“Ma used to say: Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Wednesday, Churn on Thursday, Clean on Friday, Bake on Saturday, Rest on Sunday. Laura liked the churning and the baking days best of all the week.”
–Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods
In modern times, things are a little more variable. For example, we have both soccer and swim lessons coming up, and that will change the flow of our days. And yet, our weeks have a definite flow with the anchor of Shabbat. Whether we’re ready or not, Shabbat descends at sundown at Friday – so we have to fit everything around it!
My version of a routine includes setting up a chore schedule, both for me and for my kids. We do some things every day, and then some things only on certain days. Here’s a brief glimpse into our chore system from last year. I find it’s good to shake it up sometimes, though, so I’m working on something else (story of my life!)
My weekly routine is set up similarly to Ma’s in that I usually focus on one thing each day. But mine goes more like:
- Planning and family time on Sunday
- Clean downstairs on Monday
- Clean upstairs on Tuesday
- Errands and Shopping on Wednesday
- Kitchen day on Thursday
- Clean main floor and change bedding on Friday
- Rest on Saturday
It’s flexible, because I could do the job in pieces, or all at once, early or late, or whenever it fits in. But I get things done this way without it being overwhelming. It doesn’t always work that I can hold things out for Wednesday – sometimes I need something from a store, or to run out and do an errand on another day. But most of it can! And Thursday as my kitchen day makes sure that the bulk of the cooking is completed and cleaned up by Friday, when we welcome in Shabbat.
Now for the kids: you can do something where each day is another chore (Monday is washing produce), plan the same thing every day (Chana’s job is clearing the dinner table), or make some cards with jobs and give everyone their job the night before / morning of as needed. Chores are important for kids – and Mom’s sanity!
How does your week look?