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.