Sunday, March 09, 2008

Enjoying Monday through Friday

Cape Cod Home by Steve Zazenski

I thank the Lord that it is soon to be Monday! It is interesting how those who have to fight the traffic every day and go through the week days working for other people, will breathe a sigh of relief when Friday comes. They want to relax on weekends and feel the freedom. At home all week, I personally find Monday through Friday more free and quiet than the weekends. I am sure many full time homemakers are discovering this. On week-ends, it seems the whole world is out doing its shopping. The recreation spots are crowded. The lines are longer. The restaurants have waiting lists. The noise and movement, even in the country escalates. The work at home can sometimes increase on weekends, as families, in a rush to mow their grass and do necessary home-keeping, rush about to get it all finished before they have to leave again on Monday.

In many ways, it is the opposite for the home-body. Most of us enjoy that peaceful quiet of Monday through Friday at home. If we have to go out, the post office and the stores are not crowded. The traffic is less. If more women, especially those with children, could be home during the week, it would cut the traffic problem and the week-end rush problem in half. I leave the week-ends for the people who work outside the home. I don't even try to compete. I wait til Monday to go out. I do not need to take up space on the roads and in the shops on week-ends when such a huge population of people must be about their essential shopping and trade.

At home, Monday through Friday can be the most exquisitely beautiful days of the week. Every day is like Sunday. We dress up as we wish, get our work done and have someone over for tea. We write letters, and even write stories for children. Even ironing can be a glorious task, as we put the ironing board in front of a window with a view. The smell of the steam on my husband's shirts bring back so many memories of golden days growing up in an unhurried home, with my mother contentedly ironing her family's clothes. (Remember, every thing had to be ironed in those days, so it was a major event during the week. No one would have worn anything wrinkled and was it ever wrinkled!)

On week days the cooking is unhurried. We have time to enjoy every minute of the process. Dinner is ready and the table is set. There is time to enjoy the preparation of things, even time to get a shower and freshen up and change clothes for dinner, yet the homemaker is in no particular hurry.

If there is a grunge job or two, or some seriously heavy cleaning and moving to be done, it is softened by the sweetness of the day. Women who used to sit in offices or work in intitutions have expressed their desire to find out what those moments would be like if spent at home. Now, many of them are experiencing the exquisite beauty of the home during the day. Now at home, we can spend the week days in preparation for the week's end retreat to give rest and renewal to those who do not have that week-day revival at home.

Monday through Friday, we can sew and clean to our heart's content. We can choose the noise we like: our favorite music or the birds singing outside. We are free to come and go as we wish. We are not tied down or isolated, as many people suppose. The best kept secret is that Monday through Friday at home are celebrated days. Others may grimly get through the week, anxiously looking forward to the relief of the week-ends, but I, I say "Thank God, it is Monday."

It is a wonderful feeling to get the home ready for the week-enders who so desperately need to have time free from pressure. It is great to have the laundry caught up during the week and everything cleaned up so the men can come home and finally enjoy what they have worked all week for. It brings a sense of peace to know that they are being served and helped by the women being home taking care of the things they cannot do during the week. Monday is the starting point for the week-end that will give the workers their rest. Women at home provide this wonderful experience, but it takes Monday through Friday, five days of determined effort, to have the perfect week end. During that time, there are so many perks, so many sweet moments and so many flashes of creativity. For us, it is a great responsibility to be at home, but the freedom of being there Monday to Friday is worth the hard work.

Week's End Retreat By James Lee


Anonymous said...

Oh, yes! I completely agree. When I was in college full-time and then working full-time, I loved to go shopping and such on the weekends (it was a continuation of the week, in a sense). Now, however, that I have been a full-time Mommy and home educator, I dread weekend shopping and really do all I can to avoid it! I much prefer Tuesday morning to go to the grocery store with my several helpers.

Rarely do I linger and browse unendingly in stores now, because I much prefer being in my home surrounded by those I love, doing what I love most, creating for them.

Just as an aside, I recently was on a jury call week and it was the most stressful week I've had in forever. Just the thought of getting up to drive in the weekday traffic and being gone from my family all day made me near ill. I certainly thanked God every evening that my number didn't come up.

Jenny said...

I do so agree. I love my time home during the week. I like to make a special effort to have my home extra nice for my family for the weekend and I always have extra work on a Monday. We have so much more traffic in our street on the weekend and the shops are very busy.

Martha said...

This is my life completly! Actually - we homeschool and have started taking Thursday's off from school - as that is my husband's day off. Then, if I have groceries or if we want to go out as a family we can without all the crowds. I love it. Then on Sat we just have a normal week day. I was not sure I would like it - but I have loved it!

I love being home - being with family.


Unknown said...

Isn't it amazing how women fought so hard for don't want it now.
I plan my home like a work week. Monday through Friday is work and weekends are my days off. I don't feel rushed. I set my appt. accordingly. I don't know what ever made women think that being a housewife is boring or demeaning. If you are a maid do you not do the same thing as a housewife? Oh thats right I get $$$ for doing it. But then doesn't having a nice home, appliances, clothes etc etc. count for anything. These are gifts from God and our Husbands. So many of us take things for granted. My work is done during the week so that my family can enjoy time together.

Dianna said...

I can completely relate! On weekends, we have too much fun and the house is messed up and we get off our schedules and grumpy by the end. On Monday, I get to put all back the way it should be. I always look forward to Mondays.

Anonymous said...

It is so funny that you posted this, as this is exactly what my Husband and I were thinking today as we rushed about a bit to do some errands. We had an off week and I was trying to catch up. Oh my, what a mistake. Every store is crowed with ill tempered people, drivers are nasty, traffic is ridiculous, families are miserable as children that are dragged out of bed at the crack of dawn all week to daycare are dragged about all weekend to do what usually takes all week to do.

Another thing, it is quite a put off when visiting. What I mean is, when we visit some family it can only be done on the weekends as both spouses work. Well, the Woman won't sit down for a visit, is constantly doing laundry or cleaning or running errands, is very nasty to Husband and kids (usually because Husband has the nerve to try to relax and kids want attention). It has kind of gotten to the point that we just visit with certain people while doing something going to the zoo. Otherwise you feel like you are just getting in their way and making more work for them.

Also, there is no one, I MEAN NO ONE to help when you are ill or give birth. All the Women are working. They will offer advice on getting ahead at work, dealing with sexual harassment and daycare. But no one knows how to soothe a teething baby, build your strenght to clean with a 20 pounder on your back in a carrier all day or incorporate schooling into your chores.

Yes, we long for Monday so much so that my Husband works a night shift and it allows us to do family things during the week. And our company gets to visit with me. Which was not the case until I came home.

In fact, I told my Husband that he and our family are now my career and I plan on getting a PH.d in him and he blushed !

Many Blessings :)

Just Me said...

My girlfriend is a SAHM and has expressed the same sentiments. Currently, I'm still in the 'rush' of working people catching up on the weekends but I hope to someday leave this office to take up my home.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for awhile now and I am always blessed by the things you write. Thank you!

I agree about the weekends being crazy! I really do enjoy Monday -Friday!


Anonymous said...

Happy Monday everyone! I couldn't agree more.

I have been having these same thoughts myself for a while. I love the weekends, don't get me wrong. I love having my husband home, entertaining, visiting, going on day trips.

But I also love when Monday comes again, and we fall into our familiar daily groove. And the weekends wouldn't be the weekends I have come to love if I had to do the laundry and clean and shop for groceries to get ready for the "work week."


Mom of Five said...

This was very beautiful. I enjoy the weekdays because I can clean, play, and teach my children at my leisure, but the weekends are great, too, because Dad is home and we get to play! Since we run all the errands during the week, we get to stay home all weekend long and play, plant flowers and vegetables, and spend time with Dad, our favorite person.

Laurie said...

What a beautiful post! Here I thought I was the only one that looked forward to Mondays! I love the slower pace of the weekdays and I am able to get so much accomplished. I try not to go shopping on the weekends!
I love being a Wife and Mom and I am blessed to be able to stay at home!

Marie said...

I really enjoy reading your posts but this one has been my favorite so far! I was always a homemaker, but felt I 'should' go to work when my last child entered kindergarten. I lasted until partway through first grade, but both my husband and I agreed that it was not working and I came home again. It is such a treat and I appreciate it so much more now having seen what it is like being a working mother. I know my husband used to dread the weekends because it just meant a list of things that needed to get done. In fact, once I quit work, the first few weekends, he would look at me and say "Ok, what do you have for me to do?" and I would say, "Nothing!" and his face would instantly brighten up! Now we can look forward to relaxing weekends and I truly look forward to having my domain to myself again come Monday mornings.

Anonymous said...

You read my mind today!! I was thinking this exactly. I look forward to Monday mornings and getting back into the routine and catching up with Mt. Washmore, etc. I also was thinking about how it would be hard to enjoy the weekend if you knew it meant all the household things piling up and waiting for you after a day away at an office or whatever. I'd never want to do anything on a weekend if that were the case. We are truly blessed to be home and no earned salary can compare with the joy of being home. another Marie

JKaye said...

Excellent essay. Even though I have been at home for six months, I am just now starting to learn how wise it is to plan out my tasks for the weekdays, so that we can all have a more relaxing weekend. I have still been in the habit of doing certain things like laundry on the weekends, because I was in that pattern when I was working at a job. But now, I am learning that when I do such tasks during the week, I can avoid feeling frustrated through the weekend as I try to do laundry and a zillion other things. Plus, I can actually ENJOY doing the tasks, because I am not so rushed trying to do everything at once.

The one thing I have always wondered about is, even if I had a job I just loved to go off to each day, it just seems so strange to have a house sitting there empty all day, five days a week. Then, on the weekends, houses sit empty as everyone rushes out to do errands or fun activities. As the poor woman wonders in the Queen Goes By story, isn't it odd how the nicer the house is, the easier it is for people to leave it? No matter how humble, I just LIKE being in my home. It's where things happen that matter the most to me. I just have never been able to bring myself to care as much about what happened at a job as I care about what happens in my home. I just love being in it, and doing things in it. It is so great being able to be here more than just at nights and weekends.

Marie said...

Judi you are so right - and what do people work so hard for those nice houses for? They never have the time to enjoy them! Those beautiful kitchens! Loving hands never touch those countertops to knead a loaf of bread, little ones never belly up to the edge to help mama with the pie crust, and I can't help but notice that the birdfeeders in the back yards are always empty...It is sad because the living is not happening within those homes. I just wish some of them could see that it is possible to make it on the husband's salary - I know that when I quit working, I was able to cut our household budget in HALF, just because all of the running around we did and eating convenience foods ate up a lot of our grocery and gas money. Our life is a bit less glamorous now, but soooo much more relaxed.

JKaye said...

Yes, Marie is right, life might be less glamorous at home, but more relaxed. This past weekend, my husband and I were sitting at home, and he was organizing his fishing tackle, while I was reading. He asked me if I wanted to go to the bookstore or out for coffee. I said, "But, we are having such a nice time here!" He said, "Yes, I think so too, but, I was afraid you were getting bored."

I assured him I was having a great time. Sometimes, maybe our husbands think they have to entertain us with trips out and about. But, if they see we really are happy at home, then they can be more free to enjoy being at home too!

Lydia said...

You can always create a special coffee place at home, using the cups given to you for your wedding or a special set you bought just for your home. Coffee at home tastes just as good and there are no ears listening to every word that passes between you and your husband...and you do not have to put up with other people's smoke...

Emily said...

Great blog entry! I so agree! I talked a little about this wonderful article of yours over in my blog. Here's a link to the netry:

Have a blessed evening! =)


Marie said...

Hmmm, that brings up a whole new subject - eating in restaurants as opposed to eating at home. Now, I know many people regard eating out as a treat, but my husband and I are getting to the point where it is not any fun anymore. Here is why: The music seems louder and louder and we seem to end up shouting at each other in order to carry on a conversation. People at the next table rudely carry on telephone conversations thanks to the cellphone explosion. People at tables nearby swear every other word. People who bring their children do not discipline them to behave at the table. Last, but not least is all the publicity about unsafe food handling in many restaurants, which makes me a little cautious. So we rarely go out anymore - I can fix a fabulous meal with the best ingredients for less than half what we would spend in a restaurant and the bottle of wine will cost what just 2 glass of house wine would cost. Then we can relax and have quiet conversation without being disturbed.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this post. I work outside the home and keep house, so currently my weekends, early mornings, and evenings are taken up with housekeeping. I cherish the occasional "stay at home" day when the kids are at school and my husband is working. I can get so much done at a comfortable pace and my family comes home to a good meal and a peaceful, clean house. It is wonderful to have an evening where I can truly enjoy my family, without worrying about the laundry that needs folding or how to find time to vacumn before the kids' bedtime. I am really looking forward to becoming a full-time homemaker in two more months. Keep posting articles like this. They really strengthen my resolve when I find myself thinking that I should keep my job because of the money I earn. Miss Kris

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the much-needed inspiration today. I have been heavily weighed down lately with many cares over personal circumstances and the general state of world affairs. Your article has helped me to refocus on my work of making my little corner of the world glow with peace and joy!

As always, I am deeply grateful to you for sharing your wisdom with all of us!

God Bless you!

Jennifer C. Valerie said...

Oh such a picture you have painted for me with this post. I so want to have the haven my husband deserves. He does not have a regular 8-4 job as does others because his 'work' is ministry. I feel like I am not making much progress sometimes in my goal and desire. Oh that God would help me to do what I believe I am called to do - making our home a haven. Thanks for this post. It rekindled my vision.

Anonymous said...

Lovely thoughts, and so true. I observed recently that my being at home meant that weekends can be made easier and less chaotic.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Lady Lydia,

Oh, how so many of your observations have rung true with me! As my husband is a shift worker, we keep a different schedule to the regular '9 to 5'ers' that gives us the flexibility to take care of erands away from the mad rush of weekends. it is such a joy to be able to shop on quiet days. Upon the odd occasion we venture out on Saturday or sunday, even the air itself seems fraught with everyone's tension. On Saturday mornings the roads around my area are almost busyer than rregular weekday rush hour as the people scurry to cram in as much as possible in the short 48 hour window they have.

Re dining out, we both enjoy home far more whether its just the two of us or whether we're offering hospitality to family and friends. sadly, the mindset that seems to pervade the thoughts of some of our friends is that eating out is far preferable as it means no work - they are missing the point, I believe - having refused to come to our place (and I suspect others) due to their perceived notions (though they're happy to catch up at a restaurant) I wouldn't be surprised if others here have experienced similar sentiments - usually eminating from the 'boomer' generation who still cling on to the notion that a (woman in particular) is demeaned by the work - not seeing that those who engage in such activities more often than not (as do I) see them as a labour of love and a way of showing love, extending the hand of friendship and valuing the other person, that we care about them and hold them in humble esteem - that they 'deserve' the best we can offer them (whether it be a simple tea and bread or a five course dinner with food and wine perfectly matched...incidentally much much much cheaper at home than 'out', with the hostess having control over every step of the arrangements from catering, time (mutually agreed upon of course)), table setting, mood of the gathering etc (not to mention complete control over the clenliness of her kitchen).

Sharing of hospitality in the home forms the backbone of socialising for virtually all cultures around the world - the cantina being a favoured focal point for so many different nationalities (in this case, an outdoor
'kitchen' often with a wood-fired oven, barbecue or similar cooking appliance, room to tackle larger jobs such as that of the home vineron, baker, preserver and even cheese or sausage maker (as practiced by many mediteranian families) in your continent and mine. the entire hospitality process becomes a family and friends affair with everyone pitching in, sharing in the tasks at hand and strengthneing bonds of family and friendship as they go.

It's my dream to one day have a cantina for these very purposes (but at the moment, our tiny in-door kitchen (without even a pantry and absolutely no room for additional cupboards, cabinets or shelving) makes do...oh, and I dream of an arga also (smile).

Well, I've put in my ten cents' worth and have a bit to do - this site always inspires me to get a wriggle on and not put off what needs doing.


Mrs. e.,

Anonymous said...

No wonder I look forward to Mondays! I use to dread them in my schooling & working years. Now, I like putting things back in order & helping the kids get into their school routine. My husband told me today that I was "gainfully employed at home". ;) We live on his insanely small income (he's a carpenter/handyman) quite well, even as we pay off old debt! We wait on God for allot of our provisions, ie. we waited for a piano for 2 years...and it was free. This is such an adventure! And I'm loving it as I learn new skills to better serve my family & keep our overhead low.

Elizabeth said...

I just discovered your blog and I am so very glad I did.I have been a homemaker for 30 years and believe that is what God intended women to be.I am so glad I found you.