Otherwise know as the P&G 1930’s housewife challenge. I along with other mummy bloggers have been set the challenge to try a day in the life of a 1930’s family. We decided to take this on and use it as a learning tool for the boys.
Cleaning in the 1930’s
I was supplied with some white vinegar, a spray bottle, lemon, bicarb, household soap and cloths. I have to say that I already have all of this in my cleaning cupboard and use it all and have taken to buying white vinegar by the 5 litres from the cash and carry. So I did not find this part of the challenge too hard, except the fact that I missed my washing up liquid and my dishwasher. The hardest part was boiling the hot water to clean everything.
Laundry in the 1930’s
No, No, No. I am so glad that I have my washing machine and washing products. This was very hard work, as the video will attest to.
My Gran used cold cream and a flannel to wash her face, which is remarkably similar to the Liz Earle Cleans and Polish system I use today. I am also not too much of a make up girl, so didn’t feel that bad with just powder, rouge, mascara and lipstick. My issues arose when it came to my hair, which is naturally frizzy at best and when washed with a bar of soap it was even frizzier than normal, so I resorted to putting it in rollers, but I couldn’t get the curls to take. I now know what a wash and set was so popular.
I have to say that the beauty challenge left me with some questions about the 1930’s woman. How did they shave or did they shave at all? Did they have hair dye or did you just have to go old gracefully?
I did find this fab video on you tube of 1930 skincare and makeup
As someone who cooks and bakes from scratch the food aspect wasn’t that much of a challenge for me either, however, I really did miss my mixer and my bread machine. I make fresh bread everyday and rather than make it all by hand I didn’t bother. I also may be the only person on the planet that actually drinks loose leave tea anyway, so that wasn’t too much of a chose. MadDad on the other hand loves coming home to a nice fresh coffee from our coffee machine and was quite put out that he couldn’t have one. Oh apart from cooking the porridge in a pan, I have got so used to heating it up in the microwave using a Pyrex dish. Cleaning the pan was very hard indeed.
No Batteries Required.
This was a harder challenge for us as a family. I use computers day to day for work and MadDad also uses a laptop everyday at work. The boys both adore their screen time and I thought we would find it difficult to switch off. However, thanks partly to the change of weather this was easy. We go to the park after school and then home nad the boys have been going outside to play, followed by quiet time, which has been books, jigsaws and family games. We have a 6 to 6 rule, which means no screens after 6pm or before 6am for the boys.
I also realised that we actually have the radio or music on a lot of the time too and was glad that radio was around in the 1930’s!
We really enjoyed this challenge, it certainly made us aware and more thankful for the labour saving devices of today, especially the washing machine, you can pop a load in and go and carry on with something else. I know also know just how much I love my dishwasher, microwave and mixer and blenders and how often we use them too. But I am also aware that I am not a typical modern housewife. I chose to use natural methods for cleaning, for both environmental and health reasons.
As I work from home I have the luxury to be able to cook meals from scratch and cherish my slow cooker for this reason. I can pop a casserole in it and then forget about it until dinner time.
From a beauty perspective, I am not sure what my hair would look like if I had to wash it with soap everyday, so I am glad of hair dryers, straightening irons and conditioner. I have heard that people use to put their long hair between brown paper nad iron it straight.
I like to think that I have a little of the best of both worlds and hope that I can continue in this manner, having a family meal at the table every night, but also utilising the best technology and modern inventions to stay happy, busy and be the best I can be.
Some other blooggers have been busy in the 1930’s too, including Hot Cross Mum, Mari at Mari’s world, Being a Mummy and A Mid 30’s Life. P&G have been in the UK for 80 years now and recently commissioned a survey on The Changing Face of Motherhood, which makes very interesting reading. But the one statistic that stood out for me was that 40% of mums rely on their mums as their most valued source of advice and support.
Procter and Gamble supplied me with a before and after goodie bag and also a Flip recorder.
Comments very interesing ideas, alot of things still been used, and money saving tips too great blog
Well done you! I found it exhausting and was glad when it was over! BUt what a brilliant challenge to be part of!
What a great post, don’t know if I would get sanely through a day like this as am so lazy and love the dishwasher, plus I tend to burn all the pots (a family tradition) so have loads of soakers with dishwashing liquids. Though I love your use of vinegar. Actually vinegar and soap are all you need in the house, dislike all those strong bleaches. It’s March madness b-ball phenom here in California, USA so would be funny to see the boys do without that for a night…
I’ve heard that you can use bicarb instead of shampoo (1cup bicarb mixed with 1 cup water) and cider vinegar (mixed with water) as a rinse. I’m too scared to try it.
Oh WOW this must have been amazing! Like you not sure I could have done without the shampoo but realy interested inteh cleaning as I really hate what some chemicals do; not keen on the laundry aspect in the 1930s…think I might have sent it out!
wow this is a great thing to try. Not sure I could do all of this, but you seem to take to it without any issues at all. Hats off to you. xx
I think shaving only became fashionable for women in the 1960s. I can remember a time when my mother didn’t.
You did well! Thanks for the mention.
Have to let you know, you’ve inspired me to get a bread maker. My grandparents had one and we used to wake up to fresh bread in the house – amazing – and for some reason I had completely forgotten about it until reading this post.
Am all excited now!
The washing did my nut in too. I can only guess they only washed clothes when they were filthy back then. It was a fun challenge to do, and your vlogs are far more sensible than mine!
Gosh it makes you appreciate the washing machine so much doesn’t it?
That makeup and skin guide is so foreign – Oh how I’d long to have a maid to run my bath for me…