Are Traditional Household Skills Dying Out?
With Mother’s Day at the end of the week, a new survey has found modern mums are lacking in traditional household skills like making jam, starching a shirt and sewing. Supposedly these are dying out because we don’t have the patience to learn them. The research commissioned by oven firm Neff as part of their Bake It Yourself Campaign and carried out among 1,000 mums under 35 and 1,000 mums over 45 also found more than half of younger mums struggle to sew name tags in their children’s clothes. Three quarters couldn’t make gravy from scratch, less than half could sew, and only 16 per cent of mothers felt confident that they could make a fancy dress costume for their child. I don’t know how that makes you feel but it makes me feel as if I have stepped back into a Mad Men scenario of the 1950s when the idea that all mothers should be adept at domestic goddess skills was hammered home. Thankfully I had a good role model in my own mother who was very efficient but I don’t think in all my childhood I ever saw her starch a shirt, make bread or rustle up some jam. She was, however adept at the skills she needed like sewing, and cooking. Meaning like all busy working mothers she did the things she needed to do. So while the survey says these skills are falling by the wayside because younger mums don’t take the time to get to grips with them I think the real reason why mums aren’t learning them is that some of these skills are unnecessary and the others take up too much time to learn. I don’t know about you, but with the very little spare time I have I don’t want to spend my hours learning how to make pastry from scratch or getting to grips with knitting. Like many mums I do what I need to do from sewing on a button, altering clothes, to making dinner, everything else on the domestic goddess front just isn’t on my radar and I don’t feel guilty about it. But what do you think – should more mums get to grips with traditional skills or is this survey just giving mums more things to feel guilty about? Let me know.