1950s Mothers: Any Resemblance to Today’s Moms?

Am I the only one who holds a slightly glamorous view of moms from the 1950s and 1960s? They look like they really had their you-know-what together, from their (daily) coiffed hair to their crisp aprons to their clean pumps.

I mean, really had it together: meatloaf was in the oven, kids were doing homework with smiles on their faces, and the house was spotless. Even the mothers had smiles on their faces.

And they probably smelled good – likely they bathed that day, and the day before that, etc. etc. Happy mother, happy home. Was it really like that?

Or were they the same griping, scrappy, exhausted-beneath-it-all, one-step-away-from-profanity mothers that most of us are, just without the social media to reveal it?



The moms in my Facebook feed and my blogroll are all very lovely women who display strength and grace as mothers, even on those days that deal out hands of exploding diapers and epic tantrums. I have learned heaps from these parents. Yet we draw support from each other also through our mutual griping.

“My toddler refused to eat all vegetables for a year! And he’s still alive! But if I hear him ask for Cheerios instead one more time I’m going to throw away all the freaking cereal in this house and then he’ll figure out who’s boss!”

“I just want to pee alone. Just one f*&^ing time – a month. Next time I have to pee, I’m locking the door – tiny banging fists on the other side be damned.”

You know what I mean. (I’ve posted plenty of rants myself!!)

But how the hell did 1950s mom do it?! Did they rant in private? Were those bridge parties just an excuse to get together and whine about their whiny, bratty kids? Or were their kids never whiny? Did they just bottle up their emotions and carry on because that was expected of the times? And because they had no ready outlet like FB, blogging, and Twitter provides us today?

Were those mothers of 60+ years ago just like us? Or did they really have it together? I’d love to hear what you all think!


7 thoughts on “1950s Mothers: Any Resemblance to Today’s Moms?

  1. Wow, so I lived in that era, and they were all so cutely dressed, capris just came out and cute flat shoes for the first time and they all looked like Mary Tyler Moore. They did seem to drink a lot, come to think of it. And they had so much less to do, most did not have cars, did not have play dates, or classes with anyone about anything. You were lucky to go to the library maybe twice a month. Usually the kids were outside all day, coming home for dinner during the summer and playing outside until dinner after school. People were always dressed more classy than now, there were no jeans, ladies wore gloves and hats and men always wore ties and suits except at rare occasions. There were no places to eat out for dinner except very few high-way places for truckers and McDonald’s by my teens. So it was so much less busy, stressful and much more expected by all civically and with church. So the times were totally different. What can I say? More mellow but higher expectations for behavior and accountability. Hard to think we have changed so much, light sped!

    Liked by 3 people

    • That is really excellent insight! Thank you. I think your point about people being less busy and having less places to go is so spot on. I’m sure that’s a big change to now – I’m actually planning a future post based on that.

      So funny that you say they seemed to drink a lot!!! Like, during the day? We drink now too, but definitely after the kids go to bed…. And not too much.

      Liked by 1 person

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