Friday, December 7, 2012

I wish Friday was longer in the Winter

Fridays are always busy for me. It is the day that I prepare my home for Shabbat. Since we do not work (which includes cleaning and cooking) on Shabbat, I spend Friday getting everything ready for a peaceful and restful Shabbat (or as peaceful and restful as it can be with 4 children). And with sunset being earlier in the winter time, I miss those extra hours to get everything ready. I always feel rushed in the winter.

What does my typical Friday look like?

I get up in the morning and fix breakfast for everyone. Then I organize the kids and pass out their chores. The older kids are responsible for cleaning their bedrooms, vacuuming their carpets (they alternate every week who vacuums the upstairs hallway) and making their beds. If they have any clean laundry, they fold it and put it away. If the two oldest have dirty laundry, they bring it to the laundry room and start washing/drying.

Once the kids are taken care of and have something to do, I begin with my list of chores (usually with a 10 month old following me around and tugging on my leg).

If the kids aren't using the washer and dryer, I start on the adults laundry and the younger kids' clothes. I'll check back throughout the day to switch over the loads and distribute the clothes where they need to go (and if I start running out of time, the laundry is the first cleaning job that is cut from my "to do" list - by this point it's usually washed and dried, just not put away yet - it can wait until Sunday).

I never do the same routine twice. Some weeks I start in the kitchen, other weeks I start with my bedroom. Today, I started with the living room. I picked up the clutter that has accumulated, clear off tables and the top of the TV and the mantel over the fireplace. Everything gets dusted and scrubbed. The windows are washed. Finally I sweep and mop the living room and dining room floors and the downstairs hallway.

I moved on to the kitchen to clean off and wash the counters, empty and refill the dishwasher, scrub the sink, refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and freezer, and finally scrub the kitchen table. I move on to the sliding glass door and the window to make them nice and shiny clean (and to remove the fingerprints of the 10 month old from the glass). After washing the fronts of the cabinets and drawers I then sweep and mop the kitchen floor.

On to the bathrooms. Scrub the tub, the sink, the cabinets and counters, and the toilet. Sweep and mop, was the mirrors and windows. Moving on...

Usually by this point the kids have been finished with their bedrooms and had a little time to play. Now they take over in the schoolroom, picking up and vacuuming. They clean off the white boards while I was the windows and dust. Books are returned to the shelves and desks are cleaned off and scrubbed. The computer desk gets cleaned and the computer dusted.

In amongst all the cleaning I am also baking challah (egg bread we have at meals on Shabbat) and preparing dinner for Friday night. Tonight we are having a nice thick beef stew with the challah.

Before I am done, I set the table for Shabbat. We have a tablecloth just for Shabbat, I put out the candlesticks and get everything ready to welcome the time of rest.

That's just a glimpse of what all happens on a typical Friday in my house. Now to get back to work...


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