Come with me to see what a day in the life of an Amish woman might look like…
Obviously, every day is different in some way, and different seasons bring different responsibilities. So if you went to spend only one day with an Amish woman to see what her life was like, you wouldn’t get a true picture, but maybe a little glimpse.
So let me give you a bit of a glimpse into my home growing up, and what a day in the life of my Amish mother may have been like…
Amish Daily Schedule
My dad set his alarm for 4:00 am to get up and get the chores started. And my mom got up with him because they always prayed together before they started their day. Dad headed to the barn and she was soon there to help him if none of the children were old enough to milk the cows. But I was the 8th child, so by the time I was born, my dad had plenty of help to get the chores done.
On Monday mornings, there was lots of laundry to wash (with a ringer washer). So my mom tried to see how much she could get done by the time the men were done with the morning chores. And she fixed a quick breakfast of scrapple, eggs, toast, and oatmeal (this is only an example, we didn’t eat the same food every morning).
After breakfast, the family all gathered around in the living room for family devotions. By the time that was finished, it was about 7:45, and time to get the kids off to school. Then she had to wash the breakfast dishes, sweep the kitchen floor, and get her laundry finished.
A woman’s work is never done
After the morning chores were finished, my mom had about an hour or two to work in the garden before it was time to start lunch. It took about an hour to prepare lunch because we always had a big cooked meal.
After lunch and dishes, she had about three hours left to work in the yard or garden. Or perhaps she had vegetables that needed to be canned. Maybe she was working on spring housecleaning, or the men needed some help in the barn or field. It could have been any number of things that needed her attention.
At 4:00 it was time to prepare supper because the cows needed to be milked again at 5:00. After supper was finished, the dishes washed, and the kitchen cleaned up for the third time that day; the laundry needed to be brought in off the line and folded. And now it was time to finish whatever other projects she had been working on.
And she tried to have everyone get showered and be in bed by 10:00, so she could get up by 4:00 the next morning again.
So this was one day in the life of an Amish woman. But picture with me what life was like for her before my time, when all her kids were still small.
Being an Amish mom is a full-time job
The Amish take the verse in the Bible seriously, which talks about children being as arrows, and happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. And the verse where God says, “Be fruitful and multiply the earth”. They believe that having many children is a blessing.
My mom and dad had ten children in eighteen years. So my mom was extremely busy when all her kids were small. Before any of us were old enough to do chores, she had to help milk the cows twice a day, besides all the housework, gardening, canning, and taking care of babies. I can not even begin to imagine how she possibly did it all? She did have a maid come help her for the first six weeks after she had a new baby. But wow, those first number of years had to be difficult, to say the least.
Amish Women Rules
I don’t know that the Amish actually have any written rules about a mother being a keeper at home. But it is expected of them to be stay-at-home mothers. And I would say that at least ninety-nine percent of Amish women stay at home with their children. This rule is taken from the KJV Bible in Titus 2:4&5, “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children; To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.”
So an Amish woman’s life is centered around taking care of her children and her husband. She is to be a helpmate to her husband. The man is supposed to provide the money that is needed. But the woman provides for so many needs for the family as well. She bears many children and takes care of all their physical needs. It is expected that she does all the cooking, laundry, keeps her house clean, sews clothing for her family. She plants a huge garden and does lots of canning.
Writing all of this makes me feel like these women must be superwomen. They know how to work and get a lot done in a day. There’s no idle time for social media or watching a show, so I guess they really don’t need or miss any of that.
Amish Women’s Rights
An Amish woman is expected to be submissive and obedient to her husband. He is supposed to be the leader in the home. If a woman is lucky enough to marry a good man, then they will be equal partners and make decisions together. The marriage can run smoothly because it’s not hard to submit to a man who loves you and puts your needs above his own. But unfortunately, (and this is true in the world as well) some men like to abuse their authority and control their wives. So life can be very unpleasant in a home where the husband abuses his rights and treats his wife as his property.
There are plenty of Amish who do not have good marriages, but they will still stay together. It is extremely rare for the Amish to ever get divorced or even separate. Because they think it is a sin. There has been the occasional couple who separated, but they would never even think about remarriage. The Amish would excommunicate them if that happened.
So an Amish woman will usually stay with her husband, even if he is controlling and abusive. They do everything within their power to keep the home together and make a good life for their children.
So the Amish women do have rights and are very valued in the home. And they often play a huge part in helping to make decisions. But ultimately the man is supposed to have the final word in the decisions, and she needs to support him in whatever he decides. So just how many rights she actually has depends on the man that she marries.
The men are also the leaders in the church, although the women are allowed to vote at member’s meeting.
In conclusion on “A Day in the Life of an Amish woman”
I would say that most Amish women are happy and content with their life. If you grow up in this setting, you know what is expected of you. And I never gave it much thought or thought that it should be different. As a young girl, I never dreamt about what I wanted to do for a career (I know this is not true for all Amish girls). But all I ever wanted to do was get married, be a good wife, have kids, and be a keeper of the home. That sounded good to me!
And I was a stay-at-home mom for the first sixteen years, and I loved it! I never had a desire to put my kids in daycare and get a job (not that I was lazy). I wanted to raise my own kids, and be there for them. And I still believe that this is the best environment for children, to grow up in the home with mom there when they need her.
I am including in this post, a link to Doug Hoover’s page on fineartamerica.com He has some beautiful Amish photos. If you’re interested click here.
Unique Amish Recipes
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