Ma Had It Easy

If you’re a dedicated Little House on the Prairie fan, you will know that “Ma” is Laura’s mother in the story. Ma was a pioneer wife and mother who endured some pretty crazy things–moving away from her family, Native Americans who came in her house without being invited and ate all the food, prairie fires, a locust plague, and a lack of flushing toilets. I think about Ma a lot actually as I run my own home. And sometimes I think, “Boy, Ma had it easy compared to these modern times.”

For one thing, she didn’t have to create any special Pinterest dinners or unique snacks. In fact, she didn’t have to worry about food intolerances at all. During the long hard winter, this was the “menu” for most days. Breakfast: brown bread and tea. Lunch: boiled potatoes. Dinner: boiled beans. Now mind you, they were practically starving at this time…

That aside, the food they ate was pretty simple and no one was making Ma feel guilty for not trying out the latest beef stirfry recipe. She cooked the same things over and over again…salt pork and gravy, brown bread, pie, potatoes, beans, eggs. I definitely think we could take a leaf out of Ma’s book and be more content with simpler fare.

Now, leaving out the fact that the laundry had to be done by hand and diapers were probably a serious bummer, Ma really didn’t have it too bad in the laundry department because of how few clothes they owned. The more clothes you have, the more laundry you have to wash. Ma did wash once a week. I have to do a load about once a day just to keep up.

Lastly, I really think Ma had an easier time not spending money because of the lack of advertising and stores. The country store usually had some pantry essentials–flour, sugar, tea, as well as other household sundries like fabric. But as far as I can tell, very little advertising and when they weren’t living in town, they wouldn’t have gone out of the house much to go shopping.

Not that Ma used all that extra time lying around though…because of course she still had to make butter and cheese, butcher entire animals, sew all the clothes by hand with a needle, garden, and care for livestock. On second thought, I’ll take the burdens of Pinterest and advertising…



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