The daily pattern of household life is governed by the
husband's commuting schedule. It is entirely a woman's day
because virtually every male commutes. Usually the men
leave between 7:00 and 8:00 A.M.; therefore they rise
between 6:00 and 7:00 A.M. In most cases the wife rises
her husband, makes his breakfast while he shaves, and
cup of coffee with him. Then she often returns to bed
children get up. The husband is not likely to be back
7:00 or 7:30 P.M.
This leaves the woman alone all day to cope with the needs
the children, her house-keeping, and shopping. (Servants,
needless to say, are unknown). When the husband returns,
is generally tired, both from his work and his traveling. . . .
Often by the time the husband returns the children are ready
for bed. Then he and his wife eat their supper and wash the
dishes. By 10:00 P.M. most lights are out.
For the women this is a long, monotonous (boring) daily
[routine]. Generally the men, once home, do not want to
leave. They want to "relax" or "improve the property" -putter
around the lawn or shrubbery. However, the women want a
"change." Thus, groups of women often go to the movies
Source: Harry Henderson, “The Mass-Produced Suburbs:
How People Live in America’s Newest Towns.”
November 1953. Harry Henderson based his
observations on extensive visits, observations, and
interviews in 1950s suburbs.
Women in the 1950s