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  • FIRST POST
    • mardatha
    • By mardatha 3rd Dec 09, 10:04 AM
    • 15,283Posts
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    mardatha
    witterings on OS life
    • #1
    • 3rd Dec 09, 10:04 AM
    witterings on OS life 3rd Dec 09 at 10:04 AM
    Husband & i were talking ( we do sometimes) about how much life has changed since the 50s when we grew up, and how hard it still is. Then we decided that people sometimes make it harder than it needs to be.. for instance - growing up in the 50s, you had one fire in the house, usually coal. Your mum stayed at home and cooked nice big dinners and made cakes, and used veg from the garden. You played outside all of the time or read a book at the fire. So, only one income but low outgoings.

    Take todays family...like my daughter's. All bedrooms have to be heated because they all play/study/slob around in their own rooms. All rooms have a mix of playstations, computers, tvs, x-boxes, wi-fi. The living room has a tv and 2 computers. All this has to be paid for.

    Most women work (they want to or have to). They rush to childminders, rush to work, rush to shops, picking up dropping off kids all day, inc weekends and evenings to clubs & activities. They have to juggle all this with cooking and cleaning and cuddling.This all has to be paid for, inc petrol.

    We get bombarded with ads on what healthy children need/dont need/must eat/cant eat. We "must" have expensive soap powder that comes in tablets/sachets/liquid with wee fancy dispensers.. We "must" have softener or else we are being cruel & terrible, forcing our kids into rough clothes that will surely damage their skin .... We "must" have silly little wipes smelling of disinfectant that cost a fortune to wipe the whole house with...

    Which one has the easier life ? The 1950s woman or todays ? We earn so much more money now - but look what we're doing with it ! Maybe we're all hamsters on a wheel...:rolleyes: with the big company bosses peering in, chortling and rubbing their hands as they count their profits !

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    Last edited by Former MSE Wendy; 08-12-2009 at 9:46 PM.
Page 1
  • Olliebeak
    • #2
    • 3rd Dec 09, 10:08 AM
    • #2
    • 3rd Dec 09, 10:08 AM
    Hear, hear, Mardatha!

    No wonder so many people are opting out of the 'ratrace' of Life and looking for something much saner.

    I don't remember my childhood being rushed - apart from me rushing home for my tea when 'called in' because it was ready !
    • purpleivy
    • By purpleivy 3rd Dec 09, 10:18 AM
    • 3,401 Posts
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    purpleivy
    • #3
    • 3rd Dec 09, 10:18 AM
    • #3
    • 3rd Dec 09, 10:18 AM
    I love your 'witterings' Mardatha.
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
    • cuddlymarm
    • By cuddlymarm 3rd Dec 09, 10:23 AM
    • 1,188 Posts
    • 6,124 Thanks
    cuddlymarm
    • #4
    • 3rd Dec 09, 10:23 AM
    • #4
    • 3rd Dec 09, 10:23 AM
    Hi

    I quite agree with you. Today you are dependent on 2 wages because it is expected that you provide your children with a room of their own, with games, holidays, designer clothes etc and it is ironic that you need to spend the money you earn on ready made pies, burgers etc because you haven't got the time or energy to make them. I am a child of older parents (and I was a child in the 60s) and my dad took it as an insult when my mum wanted a pin money job because it would look like he wasn't providing for us. The money wasn't allowed to be spent on anything that he should provide ( bills, shoes, clothes etc) The only credit they had was the mortgage and the car (which when was paid off was replaced with a newer model) I think that these were more simpler times and you didn't expect as much at xmas or for birthdays. The problem now is that we are all running round like mice in a wheel to pay the interest on all the credit that we use rather than saving up for things and telling the children that they will have to wait till what they want is saved up for.

    Oh you've got me feeling all nostalgic now
    Cuddles
    • Penelope Penguin
    • By Penelope Penguin 3rd Dec 09, 10:53 AM
    • 17,087 Posts
    • 132,754 Thanks
    Penelope Penguin
    • #5
    • 3rd Dec 09, 10:53 AM
    • #5
    • 3rd Dec 09, 10:53 AM
    Husband & i were talking ( we do sometimes) about how much life has changed since the 50s when we grew up, and how hard it still is. Then we decided that people sometimes make it harder than it needs to be.. for instance - growing up in the 50s, you had one fire in the house, usually coal I have 3 coal fires (we put them back into our Victorian house after previous occupants removed them :rolleyes: ). Coal fires certainly aren't labour saving :confused: central heating makes life much easier than the 50s Your mum stayed at home and cooked nice big dinners and made cakes, and used veg from the garden. I still do that and so do plenty of people I know. Admitedly, I work 2 days a week, but a chest freezer allows me to batch cook so we have a HM meal even on my work-days You played outside all of the time my children played out loads when they were smaller; it's a myth that it's more dangerous these days for children - they're at danger from the motor car rather than strangers, so teaching road-sense goes a long way or read a book at the fire DS 14yo has just discovered the Twilight series, so reads by the fire each evening So, only one income but low outgoings. My PT income for a charity is so small that we rely on DH's income. We have low outgoings, and I'm not unusual amongst my friends in this
    Take todays family...like my daughter's. All bedrooms have to be heated because they all play/study/slob around in their own rooms. All rooms have a mix of playstations, computers, tvs, x-boxes, wi-fi. We have one TV and it's in the sitting room. We have a laptop that is in the living room. Apart from when the children are doing homework at their bedroom desks we spend a lot of our family time together in the sitting room, kitchen, or garden The living room has a tv and 2 computers. Our TV has an off switch and I used it when they were small TV was only on if someone was watching, and this habit continues in the children. It's not difficult :confusedll this has to be paid for.
    Most women work (they want to or have to). They rush to childminders, rush to work, rush to shops, picking up dropping off kids all day, inc weekends and evenings to clubs & activities. They have to juggle all this with cooking and cleaning and cuddling.This all has to be paid for, inc petrol.
    We get bombarded with ads Where :confused: My TV has an off switch, and there's always the BBC with no ads :confusedn what healthy children need/dont need/must eat/cant eat. Have we become incapable of making up our own minds as to what's best for our families :confused: We don;t have to do what others tell us We "must" have expensive soap powder that comes in tablets/sachets/liquid with wee fancy dispensers.. :confused: We "must" have softener or else we are being cruel & terrible, forcing our kids into rough clothes that will surely damage their skin .... We "must" have silly little wipes smelling of disinfectant that cost a fortune to wipe the whole house with...Must we :confused: who says

    Which one has the easier life ? The 1950s woman or todays ? We earn so much more money now - but look what we're doing with it ! Maybe we're all hamsters on a wheel...:rolleyes: with the big company bosses peering in, chortling and rubbing their hands as they count their profits !
    Originally posted by mardatha
    I think it's sometimes easy to look to the past with rose-coloured specs, and forget the difficulties. The main improvement in my life over my forebears is reliable contraception. I've been able to limit my family, thereby giving me choices, and I'd suggest, a better life for my children. Whatever time and money I have is split between 2 of them rather that 4 or more.

    I wouldn;t be without my washing machine and electric iron. My weekly laundry takes an hour or two of my time, rather than a day or more.

    And I have the vote, I'm able to own property in my own right, and able to make decisions for myself, without recourse to my husband or father.

    Are these not all progress?

    Mardatha, I'm interested to know. How did you bring your children up, and why do you think that their way of life now is so different from what you'd like them to have?

    I have a great life, but maybe as a liberated woman who can think for herself, that's easy

    Penny. x
    Last edited by Penelope Penguin; 03-12-2009 at 11:15 AM.
    Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding
  • Norman Bean
    • #6
    • 3rd Dec 09, 10:57 AM
    • #6
    • 3rd Dec 09, 10:57 AM
    Hmm interesting - I can't do a long reply as I am a SAHM and am cooking a nice big dinner for my two children and H who will be home from school and work for their lunch in 15 mins

    I'll be back!

    Norman x
    Bon App's Scraps!
    MFb40 # 13
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 3rd Dec 09, 10:57 AM
    • 12,781 Posts
    • 221,734 Thanks
    greenbee
    • #7
    • 3rd Dec 09, 10:57 AM
    • #7
    • 3rd Dec 09, 10:57 AM
    I have a great life, but maybe as a liberated woman who can think for herself, that's easy

    Penny. x
    Originally posted by Penelope Penguin
    Will you adopt me please?
    • Penelope Penguin
    • By Penelope Penguin 3rd Dec 09, 11:04 AM
    • 17,087 Posts
    • 132,754 Thanks
    Penelope Penguin
    • #8
    • 3rd Dec 09, 11:04 AM
    • #8
    • 3rd Dec 09, 11:04 AM
    Will you adopt me please?
    Originally posted by greenbee
    Of course - are you happy to move to The North, as I couldn't negotiate the Robin Hood Roundabout every day

    I can then retire from cake decorating

    Penny. x
    Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 3rd Dec 09, 11:20 AM
    • 12,781 Posts
    • 221,734 Thanks
    greenbee
    • #9
    • 3rd Dec 09, 11:20 AM
    • #9
    • 3rd Dec 09, 11:20 AM
    Of course - are you happy to move to The North, as I couldn't negotiate the Robin Hood Roundabout every day

    I can then retire from cake decorating

    Penny. x
    Originally posted by Penelope Penguin
    Just working out how to fit my cake decorating stuff and my le creuset into the car and I'm on my way
    • Penelope Penguin
    • By Penelope Penguin 3rd Dec 09, 11:22 AM
    • 17,087 Posts
    • 132,754 Thanks
    Penelope Penguin
    Just working out how to fit my cake decorating stuff and my le creuset into the car and I'm on my way
    Originally posted by greenbee
    Oooh, more Le Creuset - Triker will be soooooooooo jealous
    Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 3rd Dec 09, 11:26 AM
    • 9,089 Posts
    • 28,909 Thanks
    thriftlady
    I don't know Mardatha, you make some valid points but I have to agree with Penny, we don't all buy into the modern way of life that your daughter seems to have done.

    We have only one tv and one computer. The kids have a wii now too but they spend just as much time reading, crafting (dd has just taught herself to crochet) playing the drums. My youngest spends a huge amount of time playing outside with neighbouring children in our quiet cul-de-sac. The boys go for bike rides and run errands for me by foot or bike.

    I tell my kids 'if it has to be advertised on tv then you don't need it'. When those ads for cheese strings or juice with added calcium come on there's a chorus of 'why don't you just drink some milk?' from my kids.

    And it goes without saying we eat homecooked meals every day.

    And don't forget how hard doing the weekly wash was without modern washing machines.
    Last edited by thriftlady; 03-12-2009 at 11:47 AM.
  • rosieben
    For every family I know that live a simpler life, I could point to a dozen who are working their tails off just to finance their designer must-have's and buy the latest gadgets. And, sadly, I think tv is a child minder in many households and only gets switched off at bedtime!

    I've lived in a city area and had my kids been younger they would not have gone outside the door on their own, for more reasons than traffic hazards; luckily we lived in the country when they were growing up and they had quite a bit of freedom, my son especially who was off fishing, shooting and poaching as soon as he could find his own way around the woods! We often turned off the tv and played board games and cards at home, but a shocking number of their friends had never done either so its by no means universal.

    Some of us are better are resisting the pressure from the media than others I find most ads totally ridiculous but I get mad at the boy who sneezes into his hand and then wipes it on the staircase - surely easier and cheaper to teach your child basic manners, rather than buy yet more chemicals???? however, I digress .....

    ... to answer your original question, mardatha, I think mostly we've swapped physical work for mental and financial pressure! not sure I'd like to go back to coal fires, they are hard work and dirty, but I'm enjoying other aspects of a simpler and slower life now I've retired from the rat race.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • Norman Bean
    Well I've finished lunch but not cleared away
    Penny has really said most of what I wanted to.

    I'm in my 30's with two small children. I stay at home and my H earns the money. When I got pregnant we decided I'd adopt a stay at home mum role. I gave up a good job as a manager and of course we halved our income.

    The kids don't watch TV (only when I need to distract them for 15 mins with Cbeebies!) My H and I don't watch TV in the evenings and if we do we watch what we want then turn it off.

    We have a homecooked meal eaten all together at the table every lunch time - it's our main meal and H and kids come back home for it then return to work and school for the afternoon.

    We have one TV one laptop, no exotic holidays, no gadgets, no designer clothes etc etc.

    I felt a bit upset (maybe a bit strong but there you go ) by the OP as the kind of life you described isn't the sort that everyone has - we're all different and all make our own choices - it just seemed a bit sweeping to tar all with the same brush ... oh and I'm not an exception, about 50% of my mum friends stay home although a few are now taking PT jobs now the kids are at school. It's a persnal choice.

    I'm sure you had a great childhood (I did in 70's 80's) but maybe life wasn't such a bed of roses for your mum (as I'm sure it wasn't for my mum and certainly isn't for me now I'm a mum!) x Not wording that right but I'm glad we don't live in the 50's anymore and that women can make their own decisions and if they want their own money x

    Thanks for the interesting post

    Norman
    Bon App's Scraps!
    MFb40 # 13
  • ppolly
    Its a difficult balance to maintain. My DH works full-time and I work part-time from home so I can be there to drop off and pick up my daughter at school -but we are lucky enough to have a tiny house with one car and a tiny mortgage. We save up for anything we need - for example we are very excited to be going to Paris self-catering next year for a week -the first time abroad in 7 years!
    We waited for the digital switchover rather than subscribe to anything (freeview didn't work in our house) so my DD has only just discovered adverts.
    Children will mainly get their values from their parents -or possibly completely rebel against those values and go to the other extreme.
    I think the key is to be very aware of choices made -simply because there is so much choice -far more than in the 50s. To decide on your values first, rather than blindly buying in to whatever is offered.
    I for one am very grateful for central heating, well-made thoughtful TV programmes, the internet and microwave ovens!
  • anguk
    I agree with rosieben, yes here on the old-style board there are many who work yet still home-cook, who don't have multiple tvs, games systems & computers, designer gear, the must-have disinfectant wipes etc but in my experience we are in the minority.

    In my circle of family, friends & acquaintances I'm the only one who cooks every day, who doesn't buy ready meals and rarely has takeaways. I'm also the only one who still has ye olde style telly instead of a flat screen hd ready plasma thingamybob, and we don't have Sky.

    Funnily enough I'm also one of the few who has stayed at home since my children were born. Of the couples I know most both work, children are put into nursery or with child-minders from a young age, take-aways & ready-meals are bought and weekends are spent shopping. There seems to be precious little "family" time with the kids but not to worry they have designer gear and all the latest laptops & games systems just like their friends.

    The older I get the more I think that people in general have become more greedy, think they're entitled to have and rely on credit to get what they want. Sadly I think old stylers are in the minority.

    That said I don't look back on the old days with rose-tinted spectacles, I like my automatic washer and other time and energy saving appliances. I also wouldn't like to go back to the days of freezing every morning dashing for the coal fire in the living room!
    • mardatha
    • By mardatha 3rd Dec 09, 1:02 PM
    • 15,283 Posts
    • 148,500 Thanks
    mardatha
    oh nonono I am not saying modern life is wrong and OS life is right. Not at all! I was trying to say that sometimes we think we have it all and are so smart - when all the time we are just going round in circles..
    My kids grew up first in a high rise flat and then we moved deep into the country 30 years ago. I went to work when the youngest hit high school, I did nightshift because I got more time at home (plus I canny get up in the morning ).
    So I have experienced different lifestyles, and this was me just musing on it. I watch my daughter and the DIL running around like mad & trying to do ten things in ten minutes - and I think life is too bl**dy short for this constant zonking around.
    Ok so a coal fire means work, home cooking means work. But if you have all day to do it in, then the hassle is gone. I had a coal fire since my youngest was 4 and its the love of my life. You cant sit by a storage heater and gaze into it and dream !
  • Norman Bean
    do we really think OSers / simpler lifers are in the minority?

    Maybe we're just not as 'obvious' as our flashy-gadget loving cousins?

    I think there are lots of low-octane peeps out there
    Bon App's Scraps!
    MFb40 # 13
    • candygirl
    • By candygirl 3rd Dec 09, 1:20 PM
    • 26,324 Posts
    • 107,578 Thanks
    candygirl
    oh nonono I am not saying modern life is wrong and OS life is right. Not at all! I was trying to say that sometimes we think we have it all and are so smart - when all the time we are just going round in circles..
    My kids grew up first in a high rise flat and then we moved deep into the country 30 years ago. I went to work when the youngest hit high school, I did nightshift because I got more time at home (plus I canny get up in the morning ).
    So I have experienced different lifestyles, and this was me just musing on it. I watch my daughter and the DIL running around like mad & trying to do ten things in ten minutes - and I think life is too bl**dy short for this constant zonking around.
    Ok so a coal fire means work, home cooking means work. But if you have all day to do it in, then the hassle is gone. I had a coal fire since my youngest was 4 and its the love of my life. You cant sit by a storage heater and gaze into it and dream !
    Originally posted by mardatha

    I canonly joking x
    "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf"

    (Kabat-Zinn 2004)
    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 3rd Dec 09, 1:23 PM
    • 16,404 Posts
    • 140,217 Thanks
    JackieO
    As a child that was brought up during the late 1940s-50s My Mum never went out to work as my Dad would have been horrified and felt that he wasn't providing for her and the family.Not many women did work outside the home, but that doesn't mean that to be a SAHM was easy.She spent long hours cooking,cleaning ,baking,sewing,knitting and worst of all queueing for stuff as most food was rationed.It was often a case if there was a queue she joined it . She brought three children up on what today would seem to be very low housekeeping, but she was a brilliant manager,far better than me,although a lot of her frugal ways have rubbed off.
    I came home from school at lunchtime and it was a mile and a half walk each way across Blackheath in all weathers.No buses ran so it was 'Shank's Pony' .In the winter time I dallied on the way home to slide on the frozen ponds, and promptly got a thick ear for coming, not only late home, but often wet, as the ponds,although not deep, often broke and my shoes got soaked. They were removed in stuffed with paper and put to dry near the kitchen range for wearing the next day.Kids didn't often have more than their school shoes and maybe a pair of slippers, and one pair of 'Sunday best for church' often by Thursday it was hard-up supper at 6.00.p.m. after listening to Childrens Hour on the wireless.No t.v. or computers, and entertainment was via the wireless, reading or cards & board games. Crisps were a treat that were bought, if at all, on a Saturday.Housewives fed their families what they cooked themselves from their cupboards.My Mum never owned a washing machine,tumble dryer, microwave,fridge or freezer so food was bought as required. She never even had an electric iron until the mid 1950s as she ironed on an old sheet laid on top of a blanket on the kitchen table with her flat irons off the kitchen range.She was very adept at at it as well, and never burnt anything as she had it down to a fine art testing the heat with a ladylike spit on the bottom to make sure it wouldn't burn. She did own a mangle that I had to help with after school by turning for her.All her washing was done in the sink with a scrubbing board, and then later with a tub in the scullery that was heated up from underneath and boiled her whites to perfection. She donkey-stoned the front doorstep evey morning and God help any child who stepped on it with mucky shoes. Her nets were washed frequently, and she hated it if they got mucky as her ideas of cleanliness were very strict. Our house smelt of lavender polish and fresh air,no electic air fresheners she opened the windows to air our the house first thing in the morning .Her housework was done on various days of the week Monday was always washday, Tuesday ironing,Wednesday cleaned the house from top to bottom,Thursday baking Friday shopping for the weekend joint,Saturday gardening,Sunday church, then home to cook the Sunday lunch.Everyday she also shopped for food and had little spare time.I never saw her sit still and do nothing,she was always sewing or knitting or cooking. Looking after her family was her main aim in life, and to her a full time job.Todays Mums have to juggle jobs, kids,husbands and also try to have a bit of time for themselves.Its just a different life today than it was 50 years ago. Housework is easier as there are machines to help.Women don't have as many children as they did then so they have more freedom to choose what they wish to do with their lives.
    I never felt deprived that I never had the things that todays kids take for granted as what you never have you never miss and I think I had quite a happy childhood in retrospect.Although I always longed for some black shiny wellies but Mum would never let me have them as she associated them with road workmen for some reason
    I often wonder what she would have made of todays modern families .Last night my son-in-law arrived home wih a 'real 'Christmas tree for the family ,I must admit I was shocked at the price as our one as a child was usually about 5 shillings, he paid 75 for it .I think he's barking but if he can afford it fair enough.We made all the decorations with paper chains and paper to make chinese lanterns he bought about 20 quids worth from the shop where he bought his tree.Very nice but not the anticipation that I had as a child when my Mum a week before Christmas would buy 4 or 5 packets from Woolworths at 3d a packet, and my brothers and I would spend the evening making them to hang up
    I have lots of good memories of those days, but I can also remember how cold it was in the winter, and how you would run across the linoed floor to jump into bed,no wall to wall fitted carpets either in the bedrooms.The yellow fogs that chocked your lungs and how illness was dreaded in most families as Drs. were an expence, no NHS before 1948.
    I think I am happy that I lived through those austere days as it makes one appreciate how easy life is in comparison today
    Quot Libros,Quam Breve Tempus. 2018:Food Budget only( 1st Oct 30.96,15 Oct 14.28 total for month 45.24,) Total end of October since Jan 307.43
  • Norman Bean
    Thank you JackieO That's a great post

    Norman x
    Bon App's Scraps!
    MFb40 # 13
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