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Monday, October 3, 2011

Homemaking: A Lost Art?

The other day, I was telling DH that I wish I had some of my mother's skills when it came to sewing, baking, getting stains out, and the like. For example, it kind of pains me that we have to take our pants to be hemmed, when I'm sure that's something I could easily do if I had a sewing machine and a quick lesson.

We talked about how our mothers would sew us clothes or Halloween costumes, or bake things for bake sales, or were able to get stains out of anything like magic (for what it's worth, I will note here that both our mothers worked out of the home). Our grandmothers were even more skillful in these areas. For some reason, though, these skills did not seem to be passed down to the our generation.

I know many people do some of these things as hobbies these days (sewing, baking, knitting, cooking, etc.), but is true homemaking, where most women have this skill-set, a lost art? And if so, then why?

DH and I came to three conclusions: 1) money, 2) time, and 3) availability. Our generation is willing to pay more for something if it will save us time, and often it is cheaper to buy something pre-made than to make something yourself. These things are also more readily available than in the past.

As an example, on the weekend I paid $20 for a Halloween costume for Evan. That expense is much less than buying a sewing machine and fabric, plus the time it would take to learn how to sew. Even if I did know how to sew and owned a sewing machine, I doubt I would be able to make such an adorable costume for a similar cost.

There are other things I do though: I cook dinner pretty much every night (and good dinners too, if I do say so myself), I bake (but only every so often), and I knit (definitely as a hobby though - something I do when we're watching TV or something).

What do you think? Are these kinds of skills getting lost? Why or why not? Which skills do you have already? Which do you which you had more of?