Naturally, with only one employee, the housewife was compelled to do some of the housework herself, and until the following schedule was adopted, she had been in the habit of rising early, dressing the children, and getting breakfast ready herself. Her employee arrived later in the day and remained until after dinner at night. The comfort and general welfare of the mother were increased to such a remarkable degree by the new schedule, however, that it is well worth special attention.
The hours were as follows:
From 6:30 A.M. to 10:30 A.M. 4
From 11:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. 4 hours
Immediately upon arriving at the house, the employee went to the children and took complete charge of all of them. The two oldest dressed themselves, but of course the other two required help. After dressing them, she prepared breakfast. The cereal was always cooked the day before, and as a gas stove was used for cooking purposes, it was not hard to have breakfast ready promptly every morning at 7:30. Then the employee, having had her own breakfast before leaving her home, worked steadily until 10:30 A.M. During this time, the only work the mother felt she ought to do was to go out with her two youngest children; the other two went to school. She was always home again by 10:30, when her employee stopped working. The employee lived too far away to go home for lunch, and as there was no place in the neighborhood where she could go for lunch, she always brought it with her and ate it in her employer’s house. During the hour she was off duty, the mother attended to some household duties herself, and she also bathed the two children, and put them to bed for their morning nap.
At 11:30, her employee reappeared on duty, and took full charge of the house and children until 3:30 P.M.; her work for the day was then over and she went home.
This schedule makes the mother stay home after half past three, but by that time all the real housework had been done by her employee. To give the children their supper and to put them to bed leisurely, was much easier work than to rise early and dress them hurriedly in the morning, and to get breakfast ready for the entire family. It was not much trouble to get dinner herself in the evening for her husband and herself only. The house was quiet, the children asleep, and there was no necessity of hurrying as in the morning. When she wished to give a dinner party, or to receive her friends, or to go to any entertainment in the afternoon after 3:30, she asked her employee to give her extra hours of work for which she paid extra. Once a week her employee had a “day of rest,” and on this day another woman was engaged to take her place.
This schedule enabled the mother to have many hours each day absolutely free from the children and household cares.