Another day in the life of an Amish mother

In her weekly column, Amish mother Lovina Eicher from time to time shares an hour-by-hour look into her daily life. We saw this in both 2018 and 2020.

One change I noticed between those two accounts is that Lovina’s wake-up time “improved” from 3 AM to 4 AM. I think that reflects a change in the work schedule of the working men in her household (husband and adolescent/adult children).

In both accounts her first act of the day is packing husband a lunch – in the first account, for her husband Joe, in the second, for her 18-year-old-son Joseph. Amish men who “work out” often get picked up early to go out to the job site, shop, or factory. In those cases, the workplaces were a factory and a construction site.

In her latest look at her daily diary, Lovina is still on a 4 AM wake-up schedule. Below I’ve posted an excerpt from the beginning of her day, which lasts until bedtime at 9:30 PM. There is nothing earth-shattering as far as events in this account. However, I like how this gives you the feel for an Amish person’s day.

A lot of it revolves around food preparation and the hours as noted already are early. These are two big differences between the Amish American’s day, versus that of most non-Amish American people. Most of us aren’t waking up at farmer’s hours (or carpenters’, or market stand workers’ hours for that matter), and we don’t spend as much time on food in a world of ready-made and quick-prep, microwaveable sustenance.

The food preparation part would be primarily the domain of women however. I would also be curious to read an account of husband Joe’s day, which probably involves chores after returning home from his workplace.

Here’s the first part of Lovina’s diary:

Diary of June 28, 2022

4 a.m. The alarm rings, and it’s time to start another day. I pack lunch for my husband Joe and make him breakfast. For breakfast, I make him an egg, sausage, and cheese in a soft tortilla shell. He likes to stay away from too much bread, so I get the low-carb tortillas.

4:30 a.m. Son Joseph, 19, gets up and goes out to do the morning chores. I make him a grilled cheese with an egg and sausage in it.

4:45 a.m. Joe leaves for work at the metal shop. Joseph comes in and eats breakfast while I pack his lunch.

5 a.m. Joseph leaves for his construction job. They have an hour and a half drive to the job site.

Son Benjamin, 22, gets up and gets ready for work. He doesn’t want any breakfast.

5:30 a.m. Benjamin leaves for work at the factory. I sit down to read awhile in my recliner but doze off and don’t get much reading done.

7 a.m. I get up, shower, and make a pot of coffee. I have some mail to get out and some bills to get ready to send out.

8:30 a.m. Daughter Elizabeth brings Abigail, five, Timothy (T.J.), three, and Allison, two, here to stay while she goes to help with preparations for their nephew’s wedding. She takes Andrea, four months, along to breastfeed.

8:45 a.m. Daughter Lovina, 18, son Kevin, 16, and I eat breakfast with the little ones. We have pancakes and bacon.

9:15 a.m. Lovina washes dishes and cleans the house up. The little ones keep me busy. They go outside for a while to bike and then decide they want to look at books. I sometimes forget how short their attention span is.

11:45 a.m. Lunch is bologna and cheese. The little ones want to make faces with their bologna, so we use pickles for ears and cheese for eyes, etc. They each want us to look at the face they made. Allison is tired and ready to nap, so I rock her to sleep.

1:15 p.m. Elizabeth is back to pick up the little ones. I get to hold Andrea for a little bit. She is so cuddly and all smiles.

You can read the full version here.

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      what. can I. bring?

      I have a Amish friend with 10 children. I like to drop things off occasionally… it usually hot dogs buns and ice cream and cookies……Any suggestions for something more exciting? Tomorrow I was also drop off bread, peanut butter and grape jelly. I have a feeling now, that Drivers are charging more to take them places as gas prices are higher. Please advise.

    2. Elisheva

      What to bring..

      Hello, let me start off by saying how kind it is for you to bring things to this family, a true blessing. However if I may make a suggestion? My children and I were in the position quite a few times of being on the receiving end of such generousity but what I find does make it more enjoyable and less embarrassing is if you would ask the mother and children to write down for you one or two things they would like to receive every once in a whille and then see if you can add those things to the parcels you deliver to them. Oncr in a while add a fun surprise too. This way they don’t have to feel awkward asking (or holding back from asking) for something they really like, or something different, for a nice change of pace. This is just a suggestion but I do feel it would be wonderful to do for them, so they are not just receiving basics but rather something fun and/or enjoyable every now and then, making your arrival all the more exciting to look forward to. I do hope my suggestion hasn’t offended anyone. Thank you.