Every Monday is a New Beginning
I love Monday — it’s my favorite day of the week!*
From the pinnacle of Monday morning, there stretches before me a string of four perfect days at home. From now until Friday, I’m able to focus on home and to be with my family, doing the ordinary tasks of home life — setting the house in order, working on home and garden projects, making meals to nourish my loved ones, writing to communicate with others. This is my life, and I love it.
It’s not an accident that I enjoy four unblemished days each week. It began years ago when our children were small and I discovered that life went more smoothly when we organized our time. The most important things in our lives happened at home, so we made it a point to designate only one day of the week for errands. This left four uncluttered days for living, one day of the weekend for fellowship, and one day of the weekend for projects or family pursuits.
Time management and planning make life so much easier. Instead of a series of days broken and fragmented by disorganized errands, home days have a pleasant rhythm and routine that ensures that there’s a time for everything. On errand day I start with a list that I’ve been adding to all week, and and check off items one by one.
My grandmother’s example
My grandmother was amazingly organized in her homemaking tasks, and she wanted to make sure I picked up at least a bit of it. She may have despaired at times, but I do remember embroidering flour-sack tea towels with the name of each day and a picture of the specific task designated for that day. That, coupled with a little nursery rhyme song that we learned, helped me remember the following task focus for each day of the week.
- Monday: Laundry
- Tuesday: Ironing
- Wednesday: Baking
- Thursday: Errands
- Friday: Yard Work
Embroidering tea towels might seem an odd way to contemplate time management, but for me, it was a perfect example of multipurpose hands-on learning and a fun and memorable project. By the time I finished embroidering, we had a charming set of tea towels to use, I had gotten much better at embroidery, and I never forgot the idea of having a task focus for each day.
Routines nurture serenity
Routines worked for my grandmother. She not only kept our home sparkling clean, but what I remember most was that she always had time for the things that mattered most to her. Every day after lunch she had time for a little nap, some handwork, a bit of reading, and time outside. Her time was so well organized that she was never rushed or untidy. I don’t come close to being as well-organized as she is (and we do have four boys, rather than one quiet little girl), but the things I learned from her have been a huge help in getting closer.
The scheduling tip with the biggest impact
If you’re struggling with days that feel fragmented, there is one change you can make that has an enormous impact on the peacefulness of your week. That change is to simply keep all errands on one evening or day of the week.
Then create weekly and daily routines that will help you feel more organized and less stressed. For our general daily routine, we do school in the morning, home tasks in the afternoon, and family time in the evening. This simple routine worked for us, no matter how old the boys were.
If you’d like to read more about planning and organizing, you’ll find more posts in the Planning section of this site.
Here’s a link to planning and record-keeping resources I’ve created, including the Doing What Matters Printable Planner I’ve used for years. The timemap in the planner can help you map out a weekly routine that can make your home feel more serene.
*Okay, maybe I’m a little odd. But I think Monday is beautiful!
A note about the value of learning embroidery
The fine motor skills developed by embroidering a colorful project can help a child with other tasks requiring fine motor skills, including penmanship. If your child has been struggling with learning handwriting, you may want to take a little break and practice other skills that develop the necessary abilities. There are other types of handwork that develop similar skills, and they are worth learning as well.
However, embroidery is easy to learn, and a tea towel is an easy project to do. Just iron on a transfer from the reproduction Aunt Martha line of transfers, then embroider (it’s not hard!) over the lines in outline or stem stitch in your choice of colors. As a child, I loved making things — tea towels, baby bibs, and other projects— and giving them as gifts. And now I’ve had the delight of receiving an embroidered tea towel as a Christmas gift from my grandaughter. It’s a tradition that has come full circle.
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What a blessing to read this small but very significant article. I’ve been inspired by your ‘PLAN’.
I’ve homeschooled 4 children for the past 15 years and am currently finishing up with my youngest daughter who is 17 yrs old. I have been finding myself out of the house more since we began school this year and struggling with either no direction or aimlessly wandering throughout my day. The bottom line is no productivity because I don’t have a PLAN of my own — for just me!
I’ve always had a plan that involved everyone else. Well now, everyone else is away at work during the day or moved into their own home, etc. So I have a lot of extra time to be more productive.
Thank you for inspiring me with a PLAN to stay home and be productive.
I’ve enjoyed reading so many of your posts, thanks so much for sharing them!
Thank you for stopping by, Pat. I think you’ll enjoy creating your own plan– it’s a funny feeling to have big portions of your days back, and it’s hard to know what to do! The delightful part is that when you get into a nice routine, everything moves more smoothly, and you can be amazingly productive. Your family will be impressed;-).
Oh, I love this, I am a homebody and you have to drag me out of here. Usually the house is tidy, though I find now that we have added 3 little ones (through a sibling adoption)…that piles here and there tend to stack up. (sigh) I am trying to enjoy them all, trying to share our life (hopefully to the Glory of God) and enjoy all that God has for me (us) for today.
thanks for sharing this post…it made be breath deep and be thankful for home.
mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted