Household Decisions

With the men in the military, women of both regions and all classes had to make all household decisions on their own. They had to ensure that they had the resources necessary to feed and clothe themselves and their children. This often meant coping with less. One Southern white woman recognized that ''a year ago we would have considered it impossible to get on for a day without the things that we have been doing without for months'' (Edwards 2000, 74). Women also had to keep up with the daily chores necessary to running their households. Some initially wrote to their husbands asking for advice, but slow communication and women's growing confidence in their abilities eventually led women to make these decisions entirely on their own. Many women moved in with relatives or opened their doors to neighbors on their own initiative and enjoyed the companionship afforded by sharing quarters.

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