Saturday, April 09, 2016

A Lady's Pasttimes (Activities)



1900

 
By: Edmund Blair Leighton Item #: 12784920

Consider the pleasant things that occupied women at home which were beneficial, delightful and calming:

Sewing
Art
Reading
FlowerGarden
Leisurely Walk 
Visiting
Time with the children in peaceful activities
Beautifying the Home
Church arrendance and ladies services to others

Today many young women are busy taking children to and from social and educational activities. They spend a lot of time driving, waiting in the car, running errands, and less time resting.

Some older women at tea the other day dispensed their knowlege to the younger ones who were there:

Stay home and look after your own children.
Rest when the children rest.
Be careful how you lift things
Avoid the distraction of too many activities
Do not acquire too many things to look after
Do acquire time-saving devices if they really help: a vacuum, washer and dryer, dishwasher.
Dont try to make money. Instead try to find ways to avoid spending it.
Take advantage of services such as home delivery, things brought to your door
Make vacations restful and re-creative rather than wreck-reation that wears you out.
Have calming hobbies such as journalling, reading, music, and interests that do not cause stress or expense.
If you have a husband, and a child, that is your full time work. 
Attend church on Sunday, but avoid volunteering to do extra unless showing simple hospitality. Your presence at church is a great encouragement in the effort alone.
Other advice covered time-saving tips in house-keeping, and health tips about how to avoid accidents in the home.

The labor-saving devices created in the Victorian era were for women at home, making the work easier. Do a web search for a list of inventions in the 1800's and you will see how many of them made home life easier.
  
The grand finale of advice to the young: if you do not treat your body well, get rest, avoid strenous lifting and jolting excerices, take on fewer problems outside your home, you will pay for it later. Illness and debilitation in later years will result, making it hard to enjoy life or be of any benefit to yourself or others. (There was also some warning about popular workout trends not being good for a woman's body, and warnings about popular posture vs. natural posture that protects women from strain and physical stress).




17 comments:

living from glory to glory said...

Hello Dear Lydia, I do agree with these words of wisdom! So many ladies now days just go and go and go! Really, if we could just keep busy at home and rest a bit each day we would ward off so much sickness and mental anguish. Most women do not even get a good night's sleep. And in my life I have lifted way too many things that were too heavy. I like the idea of saving money and not trying to make it and have to leave your home. But now days many women want to be busy and be away from their homes.
I find great peace and joy being at home!
Blessings, Roxy

anonymous said...

My favorite past time is sewing or gardening. However this time of year is starting to get very busy with spring cleaning, annual summer guests and putting in the spring garden. Sometimes we forget how important rest and a past time can be.
Thank you for sharing and reminding us about spending the time for pastimes.

Today while walking out to retrieve the mail, I was enjoying the fresh air and the trees and grass so green. That was a real treat for me.

Janet

anonymous said...

My favorite past time is sewing or gardening. However this time of year is starting to get very busy with spring cleaning, annual summer guests and putting in the spring garden. Sometimes we forget how important rest and a past time can be.
Thank you for sharing and reminding us about spending the time for pastimes.

Today while walking out to retrieve the mail, I was enjoying the fresh air and the trees and grass so green. That was a real treat for me.


Janet

Christine said...

Lydia, This is very wise advice. Now that I am older, I can see the areas in which I would have been better placing my energies. I used to think I could do it all.. Clean the house, do the laundry, do the grocery shopping, and wash the car all in one day ( and I did!). I used an awful lot of adrenaline to get me through many moves and life changes, and thought I was so strong too.

What I did not realize is the affect this would have on my body and peace of mind, and how stopping and resting more often would have been so much more prudent.

Now I find I must measure out my activities more carefully, along with appropriate rest. Modern women think we can do it all, but there is always a price to be paid when we do.

Christine

Lydia said...

I agree. Many years ago the men did not want the women doing everything. They knew it would harm them later on. For trying to protect them from doing it all, they were put down.

Rhonda said...

Such good advice -

littlegraycottage said...

The young ladies were very blessed to have such wisdom shared with them.

Lydia said...

Housekeeping and care of husband and children is enough. Visits to grandparents is a chance to get rest. A woman cannot do it all amd be healthy later on. Many older women are finding this out!

Lydia said...

Christine, glad you mentioned adrenaline. It is called the drug of choice. We need to discuss this sometime.

ladypinktulip said...

Such a great post. I remember even when gardening about 10 years ago I
did way too much heavy lifting of rocks and materials. Our female
bodies were not made to do brute force labor and indeed as we age we are
finding that knees, shoulders and backs are quite used up. It is time
for us to remember gentile arts so as to preserve our health that we can
enjoy our grandchildren. It always amazes me how the naysayers accuse
homemakers of being lazy but the fact is many women out there are running
like a hamster on a wheel and not really accomplishing anything of any
lasting value. Kelly T.

Mrs. U said...

Oh I agree with these!!! I am not familiar with "popular posture", however. Is there a way to explain it, perhaps?

Lynn Maust said...

I so relate to the comment by 'anonymous' here....Today at a friend's, i decided to get some air and walk out to his mailbox to retrieve his mail and what a lovely, quiet time it was just strolling out with his dog and viewing the hills and open skies. It is so true that simple pleasures are so worthwhile.
I also like your list, Lydia, of the simple things to do at home...I am going to copy those and post them for frequent viewing here. And DOING here too!
Gardening has been on my mind, but the closer it gets to doing work out in it, the more I think I should not. There is so much 'grunt work' to be done when putting in a veggie garden or any type of garden....a man's work really, as I see it now....unless plants one can put into the garden with a simple hand trowel. No more heavy bags of compost and deep-digging with a garden fork...I think I am going to leave that part of my life behind me now....I have been gardening for 25 years and just don't seem to have the desire anymore...buying my veggies at our local farmer's market I think will suffice from now on.!

Debbie Gnagey said...

My husband has been great at encouraging me to slow down and savor the small things in life. He is still in the working world but when he is at home, he does not rush. He goes about everything in a calm and steady way. Bills are paid on time,the house is clean and well maintained, if not fancy, but is pretty, cozy, and practical. We both love being home. Home is truly a man and a woman's castle. I think people just need to be reminded of that,

Deborah Montgomery said...

I don't believe I've commented before here, but I wanted you to know how much I've enjoyed these posts of yours, and your videos. I'm grateful that you mention the importance of rest. You read so many articles on how to reduce stress and how to "stop and smell the roses," but if you actually do it, you're suspected of being a slacker!!
Now that I've finished homeschooling and my children are grown, I feel pressure from others to "do" something. Your posts are a welcome encouragement to me as I continue to stay home.
Blessings, Deborah

keeperathomefortheLord said...

I am enjoying this blog so much. It is such an encouragement and source of wisdom for keepers at home, especially ones somewhat new to this role like me.
God bless you

Mrs. Christopher Daniels said...

It is a funny thing to be reading this now. I have been considering what are the more quiet things to do as a family. Sadly it seems that since so much can be done over the phones, loud games to play, noisy videos to watch that it has become a loud addiction. I would much rather we all be contentedly engaged in a quiet safe activity instead of the worry of what on earth are they watching on the smart phone or cable box. Quiet things have to be learned and then made a habit around here. Thanks for the inspiring list! Warmest regards,
Tierra

Lydia said...

Mrs. U., natural posture of a woman is different than a man. While the shoulders back and spine straight with tummy pulled in might be okay for a man, a woman's naturak profile from the side is a gentle curve of the back, often called a swayback, with no sucking in the tummy. The Victorians may hacenhad it right. For more information go to a site called Saving the Whole Woman. She has a picture of a little girl standing naturally and explains why this is the best posture for protecting the woman's health and organs. In the 20th century it became vogue to have a model's look, quite the opposite of the Natural posture.

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