Traditional womanhood is almost a lost art. There are too many women who find themselves in adulthood unprepared. But thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way.
- Traditional womanhood explained
- What Traditional womanhood IS and ISN’T
- Reflecting on Self
- Practical Tips to Becoming a Traditional woman
- The Village Reservoir
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What does traditional womanhood mean? And how can I become one?
The phrase “traditional womanhood” doesn’t appear in the dictionary, but Merriam-webster says womanhood is
1: the state of being a woman
2: the qualities considered to be natural to or characteristic of a woman
Based on this definition any quality typical of a woman means she’s achieved womanhood. But what qualities? And what if they come natural to everyone but me? Britannica says womanhood is
1: the state or condition of being an adult woman and no longer a girl
Which implies that womanhood is merely an age-based sort of promotion!
“Isn’t there more to womanhood than this?”
The answer is emphatically, “YES!” The textbook definitions have some truth to them, but womanhood is only one part of life. And it doesn’t necessarily belong to every woman. We are complex creatures and because of that our nature cannot easily be defined in a cookie cutter fashion. Point in case, my husband recently asked what was on my mind and I said, “My mind is like Chrome with 100 tabs open all at once right now.” That’s ok! Womanhood isn’t a box of traits someone slapped a label on and gave to you now, Voila! Suddenly you’re a woman now.
In fact, Traditional Womanhood is NOT…
- Defined by age, appearance, career, salary, titles or marital/relationship status
- Merely bearing children
- Just raising kids or keeping house
- Based on physical appearance or development
- Living a docile “Yes” life at home, church or community when that doesn’t make sense
- Meant to be lived alone
Most of those things can be nice on their own but some aren’t exclusive to women. They’re also stereotypes. Although they are part of womanhood for some, they aren’t the best definition of traditional womanhood.
However, traditional womanhood IS…
- Being self-sufficient so you can nourish yourself and nurture others
- Embracing old-fashioned skills
- Self-love, self-care and self-acceptance. Every moment of every day.
- Living by your values
- Beautiful and scary at the same time
What does traditional womanhood look like then?
1: handed down from age to age
So then, traditional womanhood is when one woman gives the gift of old-fashioned quality traditions to another woman. Some of those qualities will be intangible like self respect, pride in the home and gentleness of spirit. Others will be practical like advice and help managing a home or training children.
The responsibility to pass this gift of traditional womanhood along does not solely belong to a mother or grandmother either. Women pouring into women is how we cultivate the next generation and help our homes and societies blossom beautifully. Why? Because traditional womanhood unites women then families then communities one by one.
Is it really worth it?
Womanliness is an art and the traditional woman embellishes it with her values. But the art has been lost over the years so today when you hear the phrase “Traditional Woman” you might think of a grandmother knitting in a rocking chair by the fire in a quaint cabin in the woods. Others picture the dutiful housewife vacuuming the living room in high heels and pearls. Still more may think it’s a farmhouse bride with six or seven kids who makes fresh bread everyday and milks cows.
But it’s not unattainable so don’t lose heart! Womanhood is a group effort. Although my immediate network is nearly two people large, I draw upon the wisdom of women beyond me to lead me. The energy of those younger than I am pushes me to keep learning and sharing. Because this is how life was truly meant to be lived, it also means I have to be consistent on the journey. I also need to accept grace when I fall short.
The traditional woman is loyal to herself but also has dynamic unity with other women. She is tenacious and a natural nurturer, born with an innate desire to create meaningful relationships, love and beauty. This woman is a true multiplier in a dividing society. Her mindset is different from the millennial generation. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have troubles like everyone else, but how she processes situations is vastly different.
How do I know if I’m a traditional woman?
The fact that you ask that question means you’re already on the way there! While the concept of womanhood is generally associated with feminine traits or characteristics, the application from one woman to another is completely unique. And although the millennial generation may have drifted from traditional qualities, it doesn’t mean you have to stop being yourself. So if you’re not the “love to cook (maybe even from scratch)” type, don’t worry! You can learn the skill in stages. Then, work on mastering other life skills every woman should know! If you want to advance in your corporate career and be a strong independent woman with no husband or kids, go for it!
Becoming a traditional woman is freeing, not restricting. It’s getting back to the basics and leading a more well-balanced, self-sufficient lifestyle. I’m learning that it means accepting myself, loving my husband and learning how to raise my kid. It also means learning how to manage my home, cook good food, plan dream trips then take them! And it’s pouring into others to help them achieve the same thing. If you have a desire to be or do any number of these things, you can become a traditional woman.
Practical tips to becoming a traditional woman
For the woman without a village surrounding her or for the one who needs a little something more, here are a couple ways you can take steps towards becoming traditional:
- Choose to invest in yourself now because you’re worth it.
- Explore your values, refine them when necessary and live by them unashamedly.
- Indulge in the power of shared life experiences with women older and younger than you.
- Join the village! Surround yourself with like minded women who live the values you seek most.
There are various skills to master on the path to becoming traditional. Read more about intangible skills that are ultra valuable. Some parts of this journey will require making tough decisions too. But if you find yourself stranded on an island first learn to have fun alone. Even that is an opportunity to grow from within first. Quality relationships with like minded women will come in time and when they do, cherish and nourish them. Chronicle this journey so you never miss a moment! Embrace it for what it’s worth – all the joys and pains. Be resilient enough to adapt over time yet gentle enough to know there’s always room to improve. You’re becoming traditional is going to be epic.
To learn more about me and the Becoming Traditional village, read the “About Me” section here!