Amidst the ease and convenience of modern parenting, there's also a growing appreciation for doing things from the past. Whether it's for the nostalgia or for the pride that comes with learning an old skill, modern moms are learning to do things that our grandmothers would be proud of. From keeping chickens and baking bread to sewing and sending handwritten thank-you cards, here are 10 pioneer skills that are back from the past to stay...
1. Baking fresh bread. I'll admit it. I used to be terrified of making my own bread. No way could I make anything that tasted good. But then, I found a 4-ingredient recipe that completely changed the game. With flour, salt, yeast and water, you can make something that will impress the best bakers around.
2. Handwritten correspondence. When is the last time you have written a letter? A thank-you note? Make someone's day and send them a handwritten something. Write your grandpa a letter, telling him what you and the kids are up to. Send a thank-you note to your boss. You'd be surprised how far this gesture will take you.
3. Canning and preserving. Last summer, I canned for the very first time. And the best part? I didn't poison my family! Sure enough, water bath canning is pretty much fool-proof as long as you've got the equipment and some good directions. (This blog is my go-to!) In the past year alone, I've canned jams and jellies, pickles, tomato sauce, salsa and more. It's so fun!
4. Ironing. My mom will be really proud of me for including this one. When I was little, my job was to iron her hankies. (Yeah, we're a little old-fashioned.) As much as I hated that chore back then, it taught me how to iron. I know, I know ... lots of clothes are made to be wrinkle-free these days. But you always need to iron dress pants and dress shirts, ruffles and more.
If you're shopping at a rummage sale or looking to buy a new car, you've got to know how to stand your ground and talk the price down.
5. Cooking from scratch. Hands down, this is the most valuable skill on this list. And the one that I'm pretty sure my husband married me for. I really love cooking. I do. And cooking from scratch has been one of my favorite things to do over the past few years. From soups and stews to sauce and salad dressing, from-scratch is always a million times better than store-bought.
6. Listening to music on vinyl. Thank goodness the hipsters brought this one back. Urban Outfitters now sells vinyl record players in every color under the sun. Tons of artists have started selling their music on vinyl to accommodate us old-fashioned music lovers. Yes, even Beyonce has an album on vinyl.
7. Sewing and knitting. (And crotetching and embroidery.) The list goes on and on. If you possess these skills, your options are endless. Love those $400 curtains from Antrhopologie? Make them! Wishing you could afford those beautiful chevron quilts on Etsy? Make one! If anything at all, make sure you know how to replace a button.
8. Gardening. Here's another one that's much easier than you might think. If you want to see if you have a green thumb, start out with something easy — herbs, tomatoes, etc. If you're really worried, start with house plants or succulents. Those things never die! If you'd like a little homestead, consider getting backyard chickens for the fresh eggs!
9. Bartering. It's true that most things are negotiable. If you're shopping at a rummage sale or looking to buy a new car, you've got to know how to stand your ground and talk the price down. Same with retail mistakes. If the cashier at Target charges you 37 cents too much, you better get your 37 cents!
10. Being polite. It's sort of sad that this one is a "skill of the past" but I think it's one that we all certainly need to work on. Granny was smart when she taught us to say "please" and "thank you." When you bump into someone, say "excuse me." When you get good service at a restaurant, tip well. Being kind and polite can get you a lot farther than you might think.