Home Economics Class for Today’s Moms?

What day do you do the laundry?

What day do you do the laundry?

Even though we are seeing a glimmer of hope in the current economy, the recession shocked a lot of us to get back to basics. Reports and surveys cite that families are cooking instead of eating out, cleaning their own houses, stretching out visits to the drycleaner, etc. The extra work to save money falls mostly on this mom in my household.

My mom friends, like me, have come to rely on take out a few nights a week and shelling out for an every-other-week housecleaner. It takes a little bit of the stress out of a long day, and who wants to spend their precious few family hours cooking and cleaning (especially during the week)?

Lately I’ve been inspired by Mark Bittman’s Food Matters (and his ongoing appearances on The Today Show). But I still haven’t gotten the hang of preparing a huge pot of quinoa on Sunday to prep meals for the week. I have also been inspired by Ma Ingalls as E. and I are reading a chapter a night of the Little House on the Prairie series. Ma Ingalls designated each day to do a specific chore. Martha Stewart’s calendars also share a comforting rhythmic order of domestic duties.

Wondering if I draft my own calendar, like:

Sunday: roast chickens/protein, prepare rice/grain, cut up veggies

Monday: laundry (Ward/Mike/Heathcliff will help here)

Tuesday: dust and vacuum

Wednesday: mop floors (Ward/Mike/Heathcliff will also help here)

Thursday: clean bathrooms

Friday: more laundry

Saturday: change beds

Sure, things could get done this way, but not everything would be done at once. There’s nothing like walking into a clean house that someone else cleaned, eating take out so as not to dirty the dishes and getting into a nicely made bed that feels like a boutique hotel.

Is the answer more time? Dealing with a gritty floor? Spaghetti and nuggets a few nights too many a week? Maybe a Home Ec class for today’s moms (and dads)?

My neighbor and I have come up with one solution: one night a week, we each make a double portion of dinner and deliver it. This means one night a week we don’t have to cook. What do you do to save time and money in the area of domestic arts?

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