Establishing Rhythm

Picture this for a moment: you, a cozy down blanket, a warm mug of tea or coffee, and your favorite magazine or book. You’re all alone, the house is quiet and you have 20 minutes to do whatever the heck you want.

That’s not me, I could never do that. Who do you think I am, I don’t get time like that, and if I did, spending time on the sofa reading a book wouldn’t be what I’d do.

I can just hear all of you…let it out, whatever it is you need to say. I was there once, too. Recently, actually. I recall a time, when not long ago (like, last week), when I didn’t think I deserved or could make the time or even wanted to take a step back in my life to garner a bit more of a rhythm with my family. We have established rhythm in our household, though, to be honest with you, I typically go like a steam engine, doing activities I enjoy and taking care of myself along the way until one day I crash.

The crash is a little loud. There’s usually some yelling involved from a mama who could use a nap
but who just won’t take the time. She gets a bit short when she speaks and is trying to remember why it’s so hard to get that yoga class on the calendar that’s calling her name.

Oh my, that’s me. *giggle* that looks kind of funny from the outside…maybe I should just grab that nap when I can. I know, we must look ridiculous, right? When I put myself visually back in that space, I can actually see the look of horror on my girls faces when I go into my tail spins. It’s got to look like a three year old throwing a fit in the middle of the grocery store and there’s
nothing pretty about it.

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Today I can laugh about this because I stepped it up a notch with our family rhythm to take on more of a ‘schedule’. But here’s the magic of putting something like that into place; a ‘schedule’ provides you with a rhythm, and that rhythm allows you room to wiggle. It buys you time, you get to be spontaneous. It isn’t a militaristic post holding you to a certain place or time, it acts more like a guide leading you from one part of your day to the next.

This works really well when you have younger children and feel ‘stuck’ by the following questions:

“How do I make time for myself during the day?”
“How do I get household tasks done with a toddler and a preschooler?”
“I want to wake up every day and not wonder about what I’ll get accomplished that day, what do I do about that?”

By establishing a few ground rules for yourself such as:
Laundry M/W/F
Pay bills every Monday
Grocery shop every Tuesday
Make phone calls during first 15 minutes of naps each afternoon
Go outside with children from 10-11 every morning
Snack at 10:30, Lunch at 12:30, Naps at 1:30
Reading time at 1pm

These little guide posts along your day allow you a visual map of what the day looks like and how you can tackle what needs getting done. You can SEE where you’ll have an extra fifteen minutes to organize clothes the boys have grown out of while they play quietly after coming in from outside. You’ll have more time and feel more settled and your questions will begin to look like, “What else can I get done?”

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