Thank Goodness for Modern Appliances!

As a mum to 7 my life is understandably quite hectic. Even though some of my children have moved away I still have more washing, cooking and cleaning to do than. many "normal"sized families.

socks drying on line:Photo by Nick Page on Unsplash

Two of my friends also have larger than average broods and we joke about having our extra large washing machines permanently working to keep up with our extra large washing piles. Don't talk to me about ironing - I gave that up years ago.

I sometimes moan about having to keep loading it and unloading it but when you think how it was (and still is in some parts of the world) for people without the luxury of an electric machine and tumble dryer we really do have it easy.

When I first moved to our village almost 30 years ago my elderly neighbour still did all of her washing by hand. As the years went by I used to beg her to let me at least wash her bedding - she still didn't use lightweight divers and cotton covers but had sheets and blankets which must have been exhausting to wash and wring without technology.

But she'd laugh at me and say she'd done it her entire life and was happy to continue. She used to tease me about how easy I had it with central heating and gas and electric appliance. No getting up at dawn to light the fire and heave in coal for the range for me. 

When her lively boys were young there was no TV and of course no internet but luckily we live near woodland in open countryside so they generally played for long hours outside while she got on with cooking and cleaning with no microwave, cordless vacuum or smart speaker to ask for recipes, the weather forecast or music. 

I suppose she never had the worry her washing machine would break down and she would have to call someone for washer repair. She just needed a bucket, water, soap suds and a great deal of elbow grease!

I do have some habits shared with mums from past generations. I do like to hang my washing outside on sunny days (nothing smells better than bedding dried in the sunshine) and on our vintage style airer that hangs from the ceiling over our stairs.

Actually that airer made from wooden slats supported by metal ends and raised and lowered using a pulley, is one of the most useful items in our house. All that wasted heated air lurking in the space over the stairs now goes to drying clothes. It can get even jeans dry overnight. I spotted one at my sister's years ago and immediately ordered one online.

pulley ceiling airer

Despite this I still wouldn't be without my dryer which you can't beat for speed and for the best fluffy towels. If that died I would be on the phone straight away to find someone qualified in dryer repair to get it up and running again as soon as possible.

Inagine ironing with an iron which had to be heated in the fire? Or using ice blocks and pantries instead of fridges and freezers?

I might feel like looking after our family is hard work but it's nowhere near as hard as it would have been even 75 years ago.