“Every housekeeper and mother is interested in the working schedule which will help her in systematizing the round of household duties.” So this magazine article from 1921 interviewed three different women and they described their daily routine.
Homemaker Number 1 – Wife and mother of five children
6:00 AM – Get up and heat the milk for the baby, at the same time taking cereal from fireless cooker and putting it on stove to heat for breakfast.
6:15 – Feed baby, dress myself and second child. Oversee older children as they dress.
7:15 – As table was set the night before, I have only to put on the cream, milk, butter, bread for the electric toaster, start coffee, and serve cereal.
7:30 – Breakfast. We always have eggs in some form, which are quick to prepare – shirred eggs or omelet can be left in a slow oven while the cereal is being eaten. The two older children always help put the dishes on the table and clear it off for me.
8:15 – I wash the dishes, scalding them in the drainer so that they dry quickly, the children helping me wipe them and put them away.
9:00 – With the children’s help I make the beds, wipe up the floors of the bedrooms with a dust mop, and also dust the furniture that needs it.
9:30 – Bathe the baby and set bathroom in order.
10:00 – Feed the baby and put her in her pen on the porch.
10:15 – Rinse out diapers for the day, and dust and put in order sitting-room and dining-room.
11:00 – Prepare dinner after putting baby in crib for long nap.
12:15 – Dinner
1:00 PM – Wash dishes with children’s help as before – the oldest puts the second child in bed for a short nap. When dishes are out of the way, I sweep the kitchen floor and back porch. As we live on our front porch in summer, I alternate the care of the porch with the living room, as there is not time to do both on the same day.
2:00 – Feed baby and put her back in the pen again.
2:15 – Take twenty minutes for nap and then dress for afternoon.
3:00 – Dress the second child for the afternoon. Take mending or sewing on the porch with the children.
5:00 – Start supper.
5:30 – Give the two babies their supper and put them to bed.
6:15 – 6:30 – Supper when their father comes home.
7:15 – Wash dishes and set table for breakfast with father’s and children’s help.
8:00 – Older children go to bed.
“This schedule necessitates much help on the part of the older children in overseeing the younger ones. Part of the time I had a schoolgirl who helped me in that way. I also had a laundress who cleaned the house every other week.”
Homemaker Number 2 – Wife and Mother of two sons, age twelve and three, and a one-year old baby girl
“I use a gas range and fireless cooker. I have an electric washing machine, electric mangle, electric iron, a motor for my sewing machine, and an electric vacuum cleaner. I have a none-room house. I work as follows.”
6:15 AM – Arise and dress baby. Husband heats her breakfast and starts cereal.
6:30 – Feed baby.
6:45 – Dress little boy.
7:-00 – Dress self.
7:15 – Take children downstairs, open house and put baby on porch as soon as older boy has swept it.
7:45 – Serve three-course breakfast of fruit, cereal, milk or coffee, toast or rolls, eggs or creamed fish.
8:15 – Dishes stacked and food put away.
8:30 – Go upstairs and make beds. three times a week clothes of baby are collected and washed in washing machine while I do dishes.
9:00 – Wash breakfast dishes.
9:00 – 12:00 – Weekly work.
12:00 – Lunch for older boy and myself – simple, substantial.
12:30 – Prepare little children’s dinner. Nap until baby wakes.
1:15PM – Serve children’s dinner. Feed baby and dress her for afternoon.
2:00 – Straighten up kitchen, begin evening dinner.
2 :45 – Wash and dress younger boy.
3:00 – 5:00 – Continue day’s weekly work.
5:00 – Cook cereal, also dinner except for final touches.
5:45 – Bathe one or both children.
6:00 – Children’s supper upstairs. Feed baby. Both in bed and quiet by 6:30.
7:00 – Dinner served.
8:00 – Finish dishes and put kitchen in order.
Monday: Dust whole house. Sort clothes. Bake.
Tuesday: Wash. Fold or sprinkle clothes.
Wednesday: Use mangle. Iron, mend, put away.
Thursday: Clean upstairs. Shop, sew, or garden.
Friday: Clean downstairs rooms.
Saturday: Clean kitchen, bake, and cook.
Homemaker Number 3 – Wife and mother of three year old girl and nine month baby girl
“I do all my own work with electric devices, including washer, vacuum cleaner, iron, percolator, toaster, bottle warmer, sewing motor, and fan. I do all the children’s sewing and all my own plain sewing after the children have been put to bed.”
By 7:30AM – Baby’s formula prepared for twenty-four hours. Lunch packed and breakfast ready for all.
7:30 – 9:00 – Wash the dishes, set kitchen in order, make beds, dust, and put out baby’s washing that has been washing in electric machine.
9:00 – 11:00 – Work planned for the day of the week.
11:00 – 12:00 – Bathe the children, give them their lunch, and put them down for naps.
12:00 – 3:00 PM – Prepare vegetables and dessert for evening meal and read or rest.
3:00 – 4:30 – Take children for a walk, or play on porch or in house.
5:30 – Dinner.
Monday: I do the washing; in the afternoon I fold all towels, underwear, and sheets, and get the rest ready for Tuesday’s ironing. On busy days I fold all my bed linen and use them “sunkist.” I use the little colored crepe dresses for the older girl for morning.
Tuesday: Iron and mend.
Wednesday: Bake bread and maybe pie or cake. Do mid-week marketing.
Thursday: Clean kitchen and bathroom.
Friday: Clean rest of house.
Saturday: Bake bread and other baking. Do marketing.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted just from reading about their schedules!