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Losing “Mom” skills

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

I've heard quite a bit of talk lately about a study that came out which states that most moms (Gen Y in particular) have lost or are losing traditional "Mom" skills like baking, knitting, sewing .....da-da da.

Of course, I can't find the actual study online, but just a bunch of people talking about it. The study was conducted by a British oven company, Neff, and it says that although most moms can't do these basic domestic chores, they wish they could. Of course, this is where the oven company steps in and offers to "kindly" sell you the oven that will make all your "mom" skills intuitive. Yeah, nobody's talking about THAT.

According to The Daily Mail, the study says  "Nine out of ten younger mothers don’t know how to starch a shirt, while more than half struggle to sew name tags in their children’s clothes.

Three quarters couldn’t make gravy from scratch, while nearly half couldn’t rustle up a Victoria sponge.

Nearly half of young mums said they made more of an effort to learn traditional ‘mum’ skills after their children were born.

But despite this less than one third could make pastry from scratch, less than half could sew, and less than one quarter could knit.

Eighty per cent of younger mothers said they wanted to know how to keep their shirts white and eighty two per cent wanted to be able to alter clothes.

Only 16 per cent of young mothers felt confident that they could make a fancy dress costume for their child and only 18 per cent could make jam.

By comparison more than a third of mothers over 45 could make a costume while 43 per cent could make jam."


Of course, the study made me mentally assess my own mom skills.

Well, I'll admit that I can't "rustle up a Victoria sponge," 'cuz the 'hell's that even mean?  But if I wanted to I could probably starch a shirt. I don't really need to starch shirts so I guess I'm missing the practical application of that skill.

My grandma showed me how to knit, but it didn't take.

I can sew a straight line on a machine and by hand, if need be, and I can also do buttons.

I make a mean freezer jam but don't care to can it.

I bake all the boys' birthday cakes.

Then, about half way through the mental list of mom skills, I wondered if these "skills" really matter? Are children going to think less of their mothers who buy them store bought cookies? Will they feel neglected because they never ran around in a homemade Gunnysack dress or a sailor suit with ragged seams?

And what about my other skills? I throw a mean baseball, ya know.

At the same time, I do appreciate some of the "mom" skills and actually do them. Baking my children cakes (out of boxes, ha ha) makes me feel like I'm a good mom. So maybe that's the point, what skills do you need to make yourself feel like a good mom and what skills are no longer necessary in the modern world?

That's what I want to know.






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I was JUST reading about this…maybe in “Cooking Light?”  Somewhere I was reading about how Home Ec is no longer taught in schools, at least not as a “here’s what you need to know to run a house.”  It’s become more voc tech courses like “how to be a chef” or whatever.  I think Mom skills are whatever skills it takes to help your family succeed :)

“Mom” work evolves just like everything else ... like I don’t think I need to churn butter anymore. I’m pretty good with buying the sticks at the store. I agree Julie, if you’ve got enough skills to keep your home decently clean and your family’s happy with what you put in their bellies, then you’re fine.

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