Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Lady's Daily Rest

A Web-Log called Adventures in Keeping House (see my Blogroll) honored me by mentioning my reminders to ladies at home concerning adequate rest.  Sometimes we get so busy at home we ignore our thirst or our tiredness and keep moving about the house doing, doing, doing! There is so much to do! If there are only two at home, you can be occupied the entire day cleaning up after yourself and inventing more things to do.


You may sense the attitude of skeptics that you should not be allowed any leisure time, since you are a homemaker. You must not allow yourself to be intimidated by those who do not think you deserve any rest at home.  If you had a mother and grandmother; great-grandmother or other acquaintances who stayed home and  took care of the house and family, you will remember they had their sitting time and their resting time.

 They never apologized for it nor did they feel guilty, and never did they give a long explanation to justify themselves for staying home or for resting periodically. They had a clear conscience in taking rest. They had to rest up so they could take care of their families. They cared about their homes and they were conscientiousness and genuinely concerned about the house being in order and the children being guided.


We used to get our house work done as quickly and as thoroughly as possible in the morning so  we could go "out" while it was daylight, for essential business errands or grocery items.  After we came home we would hang up our coats and handbags and prepare tea.  It felt good to sit awhile and be refreshed before completing other tasks.  I discovered from one of the Grandmother's diaries that she did her  daily house work, and then got busy doing something she was interested in.  I know a farm lady; a shepherdess, as I call her, who gets her work done and out of the way so she can enjoy making quilts or oil painting.


It is very probable that you will need more rest if you are a full-time homemaker, and you should not neglect it. You make more movements, move faster, doing a lot of different kinds of work.  You say, "When I get finished with my housework, I will rest," but it will not be finished and you will encourage illness if you do not stop for a rest. 

Suffice it to say that when you begin your day, do it with your resting time in mind.  Keep the thought of  things you want to do--reading, perhaps, or some other thing you enjoy, as a goal. Wash, sweep, pick up the clutter, and make everything nice for your leisure time. 

Most of us will never have tea at the Savoy, but it does not mean we should deny ourselves that elegant pleasure of morning or afternoon tea. If you have a tray of some kind, make it as exquisite as possible in your circumstances and take some time to sit with your family to enjoy this fine ceremony.  Note how these few moments in the day can revive you, mentally and physically.  Put some spiritual values into the conversation by complimenting and encouraging and expressing gratitude.

If no one is available to share this privilege, enjoy it on your own.

Some ladies have found that regular rest-times have been a great health benefit.  I think it is good also to allow children of any age, even those who think they are too old for a nap, to have half an hour to an hour of quiet rest. 


Susan said...

I do remember my grandmother resting a bit in the afternoon! She usually had some "handwork" to do, like hemming, but she was quiet and restful. She also read a lot, which was restful. I'm so glad you mentioned our grandmothers resting and not apologizing for it. I think we get the idea now that we have to be busy every minute of the day to feel we're using our time wisely. We put a lot of unnecessary pressure on ourselves by doing that.

Amy Techentin said...

I remember my grandmother having a daily rest too. Every afternoon she would go into her bedroom and lie down for an hour or so. Then she would get up, change her clothes, fix her face and then make dinner for my grandfather.
My mother never did this (she did read a lot) and I remember as a child being fascinated by her dressing for dinner every night for my grandfather!
I am trying to implement resting more in the afternoon also.

becky said...

I remember my grandmother staying with us and every day she would lay on the couch and rest for 1 hour, not to be disturbed. This nonsense of thinking we have to busy all the time is robbing our health.

vintage ellen said...

Sometimes I think we feel like we have to keep busy every minute to justify being at home. If I have a day when I feel a little under the weather it makes me feel guilty to take it easy. The media always has stories of how much some people accomplish and it is easy to start comparing myself and feel like I am not doing enough in life. If people could find a better balance between busy and restful then perhaps the world would be less frenzied. Your posts are always helpful and enjoyable. Thank you!

Ms.Tierra said...

Very nice!!

Kimberly said...

This post brings me to almost tears - as a stay at home mom and beginning homeschooler of a 4 year old, rest is scarce. Just recently again have I been noticing that I need to rest and it's ok. SO thank you for your affirmation. And yes I totally think that in this role, rest is looked down upon. These pictures are stunningly beautiful. Thank you

living from glory to glory said...

Well, I must say that as soon as I read this post I decided to make my tea and have a few crackers with butter on them and I sat in my chair and crocheted for a few, then started my dinner meal! I think the comments from the other ladies all reflect the same thing! We do not need to push ourselves into bad health and just being un-nerved by the late afternoon! Great article!
Yours, Roxy

Lydia said...

I had an aunt who would disappear even when company was present, to lay down on a little room just near the kitchen. She took a nap every day and never announced it and did not even excuse herself. Everyone knew it was a matter of course that she took a rest in the day. When she got up she was like a new person, in a happy mood and busy again.

Polly said...

This is great advice. Rest is essential. We build it into our day--school and chores in the morning, and then in the afternoon "quiet time"--my son draws or reads, my daughter looks at books on the bed beside me, and I read for a few minutes, and then close my eyes. I tend to sleep about 10 minutes, and then I get up and feel wonderful, have a cup of tea, and the rest of the day feels fresh.

I get a lot more done when I take this half-hour to just rest and refresh. It builds on itself!

Lydia said...

I have not posted in a few days, but not because I am resting. I am busy with many things and hope to get some leisure time for posting.