I am in the midst of planning our tentative rhythm for fall; with two grades to teach and a toddler in tow I have gone through several renditions of “what might that look like” so far. I think planning and writing the rhythm done is an important part of rhythm in the home. If you have work outside the home or work from home and have children and homeschooling, making sure your moments count is even more important.
So, when I think about crafting and creating a peaceful rhythm for our days, the first place I start is prayer, meditation. Honestly, this is the most important piece of things and the one that takes the most time. DO NOT RUSH THIS STEP. Let it all steep in your brain for at least a week; talk to your spouse or partner and gather that person’s ideas.
- What is most important to me? Does the use of my days and time currently reflect th
- Do I need to make hard and tough decisions about what’s going on in my life? Are there things I need to let go, no matter how hard that is?
- Are there things we need to do financially in order to simplify our lives and really accomplish the things we want to?
- What do my children really need? Is that happening now?
- What does my spouse or partner really need? Is that happening now?
- What do I really need? Is that happening now?
- What am I committed to outside of my home? What purpose does this fulfill and for whom? If your goal is to be homeschooling, for example, and you are running around three or four days out of the week and never home, it will be hard to fulfill your original goal. If every outside activity is committed to one child and you have four children, then what you are doing may not reflect what should be happening. On the other hand, if it is an extreme priority that one child be able to do “X”, then your rhythm will reflect all of that. Without guilt, because you have mindfully and consciously made that decision!
Then, baby, baby steps. This post is one I wrote quite a long time ago, but I think it exemplifies the baby step approach to getting control over your life: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2011/01/05/rhythm-for-the-irregular/
The very first piece of this is getting to bed on time, and getting up at a consistent time in the morning.
Work on naptimes, or the quiet time you will take each day after lunch.
Then work on mealtimes.
After all of that is accomplished, now you can really sit down and look at the rhythm of your school or, in the case of very small children, the parenting day. We will be talking about homeschool rhythm in a separate post.
Start also thinking about kitchen work and chores, and yourself. When is your time to exercise, pray, have time with your spouse, have time ALONE. We will get to those in other posts as well.
You cannot do everything in this season of taking care of children. You only have YOUR children ONCE. Rhythm can be your aid in helping create the family life you really want, and should have, for this season of raising and guiding children.