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AIBU to wonder how some people coped in former times?

(458 Posts)
Flyingfish2019 Sun 17-Feb-19 02:59:35

When they had 12 children, husband was working down the mines 16 hours a day, no transportation, no frozen/canned food, no fridge, constantly pregnant. No help if somebody suffered a disability (and I think this was likely working down the mines those days).

I just wondered because I have far less then 12 children and dh does not work down the mines and still we are often soooooo tired. Children keeping us awake play a role in this... how would we cope if there was 12 of them and we had to live under the conditions described above?

Hopeful16 Sun 17-Feb-19 03:03:11

Older ones helping to bring younger ones up??? More community support/ spirit???

Lower expectations from life??? Materialistic needs we're not invented then.

strawberryredhead Sun 17-Feb-19 03:04:44

I have wondered the same myself.
In Ukraine for example mothers will still have 10 children and they live in poverty. I am fascinated to know how they keep their mental health. I have two and struggle!!

bumpertobumper Sun 17-Feb-19 03:05:21

This sort of life is reality for millions of people today in other parts of the world.

I agree, it must be so hard and I don't know how they do it

Flyingfish2019 Sun 17-Feb-19 03:06:24

But weren’t the older ones often dead with the life expectancy so low? Also if a mother had 10 children (or 12 children two of whom died) she probably had 100 grandchildren. How could she help with all?

Flyingfish2019 Sun 17-Feb-19 03:09:10

@strawberryredhead Actually I think the average women in Ukraine has only 1.5 children not ten. Are you talking about a specific subgroup there?

Flyingfish2019 Sun 17-Feb-19 03:23:16

Does any of you enjoy watching documentaries about past times. I do... not sure why though because some of them are depressing... maybe they make me happy that I did not live in those days and make me appreciate my life more.

MrsPworkingmummy Sun 17-Feb-19 03:23:59

I don't think there's a particular issue relating to families where the dad worked 'down the mines'; this was a job many people in the UK did until the 80s/90s, with many considering it a reliable /respectable career. I think in many ways, life was far simpler then. Expectations were lower and people were 'happy with their lot.' I think older siblings would have helped out far more than today, kids played out from morning until dusk, and there waa a better sense of community and being 'raised by a village.'

I often wonder how people coped, particularly the poor, in the Victorian era and eras prior to that. How did families cope in the rural villages of the Highlands for example? How did women manage their periods? Did things lile thrush exist and how did the women cope with it? How dirty were people's hands? Were people aware of how they smelled? How did people manage tooth ache? Sooo many questions....

UnrelentingFruitScoffer Sun 17-Feb-19 03:25:10

Expectations were low. And people weren’t miserable, wet and hopeless like they are nowadays.

Flyingfish2019 Sun 17-Feb-19 03:27:16

@MrsPworkingmummy Nothing wrong with being a minor. I was talking about the conditions in mining 100 years ago. Actually i watched The Coal House, did any of you watch it? Very poor living conditions, very hard work.

BlackCatSleeping Sun 17-Feb-19 03:28:44

When my parents were kids, they were kicked out of the house and expected to play out all day in all weathers. They had to come back for lunch and dinner. Parents didn't really play with their kids. They were expected to entertain themselves.

Weirdly my neighbor used to do similar. Her 2-year-old daughter was told to go play in the garden and she'd sit there for 2 hours while her mum did the housework.

Parents these days are so much more hands-on.

Fetching Sun 17-Feb-19 03:33:29

Well obviously a lot of people didn't cope.

Life was simpler, not in a Lark Rise to Candleford way, but in a 'you're poor and therefore your life is going follow this harsh path' kind of way.

People were worn out at a young age. They were worn out from childbirth, babies dying in infancy, poverty, hard work. They died young.

People weren't happy with their lot, they just didn't have any choice over their lot.

Fetching Sun 17-Feb-19 03:36:24

Did things lile thrush exist and how did the women cope with it?

No. Obviously thrush was invented by Canesten in the 1980s.

Fetching Sun 17-Feb-19 03:38:28

if a mother had 10 children (or 12 children two of whom died) she probably had 100 grandchildren. How could she help with all?

She didn't.

She was dead at 45.

etta0 Sun 17-Feb-19 03:39:57

People didn't always cope. Look at the mental hospitals and orphanages.

Older children looked after younger children and weren't given a choice. Authoritarian parenting.

People died younger.

I also think there were more murders that went uninvestigated, especially wives and children. Suicides were also covered up.

Italiangreyhound Sun 17-Feb-19 03:42:42

Agree 100% with Hopeful16

"Lower expectations from life"

Most people one would know would be in the same leaky boat as you. No one on the telly or internet or Facebook would be telling you how great their life was compared to yours!

You key imperative would be to pass on our genes to the next generation and squeeze whatever joy out of life you could.

I think some were happy, some were not, just like to today.

MrsPworkingmummy Sun 17-Feb-19 03:45:19

@Fetching Sarcastic much? A fairly minor point in my overall pondering of how people lived in the centuries before us.

To clarify, what I meant was, did women have any awareness of it? Clearly attitudes to cleanliness were very different, but so were attitudes to sex, no harsh bubble bath etc to upset PH levels so was it even a thing as such?

Flyingfish2019 Sun 17-Feb-19 03:46:06

@Italiangreyhound lower expectations is the one thing but how did they cope without A) dying from exhaustion and B) how did they keep their kids alive (okay many didn’t)...

gerispringer Sun 17-Feb-19 03:47:17

People helped each other more- community spirit. Religion may have been comfort to some. Expectations and aspirations much lower. Big families - older ones looked after the little ones, kids played outside and made their own amusements, they wouldn’t be under the parents feet all day. Anything to survive really.

Fetching Sun 17-Feb-19 03:48:18

Sarcastic much?

You asked if thrush existed.

Italiangreyhound Sun 17-Feb-19 03:50:42

Flyingfish2019 the mind gives up long before the body, apparently, or so this TV programme taught me.

So I think most people lived their lives, didn't expect too much and managed. Maybe some did die of exhaustion. Depends how far back we are going. 100 years, 1,000 years.

And yes, very sadly many of their children did die. So I am not saying it was a good time in the past but I think lower expectations made it possible to live.

Fetching Sun 17-Feb-19 03:51:29

Look at average life expectancies for any given time period and you'll see how 'well' people survived.

Flyingfish2019 Sun 17-Feb-19 03:51:50

@MrsPworkingMummy I think they were bubblebaths/bathsalt in former times which was imported from Italy. A very old lady I knew, unfortunately she has died now, told me about this. She must have been born around 1900 but was born into a privileged family at this time. She told me they had bath salt.

Somebody asked for menstrual pads. I think they used cloth like some environmentalist do today.

Topseyt Sun 17-Feb-19 03:54:59

I am not sure that all of them did necessarily cope well, and they so often died young.

I don't think that mental health issues were really understood in those days, but that doesn't mean that they didn't exist. People were packed off to asylums if they were severe, but that was about the extent of it.

Mental health services today can leave something to be desired, yet compared to the early twentieth century or to Victorian times, they are a lot better and things are better understood, taken more seriously etc.

Italiangreyhound Sun 17-Feb-19 03:56:22

Fetching "Look at average life expectancies for any given time period and you'll see how 'well' people survived."

Of course it is better to live longer, if life is good. But if your main thought is to pass on your genes and then shuffle off this mortal coil, and you pass on your genes at 20 then maybe you aren't so fussed to die at 50 if this is your expectation.

I'm not sure if life expectancy workings out take into consideration that lots of people died young?

"The average life expectancy for a male child born in the UK between 1276 and 1300 was 31.3 years. In 1998, it is 76.

However, by the time the 13th-Century boy had reached 20 he could hope to live to 45, and if he made it to 30 he had a good chance of making it into his fifties.

The main threats lay in early childhood, as the child's immune system was coming to terms with the threats posed by a disease-ridden environment."

But the OP may not be thinking as far back as 1276!!

Night all. thanks

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