The many skills women need

A few months ago I wrote a blog post about the taking an audit of the skills that young women need when when they marry and start a family. One of my readers asked if I could do a post looking at what skills a young modern women needs when they marry and set up home for the first time and when they have children. 

Women do a lot of things and the list is diverse. None of us go into marriage knowing everything, but there are basics we really should know and should have been taught growing up i.e. how to cook a simple meal, how to wash the clothes, vacuum, make a bed etc... If we are lacking these skills we will run into problems on day one. 

Basic "female" skills are becoming endangered with fewer young women able to iron a shirt, cook a roast chicken or hem a skirt. Just as more modern men are unable to complete traditional male tasks, new research shows Generation Y women can't do the chores their mothers and grandmothers did daily (source)

Sadly many young girls are not taught these basic skills by their mothers (nor are they taught it at school) and when they move out, many don't have a clue. Most modern wives no longer understands (or perhaps even cares) how vital her role is in the home and how important she is to the happiness in the home.  If the wife doesn't' keep the home clean and tidy, is a poor cook, doesn't stock the pantry, beds left unmade, washing piling up — the home isn't much of a home — and it isn't a place where her husband will want to spend time or a place to invite others to.

So what skills do we all need to have: 
  • We need to know how to clean our homes as a clean home is vital to our health and wellbeing. Cleaning can be overwhelming and an area that many women struggle with. To keep on top of cleaning, create a schedule—what needs to be done daily, weekly, monthly, annually or in a particular season of the year.  However, we all need to be flexible with our lists otherwise they start to control us. Cleaning is not always exciting and women tend to find ways of avoiding it—make sure you have all the tools of the trade (mops, bucket, vacuum cleaner, sponges, brushes, clothes etc..) and pop on some music and start work!!
  • We need to know know how to cook healthy meals—without healthy meals the health of ourselves and our families will suffer. We need to have basic skills in cooking (including how to cut up food, how to prepare food, the different methods of cooking etc) and understand the importances of healthy fresh food compared to processed foods which are high in salt and sugar. 
  • We need to know how to plan a menu for the week—without a menu it can be difficult to know what to buy and it can increase the cost of the grocery bill as one tends to buy things they may not need. To create a menu, one needs to be able to search for recipes, be able to read a recipe and work out if it is to complicated to make or if its simple.
  • We all need to know how stock the fridge and pantry— to buy wisely and not waste money. Creating a master shopping list is always very handy as it will contain all the basics we buy each week and will save time thinking about what you might needs. When buying food, we need to understand food safety (how and where to store the food) and how long particular foods will last.
  • We all need to know how to tidy the house — putting things away (everything has a home), not creating clutter that requires extra cleaning and keeping drawers and cupboards in order.
  • We need to be able to wash to clothes, knowing what should be washed with what and understanding the different needs of different fabrics. With washing comes ironing, not something enjoyed by all, but something that does need doing.Washing also includes changing bed sheets, washing towels, tea-towels ect...
  • We all need to be able to manage a budget  and balance the books—how much do things cost, how much to spend on food and other items in the house. This also includes having an understand of household bills such as water, power and communication bills. Winter heating bills can often come as a shock to new householders if they are not use to paying bills.
  • Time management is very important for us all and much more important these days with social media and other forms of technology that can interrupt our day and steel us away from what we should be doing. Poor time management can result in meals not cooked on time, children late for school, appointments missed. We need to understand the importances of important from urgent, how to say no, leaving a bargain for the unexpected, working smarter and not harder etc..

Once children arrive there are others skills that mum need to know—taking care of baby is the biggest one (and the most time consuming), but as baby grows mum learns about all sorts of things she may never have done before:  

  • Doctors appointments/looking after sick children
  • Liaising with school/nursery over everyday issues 
  • Packing schoolbags
  • Doing/supervising homework
  • Arranging childcare
  • Arranging applications for primary/secondary school
  • Arranging play dates
  • Taking children activities
  • Organising birthday parties
  • Buying clothes
  • Reading bedtime stories
  • Taxi service for the many activities children do. 
  • Health and safety of your family
  • Arts and craft activities
These jobs we learn as we go and sometimes they don't go as smoothly as they might. If in doubt, ask a friend to help — someone who has children and done these things before. Only the other day I over heard one dad talking to another day about parent-teacher interviews. One had never been to one before and wanted some tips — this is what we need to do when in doubt. Ask early before you spend months struggling.

And then there are all the other things women do that don't often get included in the training:
  • Organising Christmas
  • Buying family presents/cards
  • Organising birthday presents for family members
  • Booking holidays
  • Organising parties
  • Organising car insurance
  • Organising home insurance
  • Organising payment of utility bills
  • Helping others at church, local charity etc..
  • Helping the neighbours 
  • Growing one's own vegetables
  • Gardening and growing flowers.

Links of interest:


  1. I want to add, that I learned how to garden. I wanted fresh vegetables and cut flowers for my home.

    1. Very true - I will add it to the list. I was taught how to garden by my father who was a farmer and loved his veggie garden and flower garden. Even now at 82 he still loves his flowers :)

  2. i love this post, it really encourages me, moms and wives have the best job in the world <3

  3. Indeed it is, and crazy! :-D

  4. Replies
    1. Thankyou Laura - its probably we don't know how long the list is when we first start our journey as wife and mother, otherwise it would be very overwhelming.

  5. The world would be a better place if men could cook, clean and share the bringing up of the children, but we should also learn to maintain a car and other things the world is now a place where we can do lots of different things not held back because we are females or males.

    1. I have no daughters and therefore taught my sons to cook and now that they are adults they are excellent cooks. My eldest is married and does all the cooking because he loves doing it. I also taught them both to clean and buy groceries etc... I think these are very important skills for boys to learn. I probably should learn to change a tyre etc.. as it might come in handy one day.

  6. It's so amazing what we need to learn. We are priceless that's for sure.

    1. It is when you start to add up the list - and it is so diverse too which makes it interesting and challenging. :)

  7. I love this list. It lays out what I've been thinking for years. Being a wife and mom is one of the most challenging (but rewarding) jobs in the world.

  8. A lot is involved - you don't really realise just how much until you start to write a list like you have! There's so many things you never think of before the need arises... Things such as learning how to discipline children, be efficient with time, help a child eat when he is fussy, knowing what to do when there's an emergency... So many things we learn as we go and there really isn't any way to learn or prepare for them because we have no perception of what it will be like when it actually happens. This is a great list, Jo! :)


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