Monday, March 21, 2011

finding our rhythm

It's taken us a while to find our rhythm,
to feel our days begin to flow
in our new place.

Lately I've been working on a schedule.
I know.
It is time for the Stock family to be on a schedule. 
And I thought I would share it here because,
what the heck,
there isn't much else happening in this space.

I've not even attempted a schedule for the past year.
It is easier, with babies, to just go with the flow
no expectations
that way I'm not frustrated.
But now the baby is one year
she is learning how to sleep (heh).
Life is still full
but it's steadier
more predictable
in our new location.
(Which means we stay home a lot.)
Because let's be honest-
I'm not exactly turning down playdates or anything.
I've thought about stalking chick-fil-a
passing out will you be my friend tracts?
I really like our new pediatrician,
I like to think of her as my friend
(she doesn't know this yet).
This is getting creepy.
And completely off-track.
Besides, I finally met Jo
my first Cleveland friend-
though she feels like an old friend
because I've followed her blog for so long.
And she's just a sweet and smart and fun in person
as she is on her blog.
Go read her blog.
It's way more interesting than what day I clean the bathrooms
which is what I am about to tell you.
I prefer the term Rhythm.
Because we don't follow the clock,
it's less guilt-inducing and
easier for my artist-brain to accept.

So here's our rhythm*:

(I've been tweaking this
and it still doesn't always work-
like today,
the baby only took one nap,
then Annie woke her up
blah blah blah
but anyway when it does work,
it works really well. 
And even when it doesn't work,
at least it gives me a handle on our week
what most needs to be done,
it gives time for everything.
I notice that the kids like the consistency.
I do too, even.

First, the week:
Mondays are for recovering from the weekend.
I do laundry, get the house in order, get us back into a rhythm.
The rest of the days vary:
One day is a cleaning day, when I let the kids watch t.v. and be on the computer more than usual, and my only goal is to clean the house from top to bottom.
One day is our errands day.  We get groceries, go to story time at the library.  If I need to make appointments I make them for this day.
One day is for friends or fun.
One day is a floater, for whatever I need it to be.

Then, my loose plan for the kids:
Monday: arts and crafts or baking
Tuesday: "school"-thematic
Wednesday: story time at the library
Thursday: "school"- writing, letters, numbers, colors
Friday: fun, of course!  Do something big and messy, go somewhere, etc.
*This is just a general plan.  It gives me something to fall back on so that at the spur of the moment I don't have to do a lot of thinking.  I keep a ton of art and preschool ideas bookmarked, if I have the time we may do something organized, or I might just wing it. 

And here is our daily schedule
ahem, Rhythm
in case you care-
and aren't over at Mylestones by now-
which is where you really should be . . .

6:00-ish I get up, have quiet time, start the laundry- ideally, alone
Everybody wakes up, gets lots of hugs and kisses.
(I used to struggle with having a morning quiet time when they get up so darn early,
*I still do*
but I am trying to teach them to begin the day with quiet, too.
So while I have my quiet time they need to be quiet.  
If Josie ever sleeps through the night I will begin to wake up earlier again so that I can have alone time in the morning which I love and is totally worth getting up early for).
8:00 Breakfast, clean-up, everyone get dressed, make beds, laundry
9:30 Baby's morning nap, (see, this already needs revision) big kids play, I work
10:30-ish when kids begin to need me we do something together, based on our weekly plan
12:00 lunch, clean-up, go outside, reading time
2:00 quiet time/naps (IhopeIhopeIhope)
(For quiet time the girls are in separate rooms and allowed to choose something from the "quiet time" closet-- puzzles, beads, etc.)
3:00 kids have t.v. time*, I begin supper prep, listen to fresh air
4:30 clean-up toys, set the table for dinner (everybody helps)
5:30-7:00 Jim home, dinner, nightly news, clean-up, play
7:00 baths, books, cuddle
8:00-8:30 bedtime

*my one rule:
I hardly ever will wake a sleeping baby or interrupt a child who is happily playing,
no matter what time it is.
**I wish there were no t.v. in our days, but because my kids don't nap I let them watch pbs in the afternoon because it's the only way to get them to rest (and me a break).
**Things I'd like to add: regular Godly play and daily art
(If you're still here reading this you deserve a consolation prize: 
go read this- "Go to the Limits of Your Longing". . . it is beautiful.)

I write a weekly "Mom's Life" column for the Sugarcreek newspaper, the Budget, but I don't share it here because it's not online, and who wants to read my 800 word blog post?  Lately however it seems this is the only consistent writing I do so I've thought about sharing portions here.   

Last week I wrote on scheduling, and invoked the help of my friends to tell me their schedules.  I got lots of good ideas, and it really helped me to think through our days and priorities.  Thanks especially Ashley and Kristi for the great suggestions!


Misha Leigh. said...

I would read your 800 word blog post. I read this!

I like the word rhythms better, too - like love, it covers a multitude of sins. : )

Fijufic said...

I live in a rhythm as well...

Glad to read you are settling in. I will stop by your Buddies journal.


tisa said...

if blogspot had a "like" button, i'd have clicked it after reading this post! :-)

TulipGirl said...

Rhythms are beautiful. . . helpful. . . Look at the seasons. They don't come "on schedule" on March 21st or December 21st -- but spring follows winter, even if a snow shower catches us by surprise in May.

Times of transitions are good for finding new rhythms.

TulipGirl said...

And, maybe when you get a chance, check out "Sacred Rhythms" by Ruth Barton for that morning quiet time...

cratushoward said...

You make me smile repeatedly...