The Mother and Variety
Perhaps the mother is especially tempted to overlook the benefits of variety, of change in her program and life, since her duties seem almost to force her into a fixed routine; but the value of variation of activities is so great that it is advisable that she make every effort to break through habit and give change a place in her daily life. Health of body, mind, and spirit demands a reasonable amount of variety.
Many mothers may say they already realize fully the need of a vacation, of a long rest, a prolonged visit somewhere, a trip to the seashore or mountains, but that these are out of the question. These matters being obvious, we refer here to smaller variations of routine and the ones that are ordinarily practicable. Moreover, except when one is really worn out, it is not the great and prolonged change that does one most good; it is rather the little changes sprinkled through the days, the minor diversions, that recuperate one. There is usually no need that one should work without break through many hours; the sewing, for instance, can be dropped half a dozen times during the day for five minutes’ diversion in the garden among the flowers. The change of position, the breath of fresh air, the glimpse of flowers, grass and sky act as a tonic. Two or three minutes taken every now and then to glance at a book, kept open and ready, will divert the thoughts. There should be moments of this or like kind scattered through the day. The recuperative power of these brief relaxations is much more considerable than we realize until we have tried.
The introducing of variety includes also changing directions of effort. If the mother will arrange her tasks in such a way that she can carry several things along at once, changing from one to another every hour or so, this helps. Writers commonly keep on hand several themes or books at the same time. When the mind seems to have exhausted its interest in one, it may work easily if another is taken up. Painters do the same thing—keep at work on several pictures at once. The mother who cultivates the habit of working awhile on this and then on that will do both tasks more easily and with less wear and tear.
Changing the directions of daily walks; rearranging the decorations and furniture of rooms, dressing a little differently from day to day, if only in the matter of ribbons, changing the shoes in the later part of the day—these and a hundred little matters give slight variations that please the mind, ease the body, divert, break up monotony, and aid in producing and maintaining interest and so health. Some people have a pleasant genius in such directions, but all others can cultivate the habit of variety. It is well worthwhile; it eases the strain and adds to happiness. _Mother’s Magazine, December 1908