Tuesday, February 15, 2011

the rhythm of our home



monday
tuesday
wednesday
thursday
friday
(6:15) power yoga
tea and meditate
(6:15) power yoga
tea and meditate
go for a walk
indi milk, dressed, warm breakfast
indi milk, dressed, warm breakfast
indi milk, dressed, warm breakfast
milk, dressed, warm breakfast
indi milk, dressed, warm breakfast
morning chores
morning chores
morning chores
morning chores
morning chores
walk
walk
walk
walk
walk
Indi milk, nap in pram and walk to playgroup

Indi milk, nap/
North- oral story and play
Indi milk nap/
North- oral story and play
Indi milk, nap in car
Indi milk, nap/
North- oral story and play
Steiner playgroup
930-11:30
Montessori Playgroup 9:30-11:30
walk to park (or sometimes a playdate)
snack, write letters, file, pay bills
bus to library or museum with snack
outdoor play
North painting
bus home
lunch
lunch
lunch
packed lunch and head home
lunch
North and Indi (milk)nap
North and Indi (milk)nap
North and Indi (milk)nap
North and Indi (milk)nap
North and Indi (milk)nap -
vacuum, mop floors
little park
Indi milk
vacuum and mop floors/
family baking/
Indi milk
big park/
Indi milk
dust and wipe surfaces/
north playdough/
Indi milk
little park/
Indi milk
play/dinner prep
play/dinner prep
play/dinner prep
play/dinner prep
play/dinner prep
dinner
dinner
dinner
dinner
dinner
bath
bath
bath
bath
bath
story, milk
story, milk
story, milk
story, milk
story, milk
bedtime
bedtime
bedtime
bedtime
bedtime


good morning!

I have been working on and tweaking our daily rhythm chart in order to create smoother transitions and a calmer home. North is definitely in the 2 1/2 year-old rigidity phase in which everything has to be 'just so' or a major meltdown will occur. The predictability of this daily rhythm creates a secure, comforting and controlled environment for littlies who have no sense of adult time and who are subject to our every whim.

Now, let me first tell you not all of this happens everyday! Especially the yoga/meditation- I just can't find the will to drag myself out of bed this often. But when I occasionally do, I feel so much better for it. I am hoping when Indi begins to sleep a little more soundly (read: please when will she wake up less than 4-5 times/night) I will have more energy for this.

The daily 'walk' only takes about 20-30 minutes and I really make a concerted effort to get out and do this every single day. This is a time for North to wander to his heart's delight, burn off some energy and gain some focus for the day. I carry Indigo in the Ergo knapsack and I let North take as much time as he wants to exploring the world around him. I try to find the most natural setting possible (a park, a garden), but quite often it's just a walk around the block. The only rule is that he must walk (no bikes/prams/toys). This is a time for all of us to connect with nature and to observe the subtle changes in temperature and season while collecting little treasures along the way.

'Morning Chores' are things like putting laundry on or hanging it to dry, sweeping the floors, cleaning up after breakfast, making the beds, putting clothes away etc.

You might also notice I don't have any time slotted in for shopping. This is because I just don't want to deal with that stress while the kids are at these ages. I think a huge part of avoiding conflict and tantrums is to avoid things that would set this kind of behaviour off and right now supermarkets are definitely too overwhelming/tempting/stimulating for North. So, I do the big shop either online or on a Sunday while Brad stays with the kids and we also have our usual organic produce delivery once a week. If I need little things then we sometimes pop down to the local fruit shop or health food store in the afternoon.

the little park

For those interested in numbers, we generally all rise around 6:30. Ideally I would rise 45 minutes before this to get some precious 'me' time, have a shower, dress in peace and to enjoy a cup of tea before the excitement ensues. But this only happens once or twice a week at the moment. The children are bathed by 6:15pm. Most of the time I tuck North in and put a book beside his bed and tell him I will be back to read him a story after I feed Indigo and put her down. I go to my room, feed the baby and then return and read a book in bed with North. Lights are all out by 7pm (Although I often don't get to bed until 11pm). Meals and snacks are as follows- 7am brekkie, 10am snack, 12pm lunch, 3:30pm light snack, 5:30pm dinner (6 if we are having a big family dinner). I try to have the two of them sleep at the same time in the afternoons, so their afternoon nap starts anywhere between 12 and 2 and would end between 2 and 4 respectively. This really depends on how long Indi slept in the morning and when she is tired again.


lunchtime

As you can see, we've joined a Montessori and Steiner playgroup. I really wanted to experience and observe both styles of education and to see North immersed in each. I'll have a lot more to discuss about this as the weeks go on, but so far I am still much more comfortable with a lot of the Waldorf methods. That said, I think a huge part of this judgement has to do with the individual teachers and the facilities as opposed to just the philosophies themselves.

I just love to have this kind of a plan written out beautifully in front of me. It keeps me motivated and helps me to stay organised in a home that often feels quite chaotic. It also gently pulls me towards some of our family values- being outdoors, telling stories, connecting through nature, eating healthy home cooked meals and taking time out when needed.

Are you as crazy about rhythm and routine as I am or do you just go with the flow? Is there anything you would add to this chart or take away?

xo m.

8 comments:

Emma said...

I have a very similar rhythm chart hanging on my wall and don't know what I would do without it!

I like your ideas of a short morning walk and also avoiding the supermarket, I completely agree that it is not the best place for little ones - we have been going first thing in the morning while Jacinda is fresh but think I may change that soon.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Montessori & Steiner. Unfortunatly we don't have the option of a Steiner school in our area but Montessori is a possibility in a year or so.

Emma x

Andréann said...

"For those interest in numbers" You made me think of the Petit Prince :)

You are very lucky to be able to experience both play group! Here, no one every heard about any...

We have a very similar routine, but we must skip the walks since it's so cold here! I can't wait to get outdoor a bit, without being scare that my babies freeze!

oh, me time! I gave up trying to do yoga while they sleep...but since I need it for my back, I put the babies on the floor and do my poses in the middle of their play. Usually my toddler have fun copying me and the baby (who's now sitting!) plays with my toes hehe!

Andréann said...

oh, I wanted to add; you're not the only one that is awaken 5 times a night!

Ola said...

This is lovely. Your days are very much like mine, except that I do the school drop offs and pick ups. I am very interested to see where you go on your Montessori/Steiner journey. Even though Annie goes to a Montessori school, I am very drawn to the Steiner ideals. But, I don't think that I will pull her out, because she is thriving and really loves it there. I actually just wrote a bit about this journey I am on in my blog.

Catherine said...

I really enjoyed reading your family rhythm, it's very thoughtful and it makes for a relaxed and predictable flow of your day. I enjoy having a predictable flow in my day but with the girls at school I have found it harder to be strict with myself which has made me feel a little unsettled at times. I think I need to sit and reflect on this, thank you for another thoughtful post. xo

Steph said...

Your really are a girl after my own heart! I have all sorts of lists and plans like you. We've recently joined a Steiner playgroup after your recommendation and Bijou loves it. We also go to a little music class once a week. These outings have given our week a new sense of rhythm which we are both loving. The morning walk is a great idea...will have to incorporate this one. Hope all is lovely in your world :) x

motherwho said...

What a great post. Since going back to work two days a week and finishing up with uni (only a few weeks left ahhhh!) I have felt so all over the place. Seeing your daily chart has brought me back to earth a bit. I can't wait to get us back into a calm routine so that both Nella and I can start to flow through our days again and enjoy the time we have together. Maybe we will start tomorrow!

I have never used a chart, but I tend to have things I flow through each day which work around Nella's sleeps. I do chores in the morning while she's asleep, play, milk, lunch, another sleep and then we do some sort of activity in the afternoon when she is awake the longest. Something I really want to incorporate is a walk each day, just trying to figure out the best time to do this!

Lucy xo

Anita said...

Loved this post - thanks for sharing your day. I have a rhythm in my head but I think writing it down is a good way to bring it into the whole home. I know I am a better Mum on those days where the rhythm is maintained. I also love the idea of a daily walk and am definitely going to try and introduce this as part of our regular routine.

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