|Clean and straighten dining-room and sitting room|
|Lay breakfast table (tray ready overnight). Cook breakfast|
|Clear breakfast - Wash up - Clean kitchen|
|Review larder and plan meals|
|Bedrooms and bathrooms|
|Shopping, or if there is none to be done,|
it is really wise to take the opportunity of getting fresh air
|Preparing lunch and laying table|
|Personal requirements, social engagements etc|
|Prepare evening meal|
|Wash up, prepare tray for breakfast, and dining room for morning work, with help of family|
The above is the Home of Today suggestion for coping with domestic life in a household which is unfortunate enough to have no maid. It is quite naturally assumed that the woman is the person who will attend to most of this and:
She will have social as well as household duties to perform, and cannot, therefore, afford to tire herself and to get 'nervy' and worried, nor is there any need for it.
Oh good, I am delighted to hear that! You may notice there is no mention of paid employment entering into the picture; presumably if this was a necessity it would have to be fitted into the 2.30-5.30 slot; assuming a 5 day working week, this would be 15 hours a week part-time working from home; no doubt just the sort of thing the new Parenting Laws are designed to encourage. In case you hadn't noticed, parents of children under 6 now have the right to ask their employers for flexible working practices, including changing hours of work, working part-time or working from home. Mothers can get up to a whole year off, and this one you really will not believe: Fathers can get up to 2 weeks paternity leave! Before you all go rushing down to hug Our Tone, bear in mind that your boss can refuse your nice little request if they can prove they have 'clear business reasons' for doing so. Well, if they can't dream up a clear business reason for something which is quite clearly going to be an absolute pain for them, then they are probably not in business anyway!
Oh well, let us be optimistic and assume that in some cases at least we may end up with a cosy, rosy vision of blissful family life where:
Both mother and father can do much with the toddler. He can learn to sing with such joy and with such a true ear for music in nearly every case that it seems sad that so many young mothers of today can hardly play a simple tune on the piano to help him.
Well, assuming you've taken piano lessons, you are now in a position to produce the next Elvis Presley, Johnny Rotten or what have you; quite clearly this is preferable to the dismal scenario Enid Blyton paints of the consequences of being a latch-key kid. It is hardly surprising that Bob fell in with A Bad Lot in Six Bad Boys:
'after his mother had begun to take the keys of the house with her, so that he coudn't get in till she came back at half-past six. She left him some cake... in the shed, but he never touched it.'
Ah well, at least, by 1954, things had progressed. In the School Friend Annual of that year, Jo was able to pursue a full time career as a riding instructress,inspiring a new generation of youngsters with her novel ideas for the Gymkhana Display:
'Miss Jo! It's a whizzing idea!' cried Maureen.
'Simply fizzing!' agreed her twin brother, Martin
'The darling ponies are going to love it, too.'
Fizzing? How about a New Orleans Fizz from our old friend The Honorable Wm (Cocktail) Boothby?
Place two barspoonfuls of sour into a higball glass with a piece of ice and a jigger of gin. Fill or nearly fill the glass with siphon seltzer; then add a heaping barspoonful of sugar and stir briskly. This beverage should be partaken of while effervescing.
Keep effervescing, my friends, you know it makes sense!