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Before We Go Any Further I Need To Say A Few Things

This past year has been one of turmoil for many of us, there have been many ups and downs.

Interestingly, my site saw a spike of new visitors when several Youtubers did their own version of a Vintage Housewife Challenge. The videos that were created were fun, light spirited renditions of the 1950’s daily housewife schedule, but with this new exposure, during a time of unrest and uncertainty I saw a massive increase in negative comments being left on my site.

I am very aware that some influencers and social media accounts within the vintage enthusiast community are highly problematic. But I’ve intentinally tried to avoid political and religious talk here, and I don’t want this site to misconstrued into something it was never intended to be.

Initially, I dealt with the comments, often deleting those that clearly didn’t take the time to look around, or get to know my site. But after a while I didn’t want to deal with it anymore. I was sick of seeing ugly comments and assumptions about me and my site and stopped logging into my site dashboard and email.

The longer I stayed away from this site, the harder it became to “come back”. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months.

When I did think about coming back, I began constantly overthinking EVERYTHING…

Thoughts like “How could this be interpreted”, “What value does this offer”, “When so many are dealing with life or death situations is a fun lifestyle post even relevant” were constantly swirling.

Eventually I began to realize what I needed was to clear the air, tell my side of the story and attempt to clear up any confusion, and move on, but that brought with it it’s own issues.

Once that self-doubt settled in, paralysis wasn’t far behind. I wanted so badly to address these misconceptions, but I was terrified of doing or saying the wrong thing and somehow ruining everything I’ve been working toward here.

The Appeal of The 1950’s

I was scrolling through facebook the other day when I ran across a friend’s post, she was saying how she missed the early days of the pandemic.

I know, it sounds crazy, right ?!?

When I think back to that time, it was highly stressful for a lot of people, and there was a lot of tragedy. Some might classify it as the worst period of time of their life. But my friend explained in her post that she missed the puzzles in the afternoon, the family walks in the evenings, and the slower pace of life.

I realized she had just summed up what I had been long trying to articulate. The world isn’t strictly good or bad. Good things can come from dark times.

I’ve never claimed the 1950’s were some sort of magical utopian era.

The 1950’s marked the beginning of the mainstream Civil Rights Movement. African Americans had been fighting against racial discrimination for centuries, but civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and activists like Rosa Parks drew national attention to racial inequality.

The Black Lives Matter Movement of 2020 is both reminiscent of the earlier activism of the 1950’s, and a clear reminder of how far we have yet to go as a society.

1950’s Popular culture and the mass media also reinforced messages about traditional gender roles, consumer culture, and the Cold War ideal of domesticity, but the reality of women’s lives during that time period did not always reflect these standards.

Despite societal norms that encouraged women to stay in the home and out of the workplace, approximately forty percent of women with young children, and at least half of women with older children, chose to remain in the work force.1

Women who chose to work had to deal with direct discrimination from companies, were often viewed as selfish among peer groups.

The assumption that I am ignorant to the social issues of the 50’s and 60’s, or worse that it is the oppression and segregation of those times that appeals to me absolutely couldn’t be further from the truth.

I have no hidden agenda.

I think I have been very clear that I enjoy vintage feminine fashion, style and decor. I also truly do enjoy being a homemaker, and love old fashioned pursuits such as canning, sewing, baking, gardening, and tending to a backyard flock.

I created this site to share these things with other like minded women.

I am not here to suggest all women belong at home in the kitchen. That decision is personal. Honestly, I think a woman belongs wherever she feels the most fulfilled. Period.

I have always welcomed women from all seasons and walks of life into the Vintage Housewife Facebook Group. I am proud of the diversity in that group, and how welcoming all the members are. When I envisioned this community before I built it, I pictured a fun, nostalgic site that speaks to ALL women who enjoy being a homemaker, or perhaps even encourage women who want to enjoy managing their home, and do it more efficiently.

In the past I have used the word “traditional” when describing “old-fashioned” activities such as sewing or baking. When I settled on the use of that word several years ago, it was primarily because I thought “Old-fashioned” sounded dawdy, and I thought traditional communicated what I was trying to articulate.

It has since become clear to me that the word “traditional” connotes specific positions on particular issues, and it has highly charged implications. Hindsight is always 20/20. “Simple Living” is clearly a better word choice when it comes to describing my interests.

I debated long and hard about writing this post. I didn’t want to. As Tony Robbins said, “Where focus grows, energy flows.”

I wanted this place to be a happy uplifting corner of the internet. But the idea that my content and I are being perceived in a manner that is so different than who I am, or what I intended is so disheartening, and I literally couldn’t move on until I addressed this.

Going forward, unless you have previously contributed a thoughtful comment that has been approved, all comments will be held for moderation. Offensive language, insulting or derogatory comments, and personal attacks will not be published. I have also set up a blacklist to filter out comments containing offensive language, certain terms and phrases automatically, so I don’t even have to see the vitriol left by anonymous users.

I reserve the right to block any IP address that violates the comment policy from commenting, subscribing, or accessing The Vintage Housewife.

There can and will be disagreements in the comments sections. However, as long as the discussion remains civil I will not be censoring differing thoughts or opinions.

I am looking forward to moving on. I feel that this community is brimming with promise and potential.

Thanks for reading, if you are new here I am exicted to have you join us! I have a lot in store for this blog, and have no doubt we will all learn a lot, and hopefully have some fun along the way!

1 See “The American Dream,” OpenStax College, U.S. History. OpenStax CNX. May 15, 2015.

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61 Comments

  1. Your website is really great and provides a lot of inspiration as well as practical tips. Bravo for not backing down from your vision! Sending you a virtual cup of tea, one homemaker to another. 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I am only new to this site, but I have enjoyed what I have read, and have chosen to use my reading of anything you have written as a chance to review what I find important to have in my life, and I have been able to make a lot of positive changes in my life and home, which has had a positive effect on my family and my mental wellbeing. I appreciate your vulnerability in writing this particular post, and I look forward to reading your posts in the weeks and months ahead.

  3. Jenn,
    I am so glad you are back! I enjoy your content immensely and look forward to you updates. I’m sorry you have been dealing with the negativity of our present time. Just know that there are a lot of us who appreciate you blog. There is a plethora of blogs out there and if someone doesn’t appreciate your site, they can surely find another blog to feed their needs and should visit them. I live on a farm, have multiple degrees, have worked outside of my home, but the pandemic reintroduced me to what I really love and that is taking joy in keeping a comfortable home for my hard working husband and my nurse daughter that still lives with us. I love this lifestyle and feel much more fulfilled here with my chickens, guineas, ducks, and my garden than I have for a long time in my work outside of this home. We have rediscovered the fun of spending time doing things together which was missing because I was exhausted after working long hours in my job. Thank you for providing a great site for this community of people who understand the joy of having the freedom to love cooking, cleaning, and family. Looking forward to reading more from you. I also follow sage lillymanns site because its fun and I tried her week challenge and failed my first day, lol!

    Thank you for not giving up your wonderful blog!

  4. We live in bizarre times but I suppose that has been true always. Society now has become obsessed with pressing certain ideological agendas and attacking others. Everything is viewed through a narrow biased lens. Combined with unprecedented inter connectivity where people police each other for even the slightest or perceived failed ideological purity. Don’t take it personally. If you look around no one is immune. I see the most innocent and innocuous people and things being attacked and labeled racist or sexist. I hope this fact although sad may help you not take it so seriously. I mean JK Rowling has a movement to cancel her for saying women menstruate because her detractors are upset because trans men can also menstruate. But if it sucks the joy of it for you then do protect yourself and step away. I hope you though continue to find joy in vintage things and not let anyone ruin that for you. I find joy as well in gardening, vintage, cooking. I feel no need to justify this to anyone. The 50s and every other time period were full good and bad aspects from different perspectives and so is the present. Why should that mean we reject it all or the parts we enjoy? No one is being forced to consume your content or be into these things if they don’t wish. Best wishes and stay happy!

  5. The fact that you’ve been attacked has little to do with you and everything to do with our offended culture. Keep being you. It’s really the only way we can bring any sense back to this society. Eventually the “offended about every little thing” crowd will find someone else to pick on and whine about. It’s their idol. We need to keep pushing on and quit hiding from the bullies. I hope you can keep representing things that are important to the majority of us and represent a kinder time.

    1. This is exactly what I hear in the Vintage community all the time, and I love it. “Vintage styles not Vintage Values”. We’re here to be inspired by the past to create a better future and more enjoyable life for each of us, not to entirely recreate the past. Hopefully soon, thos outside of vintage communities will come to understand that. We’re not here to ignore the problems of the past, but to learn the lessons we can from it, including (but not limited to) the good.

  6. Jen, I am sorry you experienced anxiety over the issues you faced over the past negative comments. I can imagine your tears and turmoil over all you were “hearing.” But today you have shown us an example of a kind, transparent, and courageous wisdom (which is sadly becoming a more “vintage” online character trait!) as you plan to pick up again your goals of continuing your inspirational and community-fostering homemaking blog. I will love visiting your warm and educational website once again.
    Thank you for all the time you invest for our benefit!

  7. Bravo! I love this site and I love how like minded people can come together and not feel alone in their shared interests. I am sorry people are unable to see it. Keep up the good work! I’m behind you 100%

  8. Wholeheartedly support your vision and I am very grateful you wrote this post. It can be a minefield out there these days, and I, too, allowed it to silence me. I am gathering the courage and energy to begin posting again on my own blog.

    Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much Melinda! It really does feel like a minefield at times.
      When you are ready please share your blog with me, I’d love to read it ❤️

  9. I’ve been a housewife since April 1998. I have raised two children and one husband. I love being a housewife but mostly because I hate schedules. I never had a schedule when the kids were young except for school and dinner time. I live on top of a mountain on acreage. Now my kids are grown and I take care of my husband and dog. This past year I have painted, embroidery, diy miniature kits, and now sewing (I just mastered my first zipper yesterday). I love everything vintage from clothing, foods, decor and my 1957 trailer Lucy! Funny thing is my house is very modern with a touch of log cabin and vintage thrown in for good measure. I didn’t want a career I wanted to be a housewife with kids and a dog. I got that, I’m so grateful to my husband who works so hard to provide that for me. I love taking care of him. I’m proud to be called housewife!!!!

    1. I have been housewife for years, my daughter is 35, but not a successful one. How do you keep your house clean without a schedule? I leave clothes in the dryer , dinner is a mish mash and my house is NOT CLEAN. Please help me. All I want to do is make art, something I just discovered I could do during the pandemic. I want to be a good partner.

    2. I found your page after LynzMarie began her 50s Housewife Challenge. This site is a refreshing change of pace and I’m learning so much. After being in the working world most of my life, I am now retired and really floundered until I came to understand the value of a homemaking routine. Kick the negative comments to the curb and just be who you were created to be!

  10. Well said, Jen. You’ve handled this with grace and courage. I can only imagine how hard all the negativity has been for you- I’m so glad you’ve regained your balance and returned to the source of your joy, with healthy boundaries firmly in place. Raising my teacup to you!

    Thank you for all you’ve written. Looking forward to the next part of your journey.

    1. Thank you Kate!
      I do feel like I’ve regained my balance. It’s been such an unusual year, and the break was much needed!

  11. Too bad you had to go through all that. I joined this group cuz I loved the 50s and wanted to read more about them. Glad you’re back.

  12. I found your blog after watching a video that a sweet Australian girl (or maybe she was from New Zealand; I’m not sure) did of the Housewife Challenge. I was attracted to both the video and the site because I also love 50’s fashion and have been having my clothes custom made for me in that style for several years. If I had had this option available earlier in my life, I could have been spared a lot of self-doubt and discomfort, since I am now happier than I have ever been with my personal style! My Dad runs a well-known restoration shop for antique cars, so I have been immersed in (and in love with!) vintage charm my whole life. In high school, my career goal was “stay-at-home-mom” and while it didn’t work out quite like I had hoped, I am at long last employed only as a homemaker for my husband, our teenage daughter, and myself. I have some specific challenges I won’t get into, but you are addressing almost all the areas that exemplify the ideal I picture when I think about the home I want to manage for my family and open in hospitality to extended family, friends, and those who could be friends. I am glad you represent those of us who want this ideal or something similar, and it takes nothing away from those who don’t. There are other blogs for them. I’m glad you are back.

    1. I wonder if it was Sage Lilleyman’s video? She has such an amazing channel!
      You must have a lovely wardrobe! I do have some sewing skills, although they are more quilting related, but I’ve always wanted to attempt sewing a dress from a vintage pattern. Prehabs this Autumn I will finally give it a try.
      I love how you stated that those of us who want this ideal or something similar, takes nothing away from those who don’t!! You are 100% right.

  13. Good on you for being so brave and honest in your comments. I am happy that you have come back. In my book you are a star. Domestic Princess. Chef. Organizer. Artist. You are what you want to be and where you want to be. BRAVO

  14. I’m sorry you felt you owed any of those commenters an explanation! Too many people these days think they have some right to voice their opinion about everyone and anything because it doesn’t fit their personal agenda and they can hide behind a computer. Frankly I’m exhausted by this need for everyone to be excruciatingly “politically correct” just to dance around someone’s sensitive toes. It’s like no one can just be themselves anymore becuase we must somehow consider every little thing that someone might be offended by and every single detail of history. No one can do that perfectly, of course it feels paralyzing! If the word “traditional” meant something to you as does “simple living” it’s none of their business. I love your style and the personal spin you have on The Vintage Housewife, which is what drew me to your site. Please know that you have more support for that part of you, rather than the people trolling websites to bring others down. 💕

    1. Thank you so much D!
      Honestly, I’ve come to terms with the fact the commenters clearly didn’t take the time to actually look around my site or read my posts. They made assumptions, and unfortunatly the comments landed during a time I was overextended & stressed. I definitely got stuck in my own head, writing this post was very therapeutic
      The support here has been absolutely amazing ❤️

  15. Hello, Glad your back, I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s I’m 70 years old now and when remembering the 50’s, I was not aware of all the bad stuff that happened then, just remember the good things. Enjoyed the simple pleasures. Would hear talk about Red China but looked on the globe and it was so far away. Now at 70, still worried about the Red China government. So strange. Any way I think I know what and how you feel about the 50’s. Not perfect, maybe just a dream of what we thought it was.
    Boy! what a wake up call the 60’s were, remember wondering what was going on, so much marching, yelling, protesting. Was shocked to find out the Black people could not vote, Really? That was terrible and all the discrimination going on. No that was not right. Was all for changing that.

  16. So happy to see you back! It seems I stumbled upon right as your mental health break started. I’ve spent that time enjoying your older blog posts and things and I so appreciate what you do! As a small business owner who needs balance between who I am to the world and who I am to my family, your content has been lovely! You’ve talked so often of prioritization that it helped me prioritize my own life and delete some things from my to do list that really didn’t need to be done. Thank you for being true to you and I’m glad you’re back!

  17. I thought I hadn’t seen any thing from you for a while.

    The world seems so full of hate at the moment – wasting every ones time and energy. How sad they must feel to have to take it out on someone who has found and shares so much joy.

    Take care of your self xxx

    1. That is exactly how I feel, and in the middle of everything going on it all just seemed like to much!! I am so happy to be back and the response has been so overwhelming ❤️

  18. I am glad I found your blog. Exactly in these times I find it comforting to read blogs like these, it brings me a lot of joy and it´s mentally soothing. So I can´t wait what you have in store for us! Thank you!

  19. Thank you for coming back I discovered your site just as you found a need to take a break. What’s so important is that your site is about a lifestyle choice, I have very full on career but the simpler way of life is so important for me, ironing and cleaning are my yoga, making a nice looking home my meditation and self-care. I’m grateful for blog like yours that are are just for people who like the same things, its a nice place and there aren’t too many of those on-line these days.

    1. That is so kind!! I truly want this site to be a comfortable welcoming place, it makes my heart so happy to read your comment.

  20. Merci de nous revenir, vous êtes pour nous une merveilleuses source de motivation ! En
    France on dit qu’il faut de tout pour faire un monde et il n’est pas toujours facile de fréquenter le mauvais mêlé au bon. Cet article nous montre que vous avez su passez outre et faire la part des choses en ne conservant que le meilleur. Youpi for us !

  21. I was so pleased to see the email about this post pop up, and I’m glad you’re back! I love what you said about women belonging where they feel most fulfilled – that attitude is why I gravitated toward your site over others. I look forward to seeing what you come out with next. Take care of yourself! 🙂

  22. Happy you’re back! I’m looking forward to your blog posts! Didn’t know there was a Facebook group so now I need to go find it 🙂

  23. Thank you for your transparency in sharing where you have been in your mind, that is one piece of this site I have always enjoyed. Women should support each other in all walks of life, and I appreciate that I can come here for real talk about issues that concern me, like how to maintain a home and seek simplicity when I find myself being too busy. I look forward to more great ideas and the feeling of being in a community. Again, thank you. (and I hope you recover from the negative comments, you seem to be amazing woman)

  24. You owe no one an explanation! Sometimes, you just have to take care of yourself. People will always make their own assumptions, will always have a differing opinion, and will find ways to be in disagreement with others. We can twist ourselves into a pretzel all day long explaining ourselves and they will still choose to think what they will and have the wrong idea about us. Let them, they are free to do that. We can alter our language, change ourselves, and explain ourselves silly, but at the end of the day what others do, think, and say is out of our control. Live your life, keep doing what you love, and don’t ever apologize for being yourself. You know you have good intentions, that is all that matters.

  25. I am so sorry to hear what happened. Its just not right and lately the world has made me weary. I’ve been a stay at home mom for 23 years and faced years of criticism. I plan on remaining a housewife in the near future as well. This time, my skin is thicker and I will no longer tolerate all the criticism and negative attitude about chooses that I have made for MY life. If someone doesn’t like or agree with it, please move along with my blessings! Be true to you! There are plenty of us to support you!

  26. I’ve missed you and your beautiful posts Jen! I’m sorry you had to deal with so many ugly comments, I know that can be so hard and make you feel like throwing in the towel. Good always overcomes evil so I’m glad you found your footing. For those with a pure heart, your purpose has been clear and simply lovely regardless of what words you chose. This teapot and cup of tea scene is just stunning by the way.

  27. I’m so sorry to hear that you have had such a horrible experience, when you were only trying to bring joy and positivity to the lives of others. I am so glad you are back. I offer my heartfelt support of your page going forward and hope that people will choose to rather stay silent or take themselves off the site, rather than trash something you and other ms enjoy and mean for good. Best wishes. 💖💖

  28. I am so glad you’re back! There are many times in which people twist things around when it is meant another way. I also love the 1950s for the simple times back then, not the social and political issues of the time period. I also discovered that traditional and not what it was to mean. I took ‘traditional’ as following old fashioned ideas and ‘traditions’, but that’s not hoe many perceive the word traditional. So thankful you are back and we can continue to enjoy wonderful vintage/simple times content ❤😁

  29. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been harassed. I found your blog when I lost my job during the pandemic. I’d never been good at keeping house, but wanted to take it over until I found another job. The 1950s schedule has provided structure for my day over the past year. Sure, I’ve modified it a lot, but if I hadn’t found that blog post, my house would not be in any working order.

    It’s frustrating that certain lifestyle choices are having political connotations assigned to them. I have been considering not returning to the workforce. I found that I like homemaking more than accounting, and our financial situation does not require me to work. I’m also a Christian. I’d say I’m a very “normal,” moderate person, but many people will hear “Christian housewife,” and begin making all kinds of assumptions. I’m no political extremist, most of us aren’t. It’s exhausting feeling like I have to explain my choices to my peers.

    I hope you continue to post. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with liking vintage things or homemaking.

  30. I agree with Alison.
    I’m new here and am looking forward to your posts. BTW I’m vintage. ;p
    I must say that I do disagree with the comparison of BLM with the civil rights movement with MLK, Jr and others of the day. It appears to me that what we have here is violence that will only drive people apart. I would have been proud to march back in the day, but I was married with a young child and wasn’t able to do that.
    I’m glad you decided to moderate your comments. I’m also sad that people were so thoughtless that you’ve had to go that route. A lot of us vintage lovers just want to enjoy community with others who love the same sort of things.

  31. So glad you’re back! I too found you during the pandemic where I decided not to turn the cable back on and only Support YouTube/creators with a dash of Netflix tossed in. I absolutely love diving into the past. I’m more of a colonial or Edwardian era lover, but I absolutely appreciate all periods and love seeing what others love. It’s like a mini history lesson.

  32. I am sorry you had to go through such negativity. Personally, I like your posts and other vintage sites simply because they actually give me an escape from current events and reminds me of days with both of my grandmothers and even my own mother ——and she WAS a full time working mom. So I guess in the end, I feel people shouldn’t look for some type of social problems with EVERYTHING they read or see or observe. Sometimes, you just need to relax and see things in a light hearted way instead of looking for issues.

  33. It’s sad that you have to even be writing this post. Clearly your site is celebrating your passions, such as baking, home decor, etc, with a focus on the styles that were popular in the 50s / 60s. Nothing more, nothing less. I can see that right off the bat. Liking aspects of a certain era doesn’t mean you condone absolutely every part of that area, and this is a very common sense notion to understand. Don’t let people who like to be offended, or create offence where there is none, get under your skin. Your site is pretty, inspiring, and nowhere does it make me feel like you enjoy racism or sexism or encourage me to promote those things. Our society has a LOT of work to do to improve, but tearing down people who are trying to make it a touch prettier isn’t helping.

  34. Well I have to say I wondered what happened to you. Glad to know you are fine.
    A year ago March I retired and shortly thereafter I found your site. Delighted! I’ve spent 40+ years in a wonderful career but retirement meant I could go back to my passion which is the SIMPLE life of my childhood. My mom was a typical 50s homemaker and I loved everything about that experience. I vowed that I would recreate some of my happiest memories particularly since we lost Dad and Mom now has dementia.
    My first few retirement months I cleaned, i ironed, I baked, I gardened. I still do one or more every day. I live alone! Yet it all still gives me pleasure and a sense of accomplishment. Come back! Just because everyone had a different experience does not make those experiences bad! It’s our history. Celebrate the good!!!

  35. I agree with the above post. I too love everything vintage and have fond memories of growing up in the 50’s. I worked when my children were young, but always loved being a homemaker. Cooking, baking, and most of all, sewing were such fun for me! I am so sorry that you have experienced such negative comments. Please do not be discouraged. There are so many of us that appreciate all that you do. Thank you.

  36. Bless your heart. This is a lifestyle choice..not forced upon anyone. This is a wonderful place for likeminded ladies to gather. If its not your thing..move on to find yours.

    1. I am so sorry that this happened to you. I don’t understand what those people were thinking. I have enjoyed reading your posts. Please take care of yourself

  37. Thank you for sharing! I have struggled with this too, not even wanting to share photos on Facebook out of concern that someone will have a hurt or angry reaction when the last thing I want to engender is negativity. My interests in vintage fashion and decor, cooking and nurturing my family line up well with your blog and I’m glad I found it.

    1. It is so sad that social media isn’t very social. In fact it can be downright competitive, and hostile.
      I am so glad you found your way here!

  38. Many of us started our online journey a decade or more ago. We may have a tendency to see the past through rose tinted specs, but if you have been around long enough, you remember when blogging and social media was fun and friendly. Blogging is now a profession and social media is no longer social. Its become a snake pit for the worse sort of bullying. You can destroy someone’s life and reputation from the comfortable anonymity of the keyboard. Personally, I love everything vintage. I’m a huge history buff and don’t expect the past to conform to the standards of the present. Indeed, a great deal can be learned from the past if one is prepared to look at it objectively. I enjoy reading your blog and I hope you will continue with it.

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