Today I’m thrilled to be part of a Vintage Homemaking series sponsored by my friend Karen Ehman. All this week on her blog she has featured friends of ours who also love their homes and see managing them as a priority and our fist line of mission.
When Karen first mentioned this idea to a few of us fellow bloggers, my hand shot up! I love the idea of vintage homemaking, but not because I’m a model of it. My only experience with canning is opening one. While I used to sew, I still take shirts with missing buttons to my mother (Don’t judge, I want her to feel needed!) And right now my gardening consists of dead rose bushes and flourishing weeds.
In defense of the generations before me, I was taught to embroider as a child. My sister and I started on our father’s handkerchiefs and progressed to pillow cases. My proudest piece is one I designed myself using a Bible verse, which I presented to my parents and still hangs in their home.
Although I may not be an urban homesteader in practice, I am in my heart. I love the principles behind vintage homemaking. I love being connected with seasons, being resourceful, sharing ideas with other homemakers, shopping locally, and knowing what’s in the dinner I made for my family.
One practice generations of women before us had was a plan for their weeks. It wasn’t written in a planner, but that wasn’t needed. Because for a hundred years or so, everyone knew a homemaker’s week looked something like this:
Was this a random practice? Not at all. There was a logic to it. The hardest job of the week (washing) was done after a day of rest. Remember that before machines our grannies used rocks! Some women still do today.
Then after the clothes were washed, they would need to be ironed. And once you went over them with an iron, you would discover ripped seams or hems that needed tidying up. In some countries, Thursday was traditionally market day, presumably because the weekend was approaching.
Friday was cleaning after a week of work, and Saturday was baking in preparation for a day of rest.
There’s something appealing about knowing I’m going to do my washing on Monday, ironing on Tuesday and mending on Wednesday. In a world where so much of life seems beyond my control, this seems sweet and simple.
But could it work in my life? Can it work in a world with ever-changing activities, and endless entertainment opportunities? Of course, I’m writing from my perspective of a suburban work-at-home mother of five. If you’ve already got a workable schedule like this, you are ahead of me.
Normally I write from personal experience, and a decent track record with whatever I’m writing about. However, this time, I’m pulling principles that have worked for generations of women. Some of these principles have been lost over time, and need to be resurrected and tweaked for our lives today.
So why did our grandmothers (maybe great-grandmothers for some) establish schedules? After giving serious consideration to this idea, I’ve developed a few ideas.
The first is that a schedule is almost always based on priorities. If I take the time to develop a schedule for my day, I’ve already identified what needs to be done. My schedule isn’t based on last-minute emergencies or urgent demands – although those are allowed for. My schedule is based on thought-out needs. When I don’t take the time to develop a schedule, I always accomplish less.
The second reason earlier generations of women worked on a weekly schedule is a closer connection with the natural ebb and flow of life, nature, time and seasons. There were reasons why certain chores were done at certain times – an interdependence of one task upon another.
Now every chore is independent of each other. I can do one load of laundry, then bake a cake followed by cleaning the bathroom. I’ve got enough light inside the house to work all night if I want.
When I take a haphazard approach to my week, I always look back with regret.
There’s wisdom is establishing order to my week. It may not always happen – and flexibility is the key to sanity – but it’s worth a try. What do you think?
Today I’d love to give away a copy of my book “I Used to Be So Organized.” In it I share reasons why women today can’t seem to get it and keep it together, plus I include lots of tips on how to bring order to your schedule and home.
To enter, just leave a comment on my blog today, and I’ll announce the winner next Tuesday, September 2nd.
What do you think of a homemaker’s schedule? Could it work for you? What would you do on which day?
Thanks for joining me today.
In His love,
Congratulation to Tracy who posted at 9:54am on 8/29/2013. Watch for an email from Natalie requesting your mailing address. Thanks to all who posted a comment!