Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ma Never Looked This Stressed

Well, thank you for listening to my bad mood yesterday. Thanks for the encouragement and the e-mail and for listening. I feel that I am back to normal today. (Is that a good thing?)

I'll tell you, if there is one thing I've learned from our Pioneer/Little House unit it's that I see things from a different perspective now. As a child when I read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books I saw the world through Laura's eyes. And now, even though the book is written from Laura's perspective, I see Ma more and more. Ma, who cooked and cleaned and packed and unpacked and did chores and stayed alone in that house with her family while Pa was gone.

Those pioneer women worked HARD, people. And seemingly, Ma did it without complaining. My sister found a book of Little House recipes. Just looking at the directions makes me tired. Cooking had to have taken up her entire day!!!

And yet...their house was so sweet and simple. Can I live in a log cabin, please? My friend Jennifer is! They are renting one until they can sell their house and move at the end of school. Of course, it's a wee bit bigger than the Ingall's place. (OK, the Ingall's house could fit into the kitchen, but that's not the point.) Seriously, when I think of the Ingall's house I REALLY want to de-clutter. My things are taking too much time to care for! I remember when we lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment. If I got really serious on Saturdays, I could clean that whole place top to bottom in like 30 minutes. Not that we could fit in an apartment that size now. Well, perhaps if we had the whole prairie stretching out around us and I could send the children out to play without having to watch them? Nah. We'd never fit.

But see? Small house + few possesions= less stress. Ma could cook and clean and keep up with everything because she didn't have so much stuff! Julie suggested yesterday that I use a cleaning schedule. I've tried to, but it never works. If you have one, tell it to me. Ma's schedule went like this:

Wash on Monday
Iron on Tuesday
Mend on Wednesday
Churn on Thursday
Clean on Friday
Bake on Saturday
Rest on Sunday

I won't comment on this lovely schedule except to say, if I washed only one day a week? We would not be able to find the laundry room by the next Monday.
But that's the joy of only wearing one dress all week, I suppose.


  1. I have a cleaning schedule. Although, with three healthy, capable girls on hand, yours might end up a bit different!

    Sunday - coupons and menu planning
    Monday - grocery shopping
    Tuesday - bathrooms
    Wednesday - vacuum/dust upstairs
    Thursday - vacuum/dust downstairs
    Friday - kitchen

    For me, laundry is on-going. I also clean up as I go along during the week so the clutter doesn't get to me.

    One more thing...if I have bathrooms scheduled for Tuesday and I don't get to them, I DO NOT push them off until Wednesday. They just don't get done until the following Tuesday. Period. If family time was more important than cleaning the bathrooms, fine!

    I don't know if this helps at all. I feel pretty silly posting it, because our family dynamic is so different.

  2. No matter how much I try to declutter, stuff just always seems to be here; it's a lot like pulling weeds only to come out a couple of days later to find more weeds have grown in their place. When you figure out how to get this done, please share!

    My cleaning schedule is always changing. I haven't found a fool-proof system yet. At this point, as long as the house is mostly clean and the bathrooms and kitchen are sanitary, I've had to learn to relax a bit. I was starting to drive myself nuts. I was even obsessing about whether or not I got my bed made before 9 in the morning. I knew it was time to lighten up!

    I basically do laundry every day. I wash two loads every morning. My girls pre-sort their hampers before they leave for school so that makes it easier. On Saturday mornings, the girls wash all linens, towels, sheets, shower curtains, etc.

    I'm sure you will figure out what works best for you. In the meantime, hang in there and I'm certain your family appreciates all the hard work and effort you put into making your house a home.

  3. Yes...to whom much is given, much is required. (Of course that's spiritual in context, but I think about it every time I'm overwhelmed by the upkeep of all my "stuff.")

    I have a very loose schedule. I just do the next thing next. And I try to write down the things that might escape my attention.

  4. Have you ever heard of Flylady.com? (I think that's it) I don't do it all but I have adapted it a lot. It helps.

    Sometimes we all just have our moments to realize that we are completely incapable of nothing without grace. Enjoy Life anyway!

  5. I have dreamed about living in that little house on the prairie. I also try to declutter but it just seems to come back. I did rent a dumpster last year and filled it up twice. It was a wonderful feeling just to get rid of all the crap.



I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)