Monday, May 6, 2013

A Vintage-Inspired Life

Christian homemakers have often been accused of living in the past and wishing to recreate the Little House On The Prairie lifestyle. Well, it's probably partly true (though I'd like to point out that the Biblical command for married women to be keepers at home was not only meant for Victorian pioneer ladies).

The reason for this is that while nowadays housewives are generally denigrated (though it may start changing in the near future), in the past a homemaker was a respectable occupation and married women who chose to be one were spared the indignity of answering questions like so what are you doing the whole day? and when are you finally going to search for a job?

Consequently, the ladies'magazines instead of publishing tips about pleasing your 123d boyfriend in bed and twenty s8xy blouses to wear to work, or choosing a good daycare for your 2-month-old, had articles about menu planning, taking care of one's husband, instilling proper values in children and cultivating ladylike hobbies, such as gardening, knitting or embroidery. Advertisers were catering to housewives, too, and often showed a neatly dressed lady performing one or other housekeeping task.

Homemaking is actually not only about cleaning and cooking, but about creating a home. And, according to an old saying, "home is where Mother is." (Another good one is, ''man makes a living, woman makes the life worth living). The housewife is the center of a little domestic universe, when she leaves home for an outside employment, home disintegrates. In the times past they seemed to understand it better than now, and that's why we seek inspiration in old books and vintage magazines.

Add to this that the life was less chaotic, and people were generally content with less (an idea of a good vacation for children was a couple of weeks spent in the house of your aunt by the seaside), and you will understand the appeal of the vintage lifestyle for so many. Before someone points out that the past had its own problems, I'm fully aware of it (and our society is hardly ideal, either), but it doesn't mean that we should throw the baby out with the bathwater. While I'm glad about our modern dental care and other things, I think our society would only improve if we returned to the old idea of the woman as an angel in the house.


  1. Yes!!! I wish more people could see this. Homemaking is an art and a labor of love. It must be done wholeheartedly to be done well. Even for the housewife, there will be times when she is spread quite thinly (babies, moves, illness, etc.), but when she is at home all day, even with many distractions, it really shows.


    1. Yes, that's true, I noticed it myself. When you spend the whole day outside home it feels different when you come back. Housewife spending her day at home creates a certain atmosphere even when she doesn't do much.

  2. I totally agree! Being a housewife was respected in the past, but now not so much.

  3. Homemakers should be proud of themselves! Our job is no less important that any other.

  4. Such an inspiring post! I especially liked this sentence:

    "Homemaking is actually not only about cleaning and cooking, but about creating a home."

    And you are also right in that just because there were problems in the past doesn't mean we can't learn from what was good....and there was plenty that was good.

  5. I'd like to write more on the topic of creating a home, so I will probably do it in another post.