A WOMAN has given up her job to lay out her husband's clothes every morning and make him packed lunches.
Katrina Holte, 30, decided to live like a 1950's housewife after becoming stressed out by her busy job in a payroll department.
The part-time seamstress – who sells vintage-style frocks she makes from her home in Oregon in the United States – now cooks and cleans while her engineering manager husband, Lars, 28, goes to work.
“I feel like I’m living how I always wanted to. It’s my dream life and my husband shares my vision," she explains.
“It is a lot of work. I do tons of dishes, laundry and ironing, but I love it and it’s helping to take care of my husband and that makes me really happy.
“My closet is full of 1950s dresses I’ve made myself. I have 1940s-style furniture in the living room and a traditional bedroom.
“It’s not like it’s a museum but I do try and make it as close to the era as I can.
“I can feel like I was born in the wrong decade, especially when I look at everything that is happening in the world now.
"I feel like I belong in a nicer, more old-fashioned time. But I know everything happens for a reason and it is God’s will that I’m here now.
“I agree with old-fashioned values, like being a housewife, taking care of your family, nurturing the people in it and keeping your house in excellent condition, so everyone feels relaxed.”
Katrina makes sure dinner is on the table for when Lars gets in from work, and, after eating, the couple relax by playing traditional board games like Scrabble, listening to vinyls and watching old-fashioned shows like I Love Lucy and The Donna Reed Show.
She said: "My new life started in September 2018, after I left my job, which was starting to wear me down. I was getting tired and I wasn’t living up to my own expectations.
“I spoke to my husband and told him I want to be a housewife and he said that was fine with him.
“It was a fantastic feeling when I quit. I can do what I want to now and run my house as I want to run it. Now I’m a full-time homemaker.”
Her day starts at 6.30am when she wakes and sets out her husband’s clothes, ready for the day ahead, before preparing his breakfast and making him a packed lunch.
After her own breakfast she does 15 minutes of vintage exercises.
“Exercise in the 1930s to 1950s was a lot gentler. There was a lot of stretching, warming up or ‘limbering up,’ as they would say back then,” Katrina explained.
“I have a vintage slant board, which is a small wooden ramp, to do core exercises like sit ups. I do them for about 10 to 15 minutes a day and they keep me in shape to fit into my 1950s dresses.
“We have the idea today that we have to push our bodies to the limit, but in the 1950s the attitude was simply that you had to take care of it.
“After my exercises I will go upstairs to take my shower and put on a full face of vintage make up.
"I use vintage products like Pond's cold cream and Revlon red lipstick and have well-drawn eyebrows, as well as using traditional hot rollers to curl my hair.
“My entire wardrobe is 1950s, made up of dresses I have made myself from original patterns. I always try and look my best.
“I feel most like myself when I’m wearing a vintage-style dress. They are so flattering and I love the colours and fabrics. I just feel happy when I put them on.
“I will then spend a good hour doing the laundry, dusting and sweeping and making sure everything is clean and tidy. I make sure everything is kept in its place.
“After lunch, when my house is tidy and smelling fresh, I will go upstairs and sew either for myself, for my customers or to try out new patterns.”
Katrina starts cooking the dinner at around 4pm to 5pm to make sure everything is ready when Lars returns from work.
“I usually cook recipes from the era like pot roasts or chicken pies and make sure there are vegetables," she said.
"In the 1950s, housewives liked to make sure all the food groups were there.
“When Lars gets home he likes to hang his own coat up, which I don’t mind. I read in a 1950s book that if a man wants to hang his own coat up, you should not feel like it makes you a bad housewife.
“I give him a glass of water and if dinner is not quite ready, a plate of snacks like cheese, dried fruit or nuts.
“After dinner we play board games like Scrabble, or watch our vintage shows like I Love Lucy or The Donna Reed Show.
"Sometimes we read. I like reading 1950s cookbooks and vintage beauty and sewing magazines.”
She continued: “My husband is very appreciative of what I do.
"He grew up in a house where he helped his mum with the cooking and the cleaning, so he is not domineering in any way. He’s the most gentle person I have ever met.
“If I did, heaven forbid, have dinner late, he would not make a fuss, but I can tell it means a lot to him that it's normally on time.
"He looks tired when he comes in from work, so when the table is set and decorated and the candles are lit he relaxes. He’s happy for the evening.
“I think a man needs his wife to make him feel spoilt every once in a while.
“He would never expect this from me, though, it was entirely my idea to live like this. It’s always been my dream since I was a little girl."
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