A lovely mom recently wrote in with a comment about how to handle establishing rhythm while working part-time.
I think this boils down to sitting down with your partner and choosing the essential things for your family. Some partners actually sit and write a family mission statement (if you have written one and are willing to share it as inspiration for others, please do write a comment in the comment box!) Once you know what is absolutely essential for you and your family, it becomes easier to discern what to say “No” to and what to say “yes” to. Also, the age of your children is important as older children can deal with a bit more flexibility in the routine than the younger child can.
So, my suggestion if you are a working -outside- the- home mother and you have children under the age of 7, is to get a piece of paper and a pen and really meditate on what is most important for you and your family? Is it your family’s spiritual path? Is it spending time in nature? Is it health? Is it serving others? Is it creating and holding a steady, warm space at home for your little ones?
These are important questions and probably every family will have a bit of a different slant on things, but the other food for thought I can offer for determining what is essential is to determine the totally necessary things for your children. If you have children under the age of 7, you probably know from this blog some of those things – rhythm (which may dictate saying “No’” to activities that are at a bad time or whatever), bedtimes, warm foods that are not processed, outside time, play, stories and music. If you have children in the 7-14 year old range, you are going to start thinking about creating a trusted circle of adults and friends, spiritual life, protection from fatigue, forming good habits and memory, art and music. If you have children over the age of 14, you will be thinking of even different things. If you have children that span mixed age ranges, you will have to take into account all these different ages and what they need and figure out the best way to accommodate this in probably the most limited way so you don’t go crazy trying to be all things to all people.
The point is, though, that we all have things that are essential. We cannot do everything, and nor can our children. We must pick and choose.
Rhythm is essential in itself. Some people profess that they are not rhythmical at all, yet we all breathe in a rhythmical manner, we all have hearts that hopefully beat in a rhythmical manner, women have menstrual cycles that are hopefully rhythmical. If you are not rhythmical, I would suggest that you need rhythm even more than the average person. If you find you cannot stick to a rhythm, you may be trying to make it so complex to start and trying to do everything without saying “No” to anything. Rhythm without discernment of your most important priorities is difficult at best, if not impossible.
Determine your essential things – whether this is through writing, journaling, meditating, praying, or drawing. I would love to hear your progress, what is essential to you, and what you have had to say “No” to in order to fulfill the essential.
Please do share,