Monday, February 8, 2010

The Homemaker's Duty to Herself

Good morning, dear friends!

A happy Monday to you, whatever you do! We at Merry Hearts Cottage love to collect old home economics books (the older the better), to glean from them the wisdom of the ages. Here is a little bit from the "Household Science and Arts for Elementary Schools", dated 1912~

The Homemaker's Duty to Herself

"The duties of the average housekeeper who does her own work are so many and so varied that it is often hard for her to know just where to begin. She is frequently busy from early in the morning until late at night, taking care of children, preparing meals, cleaning, scouring, and many times she adds washing and ironing to her other labors. such a woman finds hardly a moment's leisure during the day, and if, after the evening meal is finished, dishes washed, and children put to bed, she has a minute to sit down, she must take up a piece of mending or sewing. Is it any wonder that such women, weary, tired, and overworked, break down?

A woman in this position often wastes much nervous energy by fretting over unaccomplished work. She grows nervous and irritable in the useless effort to get things done which are quite beyond her strength. Then, too, when the night comes on, the other members of the family do not always return from the day's work with a cheery and helpful spirit, but bring home with them the perplexities of the workday world outside. But the mother or home maker is expected to be unfailingly pleasant, cheerful, and patient, and to smooth out all difficulties, no matter how worn or tired she may be.

Now this home maker should not forget that she has a duty to herself. She should learn to plan and save strength and energy by having cooking utensils near the cooking table, and the table near the sink and stove; by sitting down when preparing vegetables and other food, and, in pleasant, mild weather, by doing such work on the back porch, in the fresh air; and if she could learn to take a few minutes' rest during each day, by lying or sitting down, if for but five minutes, completely relaxing, or, in other words, "letting go" muscle, brain, and nerve, she would find that she would be refreshed and strengthened for her work."


May we all take heed of these timeless words of wisdom, my dear homemaking friends!




  1. Dear Marqueta,
    I love old Homemaking books as well. The Homemaker was considered a serious job (we know it is!) ~ I love the tips these vintage books old, and still so true for today.
    I hope you are having a happy Monday!

  2. Marqueta,

    You always have such lovely things on your blog! I really enjoyed this post. I love your new blog header. It sooo cute!

    Love, Heather

  3. Thanks for the trip to another era. I love old homemaking books and articles too:-)

  4. Como madres tenemos que cuidarnos mucho. Porque nosotras somos las que mantenemos el hogar comfortable y querido.

    Cuando los dias se vuelven calidos, yo tambien me voi a la terraza y ago mucho de mis trabajos ahi!

    Es muy saludable :)

    Gracias mi amiga por compartir...

    Con mucho carino,


  5. I have sat down to dinner many days only to realize it is the first time I have sat down all day. Now I make myself take at least a few minutes rest in the middle of the day and it definitely helps.

    Warm wishes,


  6. This sounds exactly like my dear sweet Grandmother (who raised me). Add to this being a farmers wife! Not only her family she cared for, raising her 3 grandchildren and feeding farm help, too! She was busy the moment she got up in the morning till she laid her head on the pillow at night and never complained! And she did it all well! (And once in a great while, I did see her lay on the couch with her feet up in the middle of the day, and yet her hands were busy with yarn and hook!)
    They just don't make 'em like they used to!
    Thanks for sharing this delightful glimpse from the past!

  7. Wonderful I just love old books I think the older and stinkier and yellower(sp? is that a word hehe) The Better!! I enjoyed this reading selection. I love how it says take it outdoors Charlotte Mason always says this also. I think this is such wonderful advice it is amazing what a few minutes of fresh air can do!
    Yeah the button works :)
    Have a wonderful day ~Blessings Love Heather





  9. Dear Marqueta,
    I always have loved reading Homemaking books! I love the older ones back from 1900-1960~the homemaker was considered a real respectable job. She was the keeper of her home and family. All the extra work those women had to do!! I think your blog header is beautiful! In Him, Rose

  10. what a fun article! It is important for every mama to have some time to herself!

  11. Thank you for sharing this article with us. Where do you find these old Mother's Magazines? Are they something that your family has held onto and passed down? What a treasure they are, and I always love to read the tid bits that you share with us. This is a reminder we (I) need to hear quite often :o)

    Many blessings to you!

  12. These old books are full of bits of wisdom that many women don't know anymore. They are things that could help us not to be totaly stressed out, which then leads to marital conflict, tension, arguments, and maybe even divorce? Thanks for sharing the wisdom gleaned from a wonderful old book.


  13. Just hopped over from Lady Farmer's blog and have been browsing through. I love all the old tidbits of wisdom you share is lovely! I hope to visit you again sometime.


  14. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



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