Home » Little House » Routines in the Big Woods

Routines in the Big Woods

(Originally posted 9th November 2015.)

Way before there was FlyLady with her Before Bedtime Routine there was Little House in the Big Woods.

In this book, Laura Ingalls Wilder describes life with Ma and Pa and her sisters Mary and Carrie as they live for a year in their little log house deep in the woods.  Each day of the week has its own work as Ma washes on Monday, irons on Tuesday and, after working hard all week, rests on Sunday.  Each day follows the same routine with the daily chores of dishwashing and bed making being done first, then the work for that day of the week.  Once the work is done there’s some time for play before the evening’s chores see the animals tended and the family settle down to singing and storytelling after dinner while Pa greases his boots and Ma does the mending.  Laura’s life is ordered and regulated by these routines while the wheel of the year turns through each season with its specific work and play.

There are no aimless days.  No one wanders from one activity to the next wondering what will make her happy.  The tedium of channel surfing has not even been imagined.  Instead, life is securely anchored by the routines.

I need routines and lists.  Without them I drift through my days and go to bed feeling frustrated with the day.  Without a routine of work and play I spend all of my time on one or the other, lose my balance and tumble into sloth.  Today has been such a day and I would like nothing more than to go to bed (it’s 11:12am) with a bar of chocolate and the TV for company.

It’s a long time since I’ve done FlyLady but, as I look at Laura and Ma going through their routines, I’m thinking that it might be time for me to look at mine.

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4 thoughts on “Routines in the Big Woods

  1. As someone who grew up with routines and still uses them today I can agree.

    In fact… It’s Wednesday so this morning I hoovered up and cleaned the fridge because that is what I do on a Wednesday.
    Tomorrow will be mopping and the bleaching the sink and drains… Because it’s Thursday.
    The one big thing I have changed from growing up is that I don’t have a set meal on any given day… Mainly because the wife hates it. B-)

    Routines can be good because then everything gets done without having to worry. If you miss it this week it’s no big deal because you can catch it next week and it will only have been one week.*shrug*

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    • Most of my routines are daily these days although I do have a pattern for the week. I find they make me feel secure, get off my bottom and do what needs to be done and, as you say, if it gets skipped one day/week I know I’ll get to it the next.

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      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t have a routine, but I can see my need of one. It would be nice to know each day what chore to do instead of doing the chore, like bagging up the recyclable, when the laundry room is getting very crowded. Thanks for the good advice.

    A word about the Ingall’s routine. I think evenings with the family were wonderful in the old days. Someone might read a book aloud, singing around the piano, talking about the day. These are things that made people closer to each other.

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    • Well done for realising that routines would be helpful – let me know how you get on with them 🙂

      I totally agree about the family evenings. I live alone (save for William-cat) but do try to follow the same pattern 🙂

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      Liked by 1 person

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