I was a young bride, 18-years old to be exact, and a month after my 19th birthday I became a mom. (Yes, I wore the scarlet letter, but I’ll share God’s gift of grace and forgiveness another day.) During that year, I realized a lot things, one of which was I don’t know much about this marriage, family, and motherhood stuff. My husband’s Grandma took it upon herself to kindly share words of wisdom, practical tips, and unlimited prayers for me. Her words meant a lot to me, especially since she had been a bride at the age of 15-year, and she is now getting ready to celebrate 66 years of marriage with her husband. This Godly lady knows what she is talking about. She would call me throughout the week just to share stories as well as give me a priceless gift, homemaking advice. I’d like to devote my Wednesdays to sharing some of these with you, along with other homemaking lessons I’ve learned (usually the hard way) throughout my twenty years of being a bride.
Looking back over my two decades of marriage, I believe the most practical advice I was given was about keeping my house somewhat clean and in order.
My husband’s Grandma sat down with me and told me the routine she used in cleaning her house while they raised their five kids* Here’s what I took from that conversation, and I have applied it regularly ever since:
Sunday – day of church and rest
**Monday – wash laundry (with nine of us, this now sometimes goes into the next day)
Tuesday – dust bedrooms, sweep/vacuum, wash our bedroom sheets
Wednesday – clean bathrooms and kitchen, wash towels
Thursday – wash laundry
Friday – dust living areas, sweep, vacuum, wash our kids’ sheets
Saturday – clean bathrooms and kitchen, wash towels
Sometimes this has been switched around, based on seasons of our life, but over all this has been the housekeeping standard for each week. The best part is, if you can’t get everything done you need to that day, you know you can get to it later that week.
*Introducing these routines to your kids even at a young age help give them a sense of belonging and responsibility. It also helps them understand that your days can include lots of play, but it is important to take care of the home God has given us, so we need to make time to do that as well.
**As a wife and mom, it can be difficult to remember that the most important thing God created was people. If your day is consumed with keeping your house clean, and you are not able to enjoy the people God has put into your life, or the “interruptions” God has for you, than you are missing out on God’s greatest earthly blessing. So please take this “schedule” with the reminder that time with your family and friends is much more important than an unswept floor. Besides, the dirt will always be there, but people have a tendency to go where they are wanted.
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God.