Thursday, May 13, 2010

Article #100 Homemaking Skills

Gone are the days of the learning to cook, clean, mend and iron from your mother, to prepare you for marriage and homemaking. She is probably too busy working a full time job. In my youth, women were protesting for equal rights, pay and opportunities. Careers were the “in” thing. Most young women considered getting some specialized training usually secretarial or elementary teaching in case they didn’t get married or if something happened to their husband and they needed to work to support any dependent children. (Photo of me with suitcases-my high school graduation present.)

During high school, I attended homemaking classes and learned some basic skills which were helpful. My mom as a widow was working fulltime to support our family. She had no extra time or energy to teach me the basic skills I would need for marriage. We ate many meals out and our little trailer didn’t take much effort to clean. Our wash was done at the laundromat which was certainly a time saver. Mom did any cooking.

So it wasn’t until college days that I learned how to scrub and wax floors, clean bathrooms, and cook meals. I took turns with my roommates, cleaning or cooking and shopping for food or dishes. What an eye opener that was. Especially the budgeting part, we only had so much money that each person contributed for food for the week. Then we had to plan menus, purchase groceries and cook. I learned by doing and thankfully I had some roomies whose parents had taken the time to teach some practical skills to their growing daughters. All I remember from high school cooking classes was how to make cocoa or hot chocolate and perhaps cinnamon toast but my roomies knew how to make spaghetti, casseroles and other basic dishes. So dorm living brought me some practical necessary training in homemaking skills that would be needed after my marriage.

I started a recipe file and asked my grandmothers for recipes of their favorite dishes. Unfortunately, they had nothing written down but just put in a dab or this or that until it felt right. I remember watching my grandmother make homemade bread and became so frustrated because she didn’t measure anything. I was just about to undertake a life long occupation of homemaker which would require new skills not taught in college. Cooking, cleaning, ironing, budgeting, and more not to mention parenting, plus living with a spouse. (My Jr. High photo on the right.)

6 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

I love this picture of you with your luggage. It's funny cause that was a popular graduation gift then. I wonder if it still is? I had to ask for so many recipes after I got married as my mom didn't cook that much since she worked and so my list was small!

SandyCarlson said...

You are beautiful, now as then. these are great. I wish my skills were better. Thanks for getting me to think.

Linda Reeder said...

You cooked in a dorm? We had caefterias for dorm living, so I didn't really cook much until I shared my first apartment when I began teaching. But I did learn a lot about cooking from my mother. Cleaning - not so much.

Cheryl said...

I learned so much from my mother, she was so busy with five of us! I can remember her washing the clothes with a wringer washer and then hanging them on the line, year round. She always went without for us. I was on my own in a rooming house when I attended a small college for one year when I was 18, had to learn to make do with a few groceries, lots of cereal and M & M's! Nowadays there are so many fancy appliances, so many precooked foods and fast food places that most young people probably don't even know what an iron is or how to cook a turkey!

Katie said...

Maybe they should have taught us more real life skills in high school!

Rambling Woods said...

My mother never cooked or did housework, so I don't know how I learned but I did it from a very early age....Michelle