I’m not sure about where you are, but here in the Pacific Northwest our winters have looked a little differently in the last few years (heck, our summers too.). It’s now mid-march and should be the height of rainy season but we are just coming out of snow, sleet, and below freezing temps at night. Now, emotionally, I’m prepared for rain. Snow on the other hand, I’m not. The area I live in shuts down completely, and honestly, we rely on a lot of therapies at this point in my children’s lives.
That said, the last time we spoke about family rhythms (here), it was because the fall was commencing and we were preparing for an “in-breath” for the winter season. More looking internally, stoking our mind’s fire, and less activity and bonding outside. Well, now that day light savings time has commenced in our corner of the globe, it’s joyously light after dinner time, and our mornings have sunbeams shining on our breakfast plates. I’m finding myself ready to nurture a new family rhythm to set the tone for longer days, warmer afternoons, and more activity.
Now, I’m not quite sure if it’s the last new moon or the sudden burst of sun in my life, but I’m finding myself ready to set intentions for this upcoming season. For me, creating intentions starts with picturing in my mind what my ideal life looks like. Is it more time outside? Less screens? Simplified home? Less obligations? More time with friends? What am I craving for my family?
Let me walk you through how we can take an intention, set it into a goal, and then set ourselves up for success.
Intention: More time connecting in the evenings and more time outside as a family.
Goal: No screen usage between dinner and bedtime.
Plan: Our intention is two fold, and complimentary in this case. If we turn off all screens and plug in our phones before dinner, we need to leave them that way after dinner until bedtime routines have completed. If possible, that means moving everyone outside into the back yard, going for a family walk, taking a family drive, or just having a dance party in the living room even. Now of course, there are times when we like to have a family movie night, or perhaps we have a babysitter. But, those of course are exceptions and not the rule.
The next step is to make sure everyone in the family understands why, and how we are accomplishing this and holding each other accountable.
This can work in so many areas, it could be a daily goal (like the example given), or it could be a goal weekly (such as to see friends once a week). The idea is, if you have something you’ve always wanted for your family, take the time to dwell on how to make an aspect of that a reality.
What are some intentions you’d like to see manifest as you come into the summer season? How do you prepare mentally for a shifting from the warm cocoon of winter to the open world of summer?
Setting a Weekly Rhythm
Weekly rhythms aren’t all that odd. Homemakers for centuries have had a weekly rhythm. (Wash on Monday, Bake on Tuesday, Clean on Wednesday, Grocery on Thursday, Baths on Friday, etc). There is a comfort to knowing everything will be taken care of in it’s own time.
A weekly rhythm wasn’t something we were able to fully implement in the Fall, but this Spring/Summer, we are already well on our way to setting up a weekly rhythm. It keeps scheduling simpler, you’re less likely to over-book yourself, and it keeps the household calm. While of course this is helpful to stay at home moms, there have been multiple working moms who have blogged, vlogged, and wrote about how it can be helpful for their condensed home schedule as well. Think of it in a minimalist way, if everything in your home has a place, it’s less likely to be cluttered. If everything in your schedule has a place, it’s less likely to be cluttered as well. Let me give you an example of how this can work.
Monday: Play dates/Errands
Tuesday: Home day
Wednesday: Appointments day
Thursday: Work from Home day
Friday: Play dates/Errands
Saturday: Family Activity
Sunday: Home blessing day
Now, of course none of these days when things are scheduled mean that I won’t be home. We could run errands for an hour or we could be gone all morning and back for nap time. Appointment day could be my dentist appointment, bank appointments, or well child visits. But, the idea is, when it’s time to schedule a play date, I know automatically that Mondays and Fridays are wide open, past that I have to check my schedule to see if we have appointments that Wednesday, or if things can be flexed around for that week.
The idea isn’t to have things set in stone but rather, for everything to have a space.
Same thing could be said for housecleaning.
Monday: Kitchen deep clean
Tuesday: Wash linens/towels and clean bedrooms
Friday: Grocery Shop/Meal Prep
Saturday: Free day
Sunday: Home Projects
Weekly rhythms are exactly that, a rhythm. A guideline you set yourself to lower anxiety and feel a steady movement forward. If at any point it’s feeling out of sync? You can adjust!
Do you implement a daily or weekly rhythm at your home? What works best for you? Let me know in the comments!