Old Fashioned Housewife In Real Life

Old Fashioned Housewife In Real Life Why You Should Be A1950's Housewife


This might be a controversial topic, but I really hope it’s not. I hope you can see my heart’s thoughts on the matter.

It’s been on my mind a lot lately and I have been reading some blogs about the old fashioned housewife. I long for the days when an old fashioned housewife was esteemed as important!

Being a wife in charge of her household is truly a worthy calling, but also a legitimate career! Nowadays, when a woman chooses to “stay home”, she is often ridiculed or devalued.

Being a housewife and homemaker is important work! There does seem to be a push in the last few years for acknowledging that again, but it seems like a slow-moving one.

Encouragement For An Old-Fashioned Housewife!

Let Me Be a WomanLet Me Be a WomanReturn of the Old Fashioned Housewife: Advice on homemaking, urban homesteading, and a simpler lifeReturn of the Old Fashioned Housewife: Advice on homemaking, urban homesteading, and a simpler lifeKeep a Quiet HeartKeep a Quiet HeartDiscipline: The Glad SurrenderDiscipline: The Glad Surrender1950s Housewife: Marriage and Homemaking in the 1950s1950s Housewife: Marriage and Homemaking in the 1950s

An Old Fashioned Housewife

Before the World Wars, most married women were housewives and homemakers. It was a respected and expected vocation.

The majority of women were not only satisfied and content to be so but also empowered and fulfilled in their roles as managers of their homes, lovers of their husbands, and mothers of their children.

When the wars happened and the men were called away to serve, women had to take over a lot of the work and jobs the men left behind. They were serving the country in their own outstanding way and I admire them for it.

However, when the men came home, they had a hard time giving up their newfound “freedom” and/or contribution to the workforce. They forgot that their first duty and calling was even more important than earning an income.

They believed the enemy’s lie that worldly gain is better than spiritual gain. That human recognization matters more than God’s perfect plan.

I think that is why so many T.V. shows from the 1950’s were focused on faithful housewives, homemakers, and mothers. They wanted to encourage women to return to their biblical roles.

I am not saying that those T.V. shows depicted it all perfectly, but they did try to capture an ideal family setting. Nowadays, it’s considered a bad thing to be too much like June Cleaver.

Marriage and the family are ordained and set apart by God as examples and extensions of His relationship with us. Disfiguring that, breaking that, eliminating that is exactly what the enemy of our souls would love to see happen.

Housewives are a vital part of God’s plan for families. Christians, especially, should realize this and suppress their flesh’s desire to rebel against God’s plan.

There are exceptions, of course. But, generally speaking, when each spouse is doing his/her part, a housewife will not need to work outside of the home.

She should also not be choosing to volunteer so much of herself to “causes” or other things that are simply fulfilling her flesh’s desire to please man. We should embrace the beautiful tasks God has placed before us.

Being a housewife and homemaker can encompass so many things. It is a full-time job.

Earning money from home is not a sin and is something I strive to do with this blog. However, it should come second after husband, children, and home.

Specifically, and ideally, a housewife will not be so busy as to neglect her husband, children, or home. Regardless of whether it’s a job, hobby, or good cause that is taking her time.

Plus, there are so many ways an old-fashioned housewife contributed to the finances! Being frugal-minded, being a DIYer, cooking from scratch, and being a homesteader are all ways we modern housewives can be more like the housewives of days gone by.

I appreciate, admire – and can relate to – the 1950’s housewives. They faced similar issues and ridicule that we do now and also had some of the modern conveniences we have now.

It wasn’t popular, but they embraced it and made the best of it. Plus, they were tastefully feminine and modest while doing it.

I kind of want to read A 1950’s Housewife just to see what it was really like back then. It’s written by a real 1950’s housewife.

So, let’s revive the old fashioned housewife! Let’s learn from the strong women who held tight to their roles, combine it with modern conveniences, and top it off with biblical truths!

55 thoughts on “Old Fashioned Housewife In Real Life

  1. Another big reason our govt. encouraged women to work was so that they could tax the other half of the population. Terrible taxes!!

  2. I LOVE this post! It is exactly how I feel and what I strive to be to my family! Thank you for taking the time to write this!

  3. so needed this reminder today! I think it’s vitally important for moms to be at home, but society makes it so hard. My husband has been out on Workman’s Comp for two years now and I’ve struggled with going outside the home to work or not. I just keep coming back to how the family will change and I keep trying not to. Thank you for the encouragement today!

    1. Praying you will know the right thing to do (whatever that may be!) and that you will have peace about your decision!

  4. I strive for this for my family. My husband works very hard outside to make it financially possible for our family to have this lifestyle. I feel it is what is best for our family and society would greatly be benefit if more families followed your advise. I enjoyed reading your post and hope others will value it as much as I did. Blessings!

  5. While I understand where your comming from and think that being a housewife is a wonderful calling, I disagree that this is Gods calling for all women. Jesus himself never said a women’s purspose was to be a homemaker but as his followers we are to love others. Paul speaks that it is possibly a greater calling to be single for God. So while this role is so important and special, it isn’t the only ‘godly’ roll for a women. I think God calls us all into different rolls and lives and it’s by listening to him we find out where our purpose lies.

    Sorry I just had to write my two cents and I really don’t mean this negatively

    1. My article is addressed to married women, not single women. Those are two completely different roles. The Bible says that a married woman will care about her husband and how she can please him while the single woman will care about God and how she can please Him. I never said that single women are not valued! I do believe that God calls women into different roles (married, single, mother, childless, etc.). However, I do firmly believe that if God gives a woman a husband, then He HAS called her to be a homemaker/housewife first & foremost and if God gives her a child then He HAS called her to be a mother second to being a wife. Those roles come before being anything else but do not necessarily rule out having a career, etc. It is a matter of priorities. I have personally found that if I try to take too much time away from my marriage and family to pursue my career (I do work from home), then my marriage and family suffer. That is not good. So, you can see why I wrote this article to encourage the stay-at-home wife and mom (including myself). God bless.

  6. This is a great post! It would be nice to go back to the days women didnt mind working in the homes and taking care of the family and being a devoted wife. Unfortunatly, in todays society it takes two to make ends meet. What I hate seeing are the wives/mothers that do not work yet still will not take care of the house hold duties while claiming its half the husbands job even after hes had a long days work.

  7. As a Christian woman who raised a family in the 50’s and 60’s, (still happily married to the same man!) it was not all it was cracked up to be for the husband or wife. There were no choices for either party, both were relegated, and did not/could not question their roles in society. There was no help from my husband, and most husbands in general. My husband NEVER changed a diaper, did a load of laundry, washed a dish, or went the the grocery store. Remember, women really were still thought of as the weaker sex, not really having minds or opinions that mattered. Roles were strict, the wife had hers and the husband had his; these roles did not cross boundaries. Today we have the benefit of hindsight, my husband commented how much he wished he had been more involved as a father because he sees our son-in-laws pitching in to do their part in raising families, and the absolute joy he gets from caring for our grandchildren. In our day, husbands did not show much emotion, and were expected to work, period. They did not leave early to attend baseball games, or dance recitals. Remember ladies, looking back sounds so romantic, but today is the day the Lord has blessed us with! When we see the blessings of our lives and choose to live them the best we can today, God is truly smiling on us. Support each other as women. If you are a stay at home mom and know a working mom that could use support, offer it. If you are a working mom, and you know a stay at home mom that could use support, offer it. Support can be an ear to listen, a cup of coffee to chat over, maybe ice cream in the back yard for the kids, while moms chat. THIS IS GOD’s desire, for us to love each other in the day we are given. Women today are amazing, strong, and the heart of their homes whether they work at home or out of the home. The blessing is we as MEN AND WOMEN have choice. Pray for God’s guidance, make the best choice for your family for today and know all things will work out for good. Remember too, that everyone has a God given journey and is not ours to judge. Grace and peace to you all.

    1. Of course, things were not perfect in the 50’s. The danger now is in going to the opposite extreme. Thank you for your comment.

    2. From one Margaret to another, thank you for your comment. I struggle with guilt and anxiety over this very topic. I’m jealous of woman that have the privilege of being housewives. Not working for an income is only possible if someone else is suppoting you/your family financially, wether it be your husband, family or the government. I’m married with 3 wonderful young children. I love my husband, but neither one of us planned on me being a housewife. It was only after having my children, that I began to feel the weight of guilt of not staying home.
      Any comments I’ve received from anyone like “I don’t know how you do, I never wanted someone else to raise my children, etc, etc.” Are like knives in my I heart that I never forget. I opened this article thinking it was about advice on homemaking. To those of us working moms/ wives that are in a situation where it’s not reasonably possible to become a homemaker full time to me it just tears us down, as if we are not following Christ as well as you are. I attempt every day to be more and more like the Proverbs 31 woman, while working full time as a nurse.

  8. I’m not of Christian faith but I do believe this country whole heartedly went to crap shortly after the end of WWII and Vietnam was the cherry on the cake. I know in my heart women truly run the world but we need to go back to doing it the way we used to. We ran the world by running our houses our children and being involved in our husband’s lives. Letting men believe they ran the world kept them busy and coming home every night. The way things are now is killing us all.

  9. Love this post! Stay at home moms are STRONG women, they take on everything that has to do with shaping morals and values at home. I enjoy the idea of this message,as long as it doesnt go to the extreme.(aka: moms that dont want to do anything but sit at home, and men that arent involved with family because of work). As long as God is the center of the home, there will be love, and there will be a balance between society and family. Its sad to see that so many children go through negligence because of busy busy parents.

  10. Hi there! Even though I agree with a lot of what you’ve written here, I feel I need to chime in. (I’m not a mom yet, but a woman, almost wife and hopefully someday mom… )
    100% yes your family and household should ALWAYS be your first priority, but it should also always be your husbands first priority.
    As a Christian I feel very strongly about Christian judgement, and working moms have enough guilt as it is.
    Women are, and should be, able and free to decide whether they want to be a homemaker or a working mom. As long as God and family stays their first priority. But this should be expected from our husbands as well.
    We are so lucky and blessed to live in an era where women have the freedom to choose their lifestyle, and we should never take that for granted.

    I don’t mean this as criticism at all, and I really hear how you mean this. I just feel we as women should empower and support each other and God will lead each of us and our families according to His plan.

  11. I do get the romantic idea, but the 1950’s werent perfect, just like the lady earlier said. I am very happy to live today. My husband and I share all responsabilities. We both work, we both cook, we both clean and raise our child. After our child was born I’ve spend quite some time at home and I learned that I’m not made to be a Stay at Home mom. Working makes me a better person, more enjoyable wife and more patient mom. I take pride in the way me ánd my husband have decided to share all responsabilities. I hate to garden, he loves it so he does that. He hates to do laundry, I don’t mind so I do that etc.

  12. Goodness Larissa! Loved, loved, loved this article. As a now working mom with grown children I can tell you that there is no more important role than that of a mama. I wouldn’t trade one minute of my life when my kids were little. Time goes so fast where raising children are concerned. I believe that this is the real issue in society today. We’re too busy keeping up with the Jones’ and our children are the collateral damage. Preach on!

  13. Let me start by saying I have been married 12 years to the father of my two children. In the years since I met my husband I have scarcely worked. I have always admired women that run a tight ship and raise upstanding children. I agreed with most of this article until you tried to tell me that it’s my Godly duty to stay home. So married women with children can’t be called by God to do anything outside the home? Women weren’t created to have babies AND deliver them as a doctor? Women can’t love their husbands AND have a maid do the cooking and cleaning? Women shouldn’t protect their families AND their community as a police officer? Am I a horrible wife, mother, and person if I feel a need to to fulfill wants and needs outside my home?

  14. The decision to stay at home or work is made on a personal level. I completely disgree that married women have the moral biblical obligation to stay at home..Some.women need the extra money, some need the friendship of coleaugues.Not everyone is born with the same personality, and we are not living in medieval times, Not all women function at their best when are forced to stay home.Society progressed for the right reasons, to give opportunities to all.What is important is we teach our children the right things, and live as an example to them.

  15. Totally disagree and feel as if this is a slap in the face to MANY Godly women who have no choice BUT to work. Life is not about doing what one CHOOSES to do but how they use the TALENTS given them by God for the betterment of the entire world (you know that whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren). I was married for 20 years to a man who cheated on me, spent the family money on his own selfish needs and wants and did everything in his power to force me to work sometimes multiple jobs all while keeping a home and rearing 5 children. I prayed and my answer was not this rosy oh my child be a homemaker, work from home. First of all the Lord did not make me a patient soul. Staying home esconsed in that role would have tried my short fuse over and over especially knowing my kids would have had no food, clothing etc without my leaving the home to work. God did not give me the talents to be a sales person so MOST work at home jobs are not in my ability. Rather I worked. My kids went to *GASP* day care, ate Pizza a lot of nights, and truth be told slept on sheets that should have been washed weeks prior. I’m divorced now. I still work 2 jobs. Child 1 is a combat engine in the military and a street dept worker using his skills from the military. Child 2 is an account Executive for the NBA with a degree in Sport Mgmt. Child 3 is heading to college in the fall to earn a degree in Marketing. 4 and 5 are still home. Sone days I work 15 hours between both jobs. I receive NO support from their father because the day before we went to court he fell asleep at his job and was terminated. This was the 3rd job he was terminated from in 6 years. God gave me the talents to raise the children He entrusted to me. My house is NOT the most kept on the block. My kids still eat take out more than I care to admit and I rarely wear make up but any other life IS NOT using my talents to the best of my ability and would be a sin.

  16. Clarissa, I’d like to offer one slight correction to something you said above. I’ve read 2-3 books about the period of WWII and the years directly after that indicated that while some women after the war did want to keep their jobs, their were many many more that were more than happy, and downright anxious, to return to their role of homemaker. One reason was that they had seen first hand how much more stressful their lives had been during the war. Of course part of it was the stress of husband being away and all the uncertainty and fears. But in addition to that they had become concerned that the home, aside from the stresses I just mentioned, was not a peaceful place. They saw the effect on their children of not having mom there when kids came home from school. They had witnessed their fatigue, and realized that in coping with the understandable fatigue they let their parenting and things connected to their homemakers role slide a little at times. They hated not having the time to do those small things they had done before that made home a peaceful place. They wanted to eturn to what they saw as their real career! People often overlook that women staying in the workforce after the war meant that the husbands and fathers who came home sometimes had difficulty finding jobs. How was that a good thing? I wish I could give you the titles of the books, but I have long ago given the books away. I think perhaps one may have been just titled London. Another was the result of a project by the British government to interview women to document their experiences during and after wartime. Anyway, I found all this very interesting and know you will as well.

    1. I absolutely appreciate your comment and for sharing your knowledge!! In my research (though not extensive), I did find that there were women who knew that being a housewife/homemaker was indeed most important, and it is these women I am applauding and holding up as an example in my post. Thank you so much for chiming in!

  17. This article was a blessing and encouragement. I am currently a full-time working mom and long and desire to be a homemaker. My husband and I have accrued quite a bit of debt and we are currently working towards financial freedom in order for me to stay at home. I am longing to have more children as well. I got saved on June 6, 2013 and my life was transformed and along with that my desires changed. My husband was saved as a child and his father is our pastor as well. I desire to homeschool my children like my husband was. Through prayer and endurance I’m hoping the Lord will allow us to be able accomplish this lifestyle. God Bless you!

  18. Thought this was very encouraging as i have the blessing to stay at home and raise our daughter. Thank you so much!

  19. Thank you for this ! I am a mother of four and have done everything for daycare to homesales to try my best to be a full time mom and wife and thought I could do it all. What I found out was I could not give half of myself to work and half to my family it was all falling apart. Three years ago I was working full time and my marriage was failing. Then I had a medical issue that landed me in a wheelchair. I was devastated! What I did not understand at the time God takes pain and suffering and can turn it to good. I was a full time mom again. My husband and I reunited and we are stronger than ever. Being a mother and a wife is all I ever wanted and even though I have not regained my ability to walk but God has rewarded me with so much more. Thank you for your wonderful words of inspiration

  20. Great post overall!

    A lot of young people now are in awe at how wives can just up and quit their jobs once they get married. It was something I did with very little planning, and we just make it work the way we need to. Now, as a mother, there are things I do to contribute financially, as well as run the home. My husband is exemplary – helping with anything and everything I ask of him and sharing the parenting duties more than I ever would have imagined.
    The 1950s husband/wife rolls were very different from what we see today, even in homes where the wife decides not to pursue a career.
    I say do what works for your own family, as long as everyone is happy and fulfilled and living a Christ-centered life! Realizing not every home has the option for the mother to stay home! Yes, there are usually ways to make it work, but not always, especially in more expensive areas of the world 🙂

  21. I really enjoyed this post! The pull to hold down a career while caring for a husband and children is real. Although I’m completely happy being home with my family and praise the Lord that I have the option to do so, I still get vibes from extended family who don’t really understand why I’m not teaching music (I have a degree in music ed) while also teaching my own little ones. I’m beyond blessed that my husband wants me to be at home as much as I want to be. It’s been the best thing for both my marriage and my little ones!

  22. Our local newscast yesterday had a article about why women should NOT be stay at home moms for the first 5 years of a child’s life. The just assumed that after a child turned 5 that mom would go back to work. I never worked, (except for a few short times, after I was married. I didn’t want to. I applaud you for encouraging women to become a 1950’s housewife but I really think you should encourage them to be more of a Pre 1950 ‘s housewife. After WWII so many shortcuts were put into cooking and really cleaning. Many of the additives they put in these shortcuts are really injurious to everyone. The major one is that they put sulfates, sulfites and sulfonamides into not only cleaning and personal products but also food. This is one of the most dangerous additive because if persons who are allergic to sulfa don’t realize that they are derivatives of Sulfa. They also effect the body differently than other allergens. They effect every part of your body. They cause Arthritis or Fibriomyalgia and Chronic Pain It can effect your brain and your cognitive ability. It causes damage to so many parts of your body that it is not funny.
    I am working on a Historical Home Economics course and it will go from preK (about age 3) to 12th grade. Hopefully when the kids are finished they will have a cookbook of recipes that they already know how to cook.
    One last thing I wish to tell people is that there are a lot of natural foods that contain Sulfates. But unless you have adulterated your body systems they should not bother you unless you are so allergic to sulfa that it causes Anaphalactic Shock.
    By the way the curriculum will be totally free. I will copyright it so that no one can ever sell it. It is too important for young people to know to sell it.
    Be careful of what you eat.

    1. I agree with you and I appreciate you sharing your knowledge!! I do agree that pre-1950’s is even better. I chose to focus on the 1950’s era only because there was pressure on both sides of the spectrum, for women to work and/or stay home. Prior to the World Wars, it was expected and respected that women would stay home for the most part. The women who chose to stay(or go back) home after the wars are the ones I am applauding for their strength to do what was right. But, yes, the food industry went down hill after the wars.

  23. I really enjoyed this. I have been a stay at home wife and mother for most of my son’s life. I worked for four years when he was small (aged 1 to 5) and I wish I could have been home then. I went back to work to help my husband because he was struggling with his job, and very anxious about providing for us. My son is now 17 and we have two more years left of homeschool before he goes off to college. I am now wondering what to do. I don’t think I can be a stay at home wife without a child at home to care for. My husband is okay with me going back to work now if I want to, and definitely when my son goes away to school. I can’t imagine staying at home once he is grown. If there were a network of other housewives I might feel differently. As it is, I am the only housewife around where I live. It can get rather lonely.

    1. Once your son is grown up I don’t think there is anything wrong with going back to school, getting a job doing something you love, working from home, etc. especially if you are careful to still have time to do the things you’ve done as a housewife/homemaker and be there for your husband without the work/school getting in the way. Just minus the stay-at-home-mom stuff and replace that time with a productive hobby, schooling, or job. Become self-employed and work for yourself part time from home (that’s what I do with this blog and everything that goes into managing it, as well as being an independent consultant with 3 different companies!)… Or volunteer that time to a worthy cause you feel passionate about. Or, put that time into doing even more housewife and homemaking things that are going to build your marriage, etc. And enjoy your “retirement” 😉 So many options! And congratulations on being an awesome mom and wife and doing what’s best even when it’s hard! God bless you!

  24. There is so much more to being a housewife than what most modern people think. Its not only about cooking and cleaning. Its also baking, cake decorating, gardening, growing a kitchen garden and herbs, decorating your home, bread making, crafts, Bible studies, sewing for family, sewing for the home,making gifts for birthdays and christmas and so much more. There is no end to the skills a housewife may possess.

  25. I value being a housewife. It’s my first choice. Plus, barring extenuating circumstances,who could be turned on by a man who couldn’t provide and protect? Who wants a husband that treats them as a roommate?

  26. I wanted to be a stay at home mom, and was for the first 2 years, but the husband always wanted more and more material things. I thought I could please him by working and bringing in more income, but there was never enough. My son helped me run my home based business but when he left home, my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. The husband only helped when it benefited him. The husband decided to go his way and I went mine. Now my son is married with kids. He loves to play with them, and let them help when he’s working around the house. He remembers what it was like not to have an active dad and how I was there for him. He’s a better daddy because he knows what it’s like not to have one. He’s a good husband because he knows how it can hurt the wife when you are selfish and overbearing. He’s a good son because he remembered what I was going through but still gave him all the love and care I could and I did the best I could. He’s a good worker because he knows as long as he has a good job, he can provide for his family and his wife will be able to care for the family. They make a great team. Together they are raising kids that will know how to love, share, discuss, agree and respect others. In the end, that is what we all need to work towards.

  27. Excuse me, but I think you spent so much time writing about what God told you to do that you failed to realize that what he told you to do isn’t necessarily what he told every other woman to do. I will greatly enjoy being a stay at home if and when God decides it is my time to be one, but until then God has asked me to work as he certainly has with many other women. I agree that the work of a woman in the home should be valued and not deminished in any way, but I do not agree with your suggesting that women are doing wrong simply because God did not give them the same commands.

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