Do labour saving appliances simply cause more work?

(10 Posts)
ItsDinah Sun 08-Jun-14 18:00:01

My family moved about a fair bit when I was a child. The houses ranged from highly desirable to undesirable . Weirdly,the one I and mum both hanker after was in the undesirable category. No mains services. Heating from calor gas . Kitchen had calor gas stove ,table and chairs, a built in wall cupboard. No kitchen units or counters so none to clean. Big sink in adjacent lean too. No fridge so none to clean or defrost. No electricity so no washing machine or iron. Only hot water from boiling a kettle.Floors all lino . It seems counter-intuitive but we both hanker after it because we spent so little time on housework.I was the eldest and did a lot of it and mum agrees we're not looking through rose tinted glasses. Far less time than any other family home either of us has ever run. Do machines and other appliances trap us in lifestyles that actually create more work? Lots of us give up ironing and I know someone who has only a microwave and no cooker. What else would save time? Should all mod cons kitchens be left to those who have kitchen maids to clean them and carpets to those with parlour maids?

Certainly when you read threads on here about how many batches of washing people do, it does feel like the work will expand to take just as long even if you do have mod cons.

But I think I'd still rather have electricity and carpets!

Hazchem Mon 09-Jun-14 08:08:30

I was wondering how much time my dish washer saves but then I though I like the convince of it doing the dishes while I do something else and that really most devices only take up one task so while the dish washer does the washing it doesn;t stack it's self and put it's self away so there is still work.
I think my biggest non time saver is my laptop because I just muck around on it.

LittleCatA Mon 09-Jun-14 17:07:55

My Grandmother had x4 DC's and no washing machine let alone a dishwasher. From what I understand she had a really hard life.

I am pg with DC4 and yesterday spent the day sitting in the garden occasionally getting up to put washing on the line when the machine had finished washing AND spinning (my grandmother later got a twin tub...a 'time saving luxury'). I did my shopping order while sitting in the sun, it will be brought into my kitchen by the Ocardo driver.

DH works long hours through the week so once I bought a dishwasher I suddenly had my evenings free to do things. My life if a world away from my Grandmothers, she looked old early and there is no way she spent her evenings having me time or sitting relaxing.

Personally I wouldn't go back to a time pre fridges/dishwashers/washing machines.

restandpeace Mon 09-Jun-14 17:10:35

I like your style littlecat its rather like my own. I have dcs BTW.

WaitingForMe Mon 09-Jun-14 17:55:02

Um no. Both of my grandmothers raised a family. It took a long time as a lack of cars meant even shopping was a big deal.

Life was much easier for my mum as she had a washing machine, her own car and disposable nappies for special occasions. She started a small business alongside looking after my brother and I then when we moved to a farm, she managed it.

I have only ever used disposable nappies, had an electric steriliser, a tumble dryer and a dishwasher. I also run a business but compared to my mum, having a toddler is a breeze.

I'd be awful if I was thrown back in time and had to work as hard as my grandmothers. And let's not forget the greatest gadget known to mothers - the corkscrew!

MissYamabuki Mon 09-Jun-14 22:02:10

As a student I spent a few months abroad with no access to a washing machine - had to do all the laundry by hand in a bathtub, including bedding, jeans, coats... It was incredibly hard work from the physical point of view, and awfully time-consuming. WM are wonderful wonderful things IMO smile

erin99 Mon 09-Jun-14 23:48:34

Hmph. No fridge and only 1 cupboard means shopping virtually daily. Even if you don't shop online, being able to buy fresh food that lasts a week frees up hours every week. No running hot water means washing anything, especially clothes, surely is an enormous faff? In Edwardian times babies were out of nappies by a year because it was easier to hold them over a pot a million times a day than wash and dry all the soiled nappies by hand.

However a smaller house with less stuff means much less housework. In our old, tiny kitchen, cleaning the floor took 2 mins on my hands and knees with a couple of antibac wipes or a cloth. Now we have a much bigger, eat-in kitchen. I have prob 5 times the floor area plus the complication of table and chairs to move and clean under. You could say the steam mop makes the job take longer but no, the job got 5-10 times bigger and the steam mop was my attempt to address that.

sadsaddersaddest Wed 11-Jun-14 19:57:11

Last year I spent 2 weeks in DH's home country, where dishwashers are unheard of, washing machines are for well-off people and there is running water every other day at best.
I was weeping with joy when I came back home to all my appliances.

WastingMyYoungYears Wed 11-Jun-14 20:09:15

Nope - my dishwasher and tumble dryer save me lots of time. I love them.

FIL says that everything is much cleaner / less smelly now. So as our standards have risen, so has the workload, but WMs, TDs etc have taken over a lot of this workload.

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