Why Did We Think That Our Ancestors Didn’t Have Useful Skills?
With college starting around the corner, it brought me to a unique thought. I am a college graduate. So this by no means is completely downplaying college. Though I am a firm believer of going to more reasonable schools in price. But that is just me the practical and frugal person.
Getting back to the thought. Three years ago I really started learning homemaking skills. I read every “how to” book on different subjects such as bulk cooking, canning, gardening, some sewing and organization books. I had grown up on a farm, but that was just a place I grew up, not a lifestyle. I didn’t know how to sew or can back then! Some of my friends thought this was crazy. But even farm kids were not taught these useful skills.
So after earning a bachelor’s degree in business, I was learning skills about homemaking that I should have learned as a child. Why as a society did we come to the conclusion that providing for your own food and clothing were not useful skills? Somehow Hamburger Helper and “Made in Bangladesh” were the sophisticated way to live.
I love hearing stories of people and how they made it through the Great Depression. They were strong people that were not removed from how to make things work and to do without.
My father grew up in the 40’s. His parents’s family had both lost farms in the Great Depression. So my father grew up on a farm that was rented. His father absolutely didn’t want to own a farm to lose it like his parents had. I have heard many stories about the farm and I knew my dad was poor. They had a four room house. The bathroom was an outhouse.
This summer, I was asking him about if they had a food shortage or how it was to grow up poor. He said we always had enough and there was always food on the table. He never really thought of himself as poor when he was in the moment. His mother was an avid canner. They had a huge garden. His parents both worked on the farm. They made it work. The had their needs met. To this day, my father is a pretty practical guy. He works hard and is appreciative for what he has.
My mother’s family also had a farm when she was growing up. She had ten kids in their family and they grew up in town and they would go out to the farm. They grew up in a middle class family that did well. She was just telling me today how her mother would bake ten loaves of bread. They grew up having sweet rolls often. Her mother had a room in the basement that was called the fruit room. It was where she stored all of her canning for the year after she put it up in the summer. The family worked together and they had two times a year the put up chickens. My mother told me that her mother was able to dress chickens and they ate a lot of them.
Her mother was a happy homemaker. She could work in the kitchen, iron clothes and take care of her family in many ways. Back then, it seemed like people knew their purposes. They seemed more content with having a lot less than we do.
Our ancestors knew what went in their food. They knew how to get a few more months or years out of their clothing by mending or darning socks. For many of us, these simple skills are never known. Somehow chasing more “stuff” is suppose to show how much we are worth. For most it just shows how much they are in debt.
I know how hard it was to get started in learning a whole new way of life. It was overwhelming! It was all encompassing. It would not be just one skill such as how to can. It became a lifestyle. In that lifestyle, it was one step at a time. I am still learning lots of skills, but I also have come a long way.
My goal is to help you hone in on your homemaker skills. Since we are mothers, we are the keeper of the home. These homemaker skills save you a ton of money, help you live healthier and often help you be able to stay at home with your kids if that is your desire.
Homemaking skills are not hard. The hardest part is reading from a book and learning a new skill, since a lot of us will not be able to learn hands on because the generation before us also didn’t practice homemaking skills.
As a mother, I want my house to be warm and welcoming. I want our food to be healthy. I don’t want a lot of gadgets to take away from family time. My husband and I believe that a mother is the best child care giver.
I am also glad that my husband supports me to be a work at home mother. A little bit of freedom to come out and blog. I also love meeting people and hearing their stories of life through my soap making business. Speaking of homemaking skills, soap making definitely came from the years of studying how to be a homemaker.
As a homemaker, I am always striving to learn new things. I have accomplished a lot in small amount of time. Currently my goal is to learn how to make yogurt and cheese. I would also like to work more on my sewing skills.
As a mother and homemaker, what are your current goals? Do you feel you were fully given the right advice and knowledge of your hardest but most rewarding career?
Photo Compliments TMRYDER
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