"After Laura and Mary had washed and wiped the dishes, swept the floor, made their bed, and dusted, they settled down with their books. But the house was so cozy and pretty that Laura kept looking up at it."
- Laura Ingalls Wilder
Human Frailty of the Godly Soul
"The life of Luther might suffice to give a thousand instances, and he was by no means of the weaker sort. His great spirit was often in the seventh heaven of exultation, and as frequently on the borders of despair. His very deathbed was not free from tempests, and he sobbed himself into his last sleep like a greatly wearied child."
"As for her, like most women, she had but one ambition. To be a good wife and a good mother, and to be beloved by her husband and children, was all she asked. [She was] a busy, affectionate, cheerful little housewife, whose voice would never be heard in the streets, but whose memory would always live in a few faithful hearts."
I cannot tell you how many times I've asked my children to help me with my projects and my chores. When they were little, they were delighted. But when they got older, they had their own projects, activities and agendas. This is something I have to constantly remind myself - the importance of enjoying my daily duties.
While children should certainly have their own chores, Mother needs to have her own work as well. Have you ever watched Ma Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie? Mary and Laura were busy with school. They also had homework in the evenings. But they had specific tasks to do at home - and then they were done! Mother didn't try to slave-drive them all day long. No, she did her own work, just like Pa did his.
If I am busy in the kitchen, or working in the living room, or doing laundry, there is often a teenager nearby talking to me about his day. If I said to my teens, "Hey, can you help me with that?" Don't you think they'd find something else to do, and fast? (smiles) It's not that they don't want to help me, but they want to see Mother busy with her own responsibilities. They don't want to think that Mother is always trying to get out of her chores. It sets a bad example. They want to see Mother diligent and content with her daily agenda.
Yesterday, I cleaned and baked. I had plenty of time for leisure. I read for a while, did some writing, and then did the laundry. I did not ask anyone the age-old, weary question, "Will someone please help me??"
But if I were sick, or not able-bodied, the family would certainly step in and do my work for me. If I had a baby, or a toddler who needed most of my time, the family chores would fall more heavily on the rest of the family, so I could be free to care for the younger ones. But when Mother doesn't have those kinds of things going on, she would do well to get into the habit of learning to love her own work and be about her own household business.
I am the mother of five home-schooled children, ages 15 and up, and a Grandmother of 2. I have been married for almost a quarter of a century.
I am a writer, reviewer, who loves fashion, sewing,
reading, fitness and cleaning.
We live in an 1800's house in rural Vermont.