Tuesday, February 4, 2014

About this blog

During this blog I plan to read Modern Mothercraft, and apply it to my life as a stay-at-home Mum today.

Modern Mothercraft was published in 1945 by the Royal New Zealand Society for the Health of Women and Children, otherwise known as Plunket. Mum gave it to me while I was pregnant with my son, and we read it out loud and had a chuckle at some of the dated ideas contained within. It then gathered dust, literally, until this week when I was looking for a book large enough to act as a temporary door stop, and found it again. Some of the advice contained within its 225 pages is painfully dated, but for a book published almost 70 years ago, it's also surprising how many of its recommendations remain the same today.

In many ways, 1945 was a different world to 2014. A terrible war had just ended, and rationing was still in place in Britain. There was no internet, cheap clothes, and far fewer gadgets to make things easier. Both of my grandmothers had either just started or were about to start large families. Gender roles were much more pronounced, as is evidenced by the title having 'mother' rather than 'parent' in the title. When most people learn about 1945, they tend to learn about VE and VJ days, the Marshall Plan, Yalta and Hiroshima. They don't learn about all these women raising the "baby boomers" and worrying about toilet training, how to cool milk, and what to dress their babies in.

Although things have changed, I imagine that many things were still the same for my grandmothers raising their children as they are for me raising mine. Women in 1945 will have still wanted the best for their children, and would have wanted sound advice on how to keep them safe and healthy. And the Royal New Zealand Society for the Health of Women had the best of intentions in producing this booklet. Indeed, that part of what makes it such a fascinating read today.

And of course I'll be going on the odd random digression as well, because after all, who doesn't like a good ramble every now and again? 


  1. Just wanted to say hi and I've enjoyed reading your blog today. It's fascinating how things have changed so much.

  2. Hi Do you know who the lady holding the baby is? And where the photo came from? Thanks. JennyM