6 Crazy 1950s Housewives’ Habits Still Expected of Moms Today

6 Crazy 1950s Housewives’ Habits Still Expected of Moms Today

Can we please stop putting pressure on moms to be “perfect”? Times have changed!


By Nicole Fabian-Weber

A lot of things have changed since the 1950s -- haircuts, clothes, the size of our TVs. Yet, there still seem to be -- how do I say this? -- expectations for women – moms in particular. Now, this could all totally be in my head, being that, despite having a loving and understanding family, a lot of the time I personally feel expectations. But, I don't know, anyone else think society puts pressure on moms to be all June Cleaver 24/7?

Newsflash: It isn't possible, people! So, quit feeling like you have to do every. single. thing, moms. Love your family and don't sweat these six things 1950s moms may have done (or been expected to do) ... that we're still expected to do today!

1. Have dinner on the table each night. OK, so no one expects women to have a piping hot roast waiting on the table for the family when everyone comes home (right?!), but a lot of the time, figuring out meals lands on moms' shoulders -- particularly meals for the little ones. Long gone are the days of dads being clueless in the kitchen, but perhaps because moms are more detail-oriented, we seem to be the ones who remember who doesn't like cheese, who likes their crust cut off, and who can't have their meat touching their potatoes.

2. Look perfect all day, every day. Most of us are blessed with husbands or partners who are cool with us skipping showers here and there and rocking sweatpants when we just can't. Society as a whole, on the other hand? Not so much. Not to get all preachy and deep here, but not too much has changed since the 1950s in terms of the world's expectations to be perfectly pretty and coiffed four seconds after giving birth. Not cool.

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3. Be the main go-to person for the kids. Fact is, most moms want to be the main point person for their kids -- the no. 1 emergency contact, the person who fills out all the school paperwork (I know I do!) -- but everyone's situation is different. Can we cut moms -- and dads -- some slack for switching up the roles?

4. Constantly keep a super clean house. Maybe it's because more women stayed at home, or perhaps it's because people appeared to just have less stuff back then, but houses -- at least on TV! -- were always squeaky clean in the 1950s, thanks to mom. More women work now -- or are just significantly busier -- so, let's all back away from putting pressure on moms to have an uber-tidy home, m'kay?

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5. Have the kids looking prim and proper all the time. It seems like with the invention of social media, and all the photos of adorable kids that come with it, moms are expected to constantly have their little ones looking perfectly accessorized and cute as a button. No ripped or dirty clothes, please. Or, at least, you know, when their pictures are being snapped and shared online.

6. Keep our cool all the time. Is it just me, or did moms in the ’50s -- again, at least as pop culture would have us believe -- seem to be the picture of what it means to be cool, calm, and collected – all the time? Maybe something was in the air back then, but it seems like mothers everywhere were supposed to be happy, smiling, and ready for anything, regardless of what was going on or how their kids were acting. Even though we know all moms get frustrated now and again, it isn’t out of the ordinary for them to be on the receiving end of a big fat stink eye if they’re anything less than perfectly even-keeled in public.

What old school mom duties do you feel pressure to do?


Nicole Fabian-Weber is the mama of a sweet toddler girl and an equally sweet baby boy. She lives outside of NYC and writes for The Stir and numerous other online publications. Right now, she’s probably fantasizing about sleep.

Image ©iStock.com/andresr


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