A Day in the Life of a Young Amish Mom

Published with Permission

Written by Liz Lane


As I came to the end of the half-hour drive to Rachel’s home, it became easy to understand why many generations ago settlers had named this area “Paradise.” The hills, fields, woods, and spectacular views of the mountains in the distance enable this town to live up to its name.

When I arrived, Rachel’s home radiated peace. Her gentle way with her children, the absence of television noise and electronic chatter, the smiles from her children, and the breezes that greeted us on the deck (overlooking that beautiful view of Paradise) as we settled down to visit, all contributed to the peace of her home. However, none contributed to the peace of her home as much as her warm hospitality and the peace that shone from her countenance.

Liz: Rachel, thanks so much for allowing us to peek into your life. I have always loved to talk with other mothers and share ideas. It is so encouraging. I think others will appreciate learning about your life as a young, 30-something Amish mother. How many generations ago did your family arrive in Lancaster County?

Rachel: My family goes back five generations, and my husband’s family goes back four generations.

 Liz: How many children do you have?

Rachel: Five. They are 13 (son), 11 (daughter), 8 (son), 5 (daughter), and 2 (son) years old.

 Liz: What time does your day usually begin?

Rachel: My husband, Junior, wakes up at 5:00 a.m., gets dressed, and wakes me. We pray, and then I head to the kitchen to pack his lunch and make his breakfast. He reads a devotional and we talk about plans for the day.

If I have a busy day planned, I’ll throw in some laundry right away. Junior leaves at 6:00 a.m. Sometimes I’ll catch a nap before the kids wake up. The kids usually start waking up around 7:00 a.m. On school days, we have breakfast and make lunches, and then each child gets ready for school.

When they leave I usually have some quiet time and/or time with Emmy (5) and Caleb (2). In the summer I can get quiet time any time during the day. I love to read, and my kids have grown up with that and kind of actually enjoy it when I lounge around! (Now before you think Rachel lounges around a lot, let me say that I was amazed by her bedroom re-do for her two oldest boys and her re-painting of her kitchen cabinets!)

Liz: Can you use an alarm clock?

Rachel: We use my husband’s cell phone alarm. He has a cell phone for his work as a builder.

Liz: How do you cook? What is a typical breakfast for your family?

Rachel: I use a gas cook stove. Scrambled eggs and toast or my country brunch casserole is a typical breakfast for us.

Liz: What do you usually make for lunch? Do you eat processed foods?

Rachel: It depends on how big a breakfast we had or if we’ve had snacks or not. We are big on Nature Valley granola bars, and I buy them by the case. Sometimes I use processed foods. I often make sandwiches and fruit for a great lunch without too much mess. Saving time and having less to clean up is important to me.

Liz: Do you have a dishwasher?

Rachel: We do not have a dishwasher, but my 11-year-old daughter does a great job! I do buy those super-thin paper plates at Costco, and we use them whenever we can.

Liz: How often do you go to Costco and how do you get there?

Rachel: I go to Costco about once a week. There is a woman I can call who will drive me there.

Liz: Where else do you shop for groceries?

Rachel: I go to BB’s, an Amish-run discount grocery store.

Liz: I love that place! I have been going there for years. Do you have to have someone drive you there?

Rachel: No, we can take the pony and cart to BB’s since it is only about 3 miles away. The kids love going out in the pony-drawn cart. We do that a lot in the summer but not so much in the winter.

Liz: How far can you go with the pony and cart?

Rachel: We can only go about 4 miles, but with the horse and buggy we can go about 10 miles. Sometimes I really wish I had a car! However, I can be impulsive, so if I had a car I might run around too much and waste time.

Liz: How do your children get to school?

Rachel: They walk.

Liz: Is the school a one-room schoolhouse with an Amish teacher?

Rachel: Yes.

Liz: Are you allowed to home school in the Amish community?

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