Ever since the introduction of reality shows that follow those who are a part of the Amish community, there has been an increase of interest on how the Amish live their daily lives. Curiosity strikes and we want to know how a community can survive without the use of technology. Since their lives are a lot different from the lives of those who they called the “English”, there are a lot of things we do not know about the Amish. They are a part of a world that we do not know anything about.
An Amish mother plays a huge role in an Amish community. They may not be the head of the family in the eye of the community, but within the four walls of their home, they call the shots. An Amish mother’s main objective in life is to have many children after marriage, take care of all those children, provide for them and make sure all their needs are met. They are required to provide for their husbands and follow their lead. It may not sound like a glamorous life to some and even to some Amish women themselves, which is why they try to keep their lives as secretive as possible. Here are 15 things you did not know about Amish mothers.
15. Mom Knows What’s Best
Amish mothers are often the ones who set the rules for their children. As much as you would think that the patriarch will have the most say, when it comes to the raising of the children the matriarch sets the rules. For example, even though the Amish do not use modern technology, they do like to indulge in the tech world now and then. When on vacation, the Amish do like to watch a movie or two, however this movie it picked by the mother of the family. This way the mother knows what her children are watching and if it is appropriate and it does not contain any swearing, sexual language or violence. There are certain guidelines that must be met.
14. Unconventional Laundry Dryer
Amish families are known to have many children, therefore we can assume there is a lot of laundry that has to be done by the mother of the family. Since they are able to use a drying machine, Amish opt to dry their clothes with the use of good old nature. Amish mothers have very long clotheslines that have to be sturdy enough to withstand the amount of clothes that are put on them. This means that all their laundry – even the items not meant to be put on display – are hung on these clotheslines for everyone to see. No shame in their game.
13. Breastfeeding Prevents Pregnancy
Unless for a medical reason, Amish do not use any form of birth control. In order to prevent babies from being born so close to one another, the Amish believe that breastfeeding can help avoid getting pregnant. It is very common for Amish women to breastfeed their babies. This method is so common that it is advocated within the community and also taught to other Amish mothers by professionals. Even though this method is not guaranteed, it is the only method that they have. This is something that Amish mothers do not want “English” people to know.
12. Never Announces Pregnancy
With modern day technology, everyone is quick to announce that they are expecting. However, in the Amish community this news is never revealed and is only told to a midwife. Amish mothers keep their pregnancy a secret and it is only made known once the baby is born. The only other way someone can find out if an Amish mother is pregnant is if they are seen in public and the baby bump is visible. Just because it is not announced, it does not mean the Amish mother is unhappy to be pregnant, she is just not quick to announce it to the world like the “English” are.
11. All Natural Births
Child births can be one crazy roller coaster and for some the pain can be unbearable. Amish women always have natural births, unless advised by a medical professional that a natural birth can harm the baby and the mother. With the advancement in the medical field, the Amish will do whatever they can to avoid receiving medication. Even if the birth is not natural, the Amish mother will not be given any medication to assist in the delivery. Also, every child birth is done at home, unless advised otherwise. However, Amish women are prepped at a young age about having a baby so when the moment comes they are ready for the challenges that comes with it.
10. Silent Births
During any child birth, the process can be painful. Naturally when you are in pain you let out a scream or two, especially when a baby is about to come out of you. Amish mothers are not allowed to make a sound when giving birth. Amish mothers believe that child birth is sacred and should be respected, which is why they remain silent. Amish women are not given any pain medication, so it is evident that they are in a lot of pain during labor and to keep silent, one can only imagine it is extremely difficult. A natural and silent birth does not sound like a good time.
9. Hire Help After Child Birth
For the first 4-6 weeks after giving birth, it is normal for an Amish mother to hire help. This is to help the mother recover from giving birth and it ensures that everything that the mother has to do is getting done. Amish mothers take on a lot of duties that they cannot necessarily do after giving birth; this is why they hire help. These girls are usually hired through school, but have yet to be baptized. This would be seen as an internship for Amish girls who are about to enter the religion and become a wife and mother themselves.
8. Secretly Awaiting Menopause
Amish women love their children more than anything, however the most exciting time of their life is when they see the first signs of menopause. Amish women spend the majority of their life taking care of their family, so when menopause comes along this is a sign that they are done taking care of children since they know their family can no longer get any bigger. With no use of birth control or modern technology, the Amish tend to have big families, meaning the mother of the family is always kept busy. Once menopause starts, Amish women feel like they can put their feet up and relax as it is a sign that their work is complete.
7. Marrying Distant Relatives
With only 250,000 Amish living in the United States who all descended from only 200 founders in the 18th century, the Amish gene pool is limited. With the highest infant mortality and genetic disorder rates, it is evident that inbreeding does in fact occur. This is something that the Amish do not want people to know, however it is hard to hide when all the facts are there. However, some inbreeding is not always intentional. The Amish do not do any form of genetic testing, therefore they are not aware that they are marrying and breeding with distant relatives. Even though it may seem like doing a simple test can avoid this, the Amish still would have no other way to expand the Amish population.
6. Love Discount Damaged Foods
Everyone loves a good discount and the Amish are not different. Amish mothers are primarily in charge of purchasing the groceries since they are the ones that do the cooking. In the Amish community, they have “bent-n-dent” stores where they sell discounted foods that are dented or expired at a discounted price. For example, you can buy a dented can of beans or expired cereal for only a quarter. There is nothing wrong with a dented can, however who knows how good expired cereals tastes. The Amish are very frugal when it comes to spending money, since their way of income is limited.
5. Follows Husband’s Lead
The mother is the head of the family, when it comes to raising their children and how the house is run. When it comes to being seen in public, the Amish wife follows her husband’s lead. She may be the one who decides what is for dinner, but she is secondary when she is outside the household in regards to her husband. It may seem as if the husband owns the Amish wife, but if it was not for her what would her husband eat and who would keep his house clean? The Amish mother has a lot more power than one expects.
4. Special Church Dress
Amish women have a special dress that they must wear when they attend church. That dress happens to be their wedding dress. An Amish mother must sew her own wedding dress, and it is often required that the dress must be the color blue. The dress must be simple, does not show any figure of the woman’s body and must contain no zippers or buttons. It is important for the Amish mother to abide by these rules or else she can face being shunned. For every church service that she attends after she gets married, she is required to wear this exact dress.
3. Simple Blue Dress
Amish women are known for their choice of clothing. Wearing a plain dress is not something every woman would choose to wear, however in the Amish community there is no other choice for them to choose from. Before a woman gets married, she is allowed to wear the same simple dress however it can be any color. You can tell which Amish women are married in the community by the color of their dress. Married Amish women are told to wear plain blue dresses that have to be completely sewn by themselves. This is the same dress that they are required to wear on all occasions.
2. Having A Career Is Not Common
Amish women tend to not have a career even though they do help with the financial situation of a family. The idea of having a career is unheard of for Amish women; they tend to get part-time work sewing or working in a small store. Their jobs tend to be based around the house. The reasoning behind this is so a job does not take the mother away from the family for a long time, since the sole job of an Amish woman is to be a mother and take care of her kids. Financial needs need to be met, however family is more important than a career.
1. Second Class Citizens
Amish women and mothers are seen as second class citizens. Their thoughts and opinions do not matter. They are seen as a lesser person in regards to men. Their roles are solely to cook, clean and take care of the children. Amish women are even raised to be submissive to their husbands and if they do not follow this rule, they will most certainly be shunned from the Amish community. In order to be welcomed back into the Amish community, you must comply with what the church asks of you. Amish mothers are expected to know their role and stick to it.
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