One of the first ways we often try to bring peace to ourselves and our families is through our physical homes. I think this is a lot of the popularity of the simplicity and minimalist movements – this longing for peace is at the root of taming our physical environments.
Sometimes our physical surroundings can be a great place to start. When I see new mothers come to Waldorf parenting and education, they often are very interested in playsilks, wooden toys and the seasonal table. This is because perhaps in transforming our environments with our hands, we transform a little bit of our hearts.
What would a steady home look like to you? To me, it would include:
On a physical level: knowing where things are and where they go, at least in general. The ability to keep clutter at bay. A general cheerful cleanliness that is not too fussy but is maintained.
On a rhythmic level: having enough time at home that there are routines to managing the home, cleaning the home, and for meal planning and preparation. Also, on a rhythmic level, I think a steady home includes time for rest, naps, and sleep.
On an emotional level : knowing that we have unrushed time. Unhurried time. Knowing that there is time for self-care and also for spiritual needs to be met within the home. This may be a little out of the realm of the physical home, but I think these emotions come out in the physical surroundings in the home.
I think what all these areas have in common is TIME. As parents and homeschooling parents, we can look at our days as time. Sometimes when all children are small, we are looking at ways to fill time – the long walks outside; the afternoons of blowing bubbles or playing outside (or just general ways to feed everyone and keep them safe and alive until bedtime :)). Sometimes as children grow up, we are looking at ways to capture time and make more efficient use of it because there are more things that are happening. Time gives us the ability to be rushed or not, and rhythm provides a key toward unlocking time and energy as we parent. We have to begin with some sort of end in mind of how we want time to impact how we manage our homes.
Please share your favorite ways to look at time and rhythm, your priorities in the physical home, how you tame clutter and how you find rest.