The Victorian family was considered to be a very valuable part of the everyday life throughout the era. Most often families were considered by today’s standards to be very large. In 1870 you would find that the average household family contained five or six children.
Roles of parents in a Victorian family
In Victorian families, the father himself was the worker of the family. His responsibility was to be the bread winner. He would likely work very long hours. However, when returning to the home he frequently had a room referred to as the study. This was a location that he would go if he needed some peace and quiet. The children were frequently not allowed in the study without special permission from the father.
The mother did not carry the same role that women did of the 1950s. Although they rarely worked, they did not spend their time cooking and washing clothes. Instead, they planned the dinner parties and spent a lot of time generally teaching the children of the home core values. The Victorian life put a huge value on ensuring that parents taught their children properly.
Children, however, did not spend a lot of time with their mother or father. In an average day, most time was probably spent with someone like a nanny which would have also been responsible for teaching them arithmetic and reading. They may only spend an hour or two with both parents in attendance late in the evening and only if they were cleaned up. Children left homes early in life to get married and start their own families.
The vast majority of homes in the Victorian era did have servants. These servants were a core part of the average household. Even middle-income households had a servant that was frequently responsible for washing clothes, doing the dishes, and preparing meals. They probably did a lot of the raising when it came to the children. Most of the time, these servants would spend their entire working life with one family.