Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Whatever happened to Mothercraft classes?

Here's a question. An important one. Where are the Mothercraft classes?

When I was at high school and in Year 9, we actually had a class called Mothercraft. We all looked forward to it. Incomprehensibly, it was just for the 'girls', but hey, this was the 70's. The Midwife who taught the classes was just plain scary, but all medical personnel were in those days. They were revered. None of this first name stuff. It was Doctor This, Nurse That, and 'Sister'. 'Sister' did not even need a name. Even the nurses referred to her simply as 'Sister' and I think the Doctors feared her too.

But all of us adored bathing the baby dolls, putting on their (cloth) nappies, or diapers as some call them, and compiling our piece de resistance`, our Mothercraft Scrapbook.

These scrapbooks were works of art. Elaborate beyond imagining, they consisted of breathtakingly beautiful baby cards, hacked to pieces and wedged between snippets of information on how to be a good parent. Pretty ribbon abounded, as did photos cut from the Womens Weekly magazine (an icon here), showing delicately robed angelic like new mothers, snuggling picture perfect babies to their not-quite-visible breasts.

We were graded on these, as much as we were on Maths and Science. They were a source of great pride and displayed at the school fete and on Open Days.

I'm not saying they instantly turned us into perfect candidates for Motherhood, but at least we had the grounding.

Did these classes slip into oblivion courtesy of Womens Liberation or Political Correctness? Because frankly, it's a darn shame. I'm not saying everyone wanted to be a Mother, but at least you were prepared for that outcome.

I wish I still had my Mothercraft scrapbook, but alas, it's long gone. It honestly was a thing of beauty, quite apart from it's practical aspect. Mine was filled with the aforementioned vintage style baby welcome cards like this one...

..... and was beribboned and embellished with lace, to within an inch of it's life.

Maybe it's my love of pretty things that finds me nostalgic for Mothercraft Classes...nothing more.

Did you take a Mothercraft Class at High School?


  1. Being younger than you :P our class in the early eighties was elective and called simply Children. I got A+ for that and almost flunked maths ha!

  2. :]

    Oh I did well at English, Drama, History and Science also but boy did I battle to pass Maths each year!

  3. Mimi! I have to comment, albeit years later! I loved Mothercraft and I agree with every thing you said!!! Remember they gave us a percentage...who knows how they worked it out! I got 97%. Don't know what I lost 3% for!!! Lol. I loved my big book. It was full of some much STRICT advice for 'bringing up baby'. Do you remember the baby's routine pages (every 10 minutes was accounted for) and how they said to stick your baby on a blanket in the sun for a 'sun-bath' to get Vitamin D, no worries about harmful sun! Terrific little post. Xx

  4. Just thinking of my Mothercraft scrapbook tonight and found your blog post from a few years ago. I wonder how useful it would have been to me when I had my son some 20 years later. I specifically remember the layette.


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