAKERATTLEROLL
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    68 days ago
  • ETHELMERZ
    Thankful that changes happened. Just think of when we could not vote, or own property!
    68 days ago
  • SHARON10002
    I remember growing up during those days. My dad was in construction, and worked hard all day, so my mom did all of the housework. Dad handled the maintenance and the yard work.
    I have to admit I have been very lucky in this area. We made a pact to share household duties - especially where cooking and cleaning up were concerned . . . Whoever did the cooking did not have cleanup duty.
    Now that's not to say that I don't clean up as I go along, which I do. I don't leave everything I've used in the sink for him to do. But when I cook, he picks up the dishes, cleans the dishes, counter, sink, and stove, if it has been used. If he cooks, I do the cleanup. He always chipped in if he was home when we had parents, relatives, or friends coming to visit. Now that we are both retired, it's about a 50-50 split.
    Love the pictures and cartoons, too!
    68 days ago
  • 2DAWN4
    What a great but truthful blog! So glad times have changed!
    68 days ago
  • AURA18
    Sweet start to February. emoticon
    68 days ago
  • REDROBIN47
    So true. Great blog Jan.
    68 days ago
  • MSMOSTIMPROVED
    We are work in progress. I’m thankful I can do it all. I can be independent emoticon
    68 days ago
  • SHAWFAN
    For the sake of saving a bit of time, I skipped to posting. Good Lord, I remember ALL of those advertisements while growing up! My dad was one of those. Mom did EVERYTHING!! Even the yard work and fixing things on the house cause he was too busy smoking and "resting."

    Thank the Good Lord times did change!! And I realize that not every woman has this special man in her life. There are probably still thousands out there having to live like it was still the 50s or 60s. Time travel backwards.

    Both you and I are lucky to have husbands who help out a lot no matter what needs doing. My husband does most of the cooking. Frankly, I hate the kitchen. I'll clean up afterward though. Just don't ask me to cook. I burn water!! Truely!!

    While we both worked outside the home, it was really tough keeping it clean. We wanted the weekends to ourselves without having to struggle with the housework on top of it. Plus, for 10 years we had our daughter and her two children living with us. They were NO HELP WHAT SO EVER. (Long story) And this is getting terribly long too.
    Thought I'd add my two-cents.....looks more like $1.00 maybe? emoticon
    68 days ago
  • PATRICIAANN46
    My husband's Mom worked full-time at a time when this was not the norm. She had 4 sons who all knew how to cook, clean, & to handle other responsibilities. My Mom also worked full-time and my brother and I knew how to do everything around the house. We were always taught that marriage and family was the responsibility of both the man and the woman, so when we married, we weren't shocked when we observed total responsibility taken by both of us and it has worked for many years.
    68 days ago
  • JAMER123
    We both grew up on farms and the entire family worked together. It's the only way our families knew how to do things. Being raised in the 50's I do recall all the ads as you have here but mom never wore aprons although she did wear a dress. She would work in the house and then help dad outdoors with various things needing help. When my hubby and I married, almost 50 yrs. ago, we both had jobs that could be stressful and knew we needed to share the work at home. We raised 3 kids together with shared jobs. When the kids left home, the cooking became mine but cleaning we shared. Now he does a lot of the cleaning even though he love to cook as well. We are thoroughly modern empty nesters that travel and share the work on the road.



    68 days ago
  • JILLIAN0216
    I grew up with my mom working. My dad dove in and helped out with us when we were growing up.
    68 days ago
  • DARLENEK04
    My goodness, times have changed. I always worked, then came home and did everything w/first
    husband, who used to tell me his mother did it all...and I told him she also had 4 daughters who helped.

    David did, until he came unable to do so, cooked, helped carry in groceries and so forth. He still helps
    just in a little different way...............he falls easily, so he sits in his chair, with a folding table in front of him,
    mixes up a really good meat loaf..........cuts and chops for me, like onion, peppers, celery etc...he has
    always had to be the cook, was really shocked when we got married and I asked him what he wanted for
    supper...........

    Eve
    n when he was working he didn't want me mowing, which I do like....so he got me a riding mower and
    we were both happy...we work as a TEAM.........we have always shared the work load even when he was
    still working.............
    68 days ago
  • SHOAPIE
    Takes a strong women to raise and train a husband properly. But as a mother I did work on raising my son right. He did all the same chores as his sister. I think I did a good job. Not as sure if his wife thinks that. emoticon
    68 days ago
  • SUEARNOLD1
    Oh so true Jan.

    My DH pitches in with as much as he can emoticon

    Have a good evening.

    emoticon
    68 days ago
  • BROOKLYN_BORN
    I never could have lived with a man that expected me to do it all.

    If we both have jobs and both want a family, why is it so hard to imagine both of us sharing the family duties?
    Children do not suffer if both parents are involved and if they are involved in family tasks as well.
    It makes the family stronger.

    In my volunteer work I see so many women who have lived the fifties ideal - full time homemaker.
    An honorable and important job to be sure. Sadly, they have found themselves suddenly in poverty because of death or divorce.

    My mother, a SAHM, until I was 10, told me to have something on my resume for every year - part time work, college courses, something! because employers say that motherhood is important but it's just meaningless words when it comes to employment.
    68 days ago
  • EDWARDS1411
    It's fun to watch TV shows from the 50's and early 60's to see just how sexist things were in and out of the home - as they say we've come a long way baby - and we can thank in part the Women's Liberation Movement for sowing the seeds of change. I think women working during the Second World War while the men were away fighting had a large effect as well. I was lucky to grow up in the 50's in a house where fortunately for my mother who worked full-time she was married to a man who didn't mind sharing the home duties.
    68 days ago
  • LSANDY7
    We married in 1979. Our division of household chores began with the arrival of #2 son. We lived on the 3rd floor and the laundry machines were on the first. It was impossible to carry laundry, newborn, softener, detergent and hold a 3 y/o's hand up and down the stairs. Hubby started at that point to do the laundry and other chores. I had a HUGE problem with us both working 40 hours at our careers and him not helping out with child care and chores; all the while wanting to spend hours on days off at his parent's house........Today he does laundry, helps dust and drives the vacuum cleaner.
    68 days ago
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