The following, ascribed to ‘Anonymous’, but thought to have been written by Florence McLandburgh, is taken from the 2014 Herstory calendar, an annual celebration of women that I have raved about at least once before.
She rose before daylight made crimson the east
For duties that never diminished
And never the sun when it sank in the west
Looked down upon work that was finished.
She cooked an unending procession of meals,
Preserving and canning and baking.
She swept, she dusted.
She washed and she scrubbed.
With never a rest for the taking.
A family of children she brought into the world,
Raised them and trained them and taught them.
She made all the clothes, patched, mended and darned
Till miracles seemed to have wrought them.
She watched by the bedside of sickness and pain
Her hand cooled the raging of fever.
Carpentered, painted, upholstered and scraped
And worked just as hard as a beaver.
And yet as a lady-of-leisure, it seems,
The government looks on her station.
For now, by the rules of the census report
It enters her—No Occupation.
Note: the rules changed in 1931, when “homemaker” was allowed on the Census report.
Picture courtesy WikiCommons
4 thoughts on “aka: a lady of leisure”
Don’t get me started. Most under-appreciated and over-worked job ever. And there is no retirement.
Don’t get me started too. (:
On my great grandparents marriage certificate from 1907, she was listed as a “spinster”. She was 22 years old.
Your great-grandmother?? Good lord. My marriage certificate listed ME as a spinster… I was 35. So, hmmm, maybe I was. (;