Saturday, August 8, 2009

Good Wives

I have lately enjoyed re-reading Little Women and Good Wives (the sequel) by Louisa May Alcott. I just love this passage, which deals with oldest daughter Meg's adjustment to young motherhood and housekeeping. She has twins and has worn herself to a frazzle:

"She was. . . in that unreasonable frame of mind which the best of mothers occasionally experience when domestic cares oppress them, want of exercise robs them of cheerfulness, and too much devotion to that idol of American women, -the teapot,- makes them feel as if they were all nerve and no muscle."
Mmmmhmmm.

Mother advises her:
". . .Do more housework. You need the exercise. . .Go out more; keep cheerful as well as busy,-for you are the sunshine-maker of the family, and if you get dismal there is no fair weather."
How true. What a responsibility and a challenge at times for me- being the 'sunshine-maker'. But SO true. I have found over the years that the mother's mood truly does set the tone for the whole house.

Fortunately,
"Meg recovered her spirits, and composed her nerves, by plenty of wholesome exercise, a little pleasure, and much confidential conversation with her sensible husband. . .Home grew home-like again, and everyone found the little house a cheerful place, full of happiness, content, and family love."

4 comments:

Linda said...

I know it is hard for us to find the time or privacy for "and much confidential conversation with her sensible husband" but I know it does help.

Saminda said...

I'm sure as our children get older we will lose some of our night-time chatting time! Perhaps the bedroom will become the place for the confidential conversation. :)

JM said...

'the sunshine maker', too true.

That passage left an impression on me too :)

I'm glad (and a little envious of) your beautiful Saturday mornings, well earned and deserved Mrs Fern :)

Hope the rest of your weekend was just as lovely :)

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

I think I did tell you Saminda that Louisa May Alcott was my favourite author! I'm reading Jo's Boys at the moment.
It is quite a sad reflection on society that the addictions of modern women are today, far worse than the teapot!
It is interesting that when Louisa May Alcott moved away from the subjects of home and domesticity and tried to write 'mystery' books that would entertain, her whole style of writing changed. I hated her attempts at popular fiction..they are quite strange.. have you ever read any? They just do not compare to her Little Women series.

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