Mother's Chores for Monday

Remembrances of my childhood...

I’ve been ask if my mom followed the days of the week Chores Outline, “pretty much,” I said…

Life is certainly easier today than it was; say just 50 - 60 years ago.  To help with the many chores around the house, mothers and home makers would organize the essential tasks according to the days of the week, thereby always staying abreast of the dreaded phrase, ‘what’s next’.

washin clothes the old way
washin clothes the old way

Monday’s was always Wash Day!

Monday’s was always Wash Day! I remember watching mom gather all the clothing and bed linens and making at least two and sometimes three piles. She worked rapidly because it was going to take the better part of the day with our family of mom and dad along with four children. Besides the various washing activities she had set aside for today, she needed to also think of the other essential like the meals, sweeping the front porch and walk as well as the kitchen, back porch and steps, getting the kids ready and off to school on time, feeding the dog and planning supper for the family. Remember, there was no TV, so she couldn’t claim that as a distraction if she didn’t get everything finished on the day reserved for that particular task.

she would sit down and ‘look the beans’

After breakfast, the sweepings, and sending my brothers and sister off to catch the school bus, she would get the big kittle or pot out and fill it up about half full of water and place it on the stove to heat up.  While the water was heating she would sit down and ‘look the beans’.  We always had brown beans, either pinto or Octobers on Monday’s because mom said she didn’t have to watch them as close while she was busy with the other chores.  By looking the beans, I mean she would get a handful and look them over closely and pick out any small rocks or an occasion bad bean that didn’t look as fresh or as good as the rest   She would then take the good (approved) beans and wash them a couple of times before adding them to the pot of water warming on the stove.  She never forgot to cut a piece of ‘fatback’ or side meat and add that to the pot for seasoning.  My mom was a great cook and she taught me as she worked about with the other things she had planned for that day.

Did your mom always wash the clothes on Monday?

  • Yes
  • No
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scrub board
scrub board

God gave her the strength to face each day

She washed the whites or light colored clothes first and as soon as she finished them she washed the coloreds or jeans and trousers which were heavier.  While the jeans were soaking we would go down the old back steps to hang out the light colored shirts, dresses and the underwear on the clothesline.  I remember before she got a washing machine she would scrub the really soiled cloths on an old scrub board and sometimes she would rub the skin from her knuckles, but she said that was alright because her family was depending on her.   I remember mom telling my sister that a wife and mother had a big responsibility to her family and she didn’t have time to get sick or anything like that.  Mom said God gave her the strength to face each day and as she worked, she would often recite whole chapters of the Bible and sometimes she would sing old time hymns.

She didn’t want them to get all the way dry

Then the jeans that had been soaking and I would get to help her twist the jeans to wring the excess water out. Later she got an old Maytag washing machine with a wringer so she didn’t need me to help. It also speeded things up because the machine did the washing and would also wring the excess water out. If we were able to get all the clothes on the clothesline mom would take a nap after lunch while the clothes were drying on the line. She didn’t want them to get all the way dry so she could iron them neatly the next day, which was Ironing Day…

© 2010 SamSonS

Comments 9 comments

AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

Nice memories. I recall helping my mother with washing turning the handle of an old wringer.


Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 6 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

Remember Monday's being washday at our house too, looking pinto and pitching pebbles and bad beans, and I always hated a new pair of bluejeans and having to break them in.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

*thanks AlexK2009 for your rapid response, I did that ringer thing too

*thank you Fiddleman, seems like them wash days and brown beans went well together

Hey guys, check out the other daily chores...


FloBe profile image

FloBe 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

We had a wringer washer when I was young and always had to hang our clothes out to dry, even in the cold, snowy winters. I remember having to wet down the clothes in order to iron out the wrinkles.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I remember our wringer washer.After Dad died I often did the laundry if mother wasn't able to.During bad weather we hung the clothes in the basement.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

*thanks FloBe for your comments- did you every have anything freeze while hanging on the line?

*and thank you dahoglund for sharing your reminisce...


daydreamer13 profile image

daydreamer13 6 years ago

I never knew anyone who had a wash day. Everyone I've ever known just did the wash when they got to it. Wonderful story!


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Samsons1: Voted up and funny! Are you sure we aren't from the same family or something. The tasks are the same just the days vary. Laundry day was Saturday in our home. Mom would do the scrubbing, and I would run the clothes through the ringer then we'd both hang them outside on the line to dry.

Most Amazing.

Brother Dave.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks my brother for your gracious comments. Was just speaking with my wife about how things change with time as she was placing a load in the washer...

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