So, if you shake together my love of the printed word, old illustrations, and the 1930s, you can imagine that it was unavoidable that I would come home with the November 1937 edition of National Parent-Teacher, "The only official magazine of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers."
What was interesting about the magazine?
How much things are the same as today:
1. Women and mothers who are portrayed as competent, knowing, and in control of their household and public affairs, like this elegant lady here:
|If not for all the paperwork, Betty would already have served herself a cocktail.|
"Some of the parents protested that the tasks assigned by the teacher for out-of-school work consume so much time and energy that household tasks are impossible, if there is to be any time for rest or play."
I don't know if I find it comforting that this has always been a concern or whether it's just depressing. As a Mom I often bristle at all the extra things the school sometimes asks me to cram into the precious 5 to 8:30 p.m. bedtime hours of my children, in addition to that home cooked meal (families who eat together stick together!) cleaning up after said home cooked meal, packing lunches for tomorrow, allowing a little play time, time for reading (are you keeping up your reading chart?), bathtime, and tuck-in talks and snuggles. Can it be possible this was the same worry of mothers of school children in 1937?
3. Mothering concentrated heavily on cleanliness and good nutrition to raise healthy children. In the world before the polio vaccine and antibiotics, what other resources did they have?
|The puppy chow came later.|
4. Sometimes the advertisements violate our 21st Century sensibilities:
|Baby got Welded-Wire Seal. Daddy got the crush proof carton. Oh, and lung cancer.|
5. Women were supposed to keep spotless houses, raise intelligent, obedient, and clean children, all the while looking fantastic. Get a load of these swanky heels:
I believe women are still supposed to do all of that. I think the only difference may be the automatic washer and dryer, the more I consider it. What do you think?