Rhythm: Part One

When I see homeschooling mothers who feel burdened, depressed, as if there is not enough time, that they are buried under their homes and chores – well, I feel terrible.  It really is a difficult thing to see, and we have all been there I think.  Interruptions to life come,  and some times homeschooling and parenting flow more efficiently and joyfully than other times.

To me, the most major piece of assisting a mother to reclaim the joy in parenting and in homeschooling, outside of prayer to determine the essential and for strength :), is a rhythm to the day.  I think mothers who manage their homes and children well feel happy and satisfied because there is less stress in knowing what will happen when.   I think also mothers who have a rhythm feel BALANCED.  There is enough time in the day for your priorities as a mother or father, and rhythm enables the life of the whole family and all of its members to be considered.

A dear friend and I were chatting this morning about this very subject.  Balance is a tricky issue, isn’t it?  It often seems that there is much being done for the family as a whole (mealtimes, bedtimes, perhaps something such as the activities at a place of worship), things that revolve around perhaps the oldest child (homeschooling, outside activities)….leaving many mothers and fathers wondering, where is the time for me? for us? for the younger children who don’t have outside activities yet?

I want to take time to look back at rhythm through this multipart series.

First, a review:  What are the benefits of rhythm?  This list is from one of my back posts on rhythm:

Gives children a sense of security

· Rhythm can calm a high-needs, anxious, nervous or difficult child

· Children can see the tasks of daily life as process from beginning to end

· Once children have external rhythms, they then develop internal rhythms for eating, sleeping

· Helps the child focus their energy on play and growth and balance as opposed to wondering when the next snack time will be or when bedtime is

· Rhythm helps maintain a person or child’s strength for daily tasks

· Connects a child to nature

· Provides a structure for a child that is neither boring nor over-stimulating; provides a balance

· A True Help in Loving Guidance – because children are so centered in their physical bodies and in imitation, rhythm becomes a real help in avoiding arguments

· Helps children become helpers in the home and in life by building in times for setting up and cleaning up activities within the rhythm; this helps calm nervous and difficult children

· Rhythm helps the adults of the family build up their own self-discipline so we can model this to our children

· A rhythm helps a child feel certain that their needs will be met

· A rhythm is a vital piece in establishing for young children that there is a time for all things

· Rhythm helps parents not only with self-discipline but with enabling the energy of the house to flow smoothly and to support the needs of everyone in the entire family, not just one child or the children

· A disorganized life is not truly free!  A rhythm provides a flexible framework for the day, even when we have interruptions and unforeseen events occur.  A rhythm can actually give you the strength to deal with the unexpected because you know what happens when, and as children grow older and more self directed, they know what is happening when and can somewhat even keep themselves going with minor disruptions.  An efficient home is one that has time for FUN, and for enjoying being together without the burden of wondering how “everything is going to get done.”

I hope this little bit resolves your strength as you look at your rhythm for the summer and going into fall!  Stay strong, think about your priorities, and our next post in this series will take a crack at the “how to’s “ of rhythm.

Many blessings,
Carrie

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10 thoughts on “Rhythm: Part One

  1. this is so true! we’re doing good right now, and I can feel that it’s because we all know what goes where. it took us several months to find a calm with our 10month olds sleeping habits, but we’re on track now and we are all breathing a little easier! Thank-you for these words of encouragement.

  2. Thanks for the reminder Carrie. I think it is good to remember why we cultivate rhythm in the first place. Looking forward to this series.

  3. first, i love your blog! it is such a help & joy. i am a sahm and a wahm…i say that bc my primary role is with 2 small children, but it is benefitted and complicated by the fact that i also work at home in the evenings and whenever i can squeeze it in. i am really overwhelmed and can’t find the energy i want to give to my kids (part-time preschooled 4-year old and 17 mo.). i keep reading about establishing rhythm and how good it is for the children. i honestly think it would be wonderful for me! i want to be able to have the predictability and ability to enjoy our time again. however, i just don’t see what these rhythmns look like in our lives. i don’t have a minute to think deeply about how to establish them and get everyone on board. the times i have tried have not lasted long for one reason or another but even small changes really helped and made me more confident in my strengths as a mother. convincing my partner and my oldest, very independent child sounds stressful! i am really looking forward to your tips. i want to feel less harried and more present and happy!! :)

  4. Thank you once again for your beauitful words! It was one of your posts (about self-care for mama) that really helped me sit down and talk with my husband and rework our family rhythm to include time for his studies and my self-care. Now I’m swimming 4 times a week, he has the time to study, the kids are happy and cared for and it all fits in so nicely that the days go by and they are a joy instead of a drag.

    • We realized the best time (because my kids are very clingy in the morning and early risers, and the baby gets fussy if he wakes up and I’m not home) was right at dinner time. I have dinner ready to go, sometimes have it served on the table, say blessing with the kids, my husband comes home, he takes over and I swim (it takes two hours total to get there, change, swim, shower, dress and get home) then come home in time to nurse the baby to sleep for bed while my husband handles bath, flossing, brushing, and bedtime story. He puts them in the bed with me and the baby (we have a giant floor bed) and then he gets to study in peace the rest of the evening. Menu planning makes sure I have dinner ready on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.. then Sunday morning I sneak out and swim while they video chat with their grandpa in India.

      It really helped that we’d already established a firm rhythm from the time dinner starts until everyone is asleep. The biggest difference is that on swimming nights, I have to do a bit more tidying up in the kitchen once I get home instead of right after dinner.

  5. This is a great series Carrie! This is my favorite subject :) well almost. It touches EVERYTHING else in a child’s (and adult’s) life and it is so very important as a foundation. It is the heart of our Thinking Feeling Willing program and probably the #1 thing I work with families on.

    Sheila’s blog post was great too :)

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