The 1950s Housewife Experiment

Posted 01-28-2012 at 10:24 AM by Krista

This article was brought to my attention by a member of Diaper Swappers who posted it in the Off Topic forum. The premise is that any woman who joins the experiment will transform into a housewife from the 1950s, where your husband was the most important part of your life, the center of your universe, if you will. As you can imagine, the forum was full of comments along the lines of, “Is this for real?” Indeed, at least for one woman it is very real, and you can read about her journey here: http://www.jenbutneverjenn.com/2010/05/welcome-to-50s-housewife experiment.html

Now, while I can’t say that I have been an avid reader—like the 1950s housewife, I don’t have the time!—I have read enough to get the general gist. Basically, a girl yearns and dreams about her wedding day. When that day comes, from the moment she says “I Do” she embarks on a journey to fulfill her husband’s every need. I know many of you are scoffing. After all, my husband is lucky if I am even halfway sane by the time he gets home! Much less have a home-cooked dinner and a clean house. I mean, dinner is for Domino’s to sort out, am I right?

All kidding aside, I found the articles to be very interesting. Here are a few things that stuck out to me.

  1. Along with keeping her house neat and tidy and a place of welcome and security for her husband, the woman is encouraged to put on a pretty dress and freshen up her makeup before her husband arrives home from work. I found this interesting, because so often when J gets home I am still sitting in my PJs (I am so glad I am an adult now! Mama always used to say I could wear pajamas all day when I was an adult, and guess what? I do!) The idea of making an effort to look our best for our husbands is (for some of us) reserved to date night and special occasions.
  2. The woman is encouraged not to burden her husband with her thoughts, feelings or stories right when he gets home. She needs to greet him enthusiastically and give him time to unwind. I also found this intriguing, because I have to admit all too often when J gets home I immediately abandon him to the kids for a few moments of peace and quiet or launch a list of complaints at him. This can’t be easy for him coming right off of work, and a few times he has made the remark that men like to relax when they first come home.
  3. Nagging will kill a marriage. This is an interesting piece of advice, because if your husband is anything like mine then he hates it.

While there are many other fascinating tid-bits in the blog to be found these are my three favorite. What really amazes me is that the tips that were given to women back then—and that are scorned today—are still relevant. I am trying to work on the above mentioned traits, though I highly doubt I will engage in the full experiment which includes much more housework and cooking than I am used to!

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