Saturday 26 March 2011

Could I cut it in the Thirties?

Procter and Gamble have been making products to make our lives easier for 80 years now.

They've recently release research entitled 'The Changing Face of Motherhood' highlighting how the role has changed over the eras.

I was brought up in the Seventies and Eighties - according to the research this is the period most of today's mums would like to have brought up their baby.

Procter and Gamble challenged me and other mummy bloggers to undertake the 'Life Before Procter and Gamble' challenge and spend a day as a 1930's housewife.

How could I resist!  I'm thinking evening cocktails, cigarette holders, flouncing around saying 'I love you darling, rarely I do' in a Brief Encounter kind of way.

Hmmm.  After speaking to my Nana who was a real-life 1930's housewife, it seems it wasn't exactly like this.  However, with four generations of females - Ruby, myself, my mum and my Nana I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to learn about how things were different in different eras.  We spent some time reminiscing with Nana, talking about wash days and rationing!

We also spent quite a lot of time looking through old photographs, which was quite a thought-provoking experience.  We lost Grandad three years ago, and I often forget what he lived through.  It was good to remember how he'd fought in the war, and sad to see pictures of him and my Nana looking so youthful and full of energy.  In their younger days they had a tandem and used to cycle all over the country on it.

When my uncle was born, my Grandad was away in the army.  He was allowed 2 days leave to come home and see him, and then returned to duty.  My uncle didn't really get to know his dad until he returned after the war.  Very different times to nowadays with 2 weeks paternity leave, and me moaning when Ruby's dad is too late home from work some nights to give her a bath.

During the war my Nana worked as a Clippy on the buses, with family helping out with child-care.  Bringing up children during war-time must have been unimaginably tough.  Not only the fear of air raids, the worry about loved ones fighting abroad, but the rationing and hard work of running a household makes me realise how good we've got it now.

So tonight I plan to have my bath and put in my rollers in preparation for tomorrow's 1930s task - although if I end up looking more Shirley Temple than Greta Garbo, I shall be washing it straight out again.

Pop back soon to find out how I get on.


  1. I'd love this sooooo much!!!! Hope you don't mind me saying but I can really see you in your Nana (from the old pics)
    Fabulous, fabulous post... can't wait to hear how you get on!

    I was brought up in the 80's and agree, and although tough in some ways, I had a great childhood.

  2. Fantastic post, I can see you in your nana too, especially the first picture.
    I have a feeling that you are going to love your day, but you will be grateful to get back to your mod cons again. Good luck with it, I can't wait to read how you get on.

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog.This subject is interesting,I can't wait to read you experiences about being a 1930s housewife.

  4. look foward to hearing about how you get on good luck :)

  5. Oh what a lovely post - I cant wait to hear how you get on! Such a great idea as well!

  6. This sounds like it'd be great fun, but also a real challenge. I tried to think about how I'd live for the day, and keep thinking "nope, they didn't have that in the 30's!"
    I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of your hair!
    Also, in an effort to make this more realistic for you, I shall be spending the day outside your house sounding a recording of an air raid siren. No need to thank me, honest ;)

  7. What a great project, educational and it's bringing four generations of your family together. I look forward to reading the subsequent post but as for the hard work, rather you than me. I love my labour-saving devices far too much and the free time they afford me. Have fun! x

  8. I've so loved reading this post - I'm one for a little reminiscing myself, especially after inheriting a box of family photos I've so enjoy scanning and restoring. It never ceases to amaze me how women back then managed to take care of the home without the mod cons we have now :-)

    Jem xXx

  9. What a lovely post; can definately see the family resemblance!
    I love looking at old pics and am really close to my Grandma too. She has so many stories of sharing ration books for Birthdays and sharing 2 eggs between the four of them. I don't think we can really imagine how hard it was. My Grandfather served in the War too and it was such a worrying time, he was adamant that my Grandma wasn't to have any children until he returned; couldn't stand the thought of her alone with them. Such gentlemen in those days!
    Am really looking forward to reading how you get on and especially seeing the pics of your set :) Are you going for a marcel type wave or a full on pincurl look?
    Fran xx

  10. Wow how great to share this special time with Ruby! it is precious, we often gleam so much from our parents through the eyes of our own children, I cried when I read my sons WW2 project after he 'interviewed' Nannor over the phone, she sent him pics and he got a headteachers award for his project. Good Luck tomorrow!!!!

  11. Don't forget,though if you have to wash the curls out that you won't be able to get your hairdryer out! My mum and dad cycled all the way on a tandem from Derby to Wales for their honeymoon in 1939!

  12. I really enjoyed reading this with my son...especially in light of the fact that we share a surname along the way. My Grandad Sam Littler ran the Ship Inn in Fleetwood and gave many soldiers a pint during the they had no money they would give him shell casing sculptures instead; some of which I now have. You have a flowing prose style too! Very enjoyable. Thank you. Keith x