Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Daily Rhythms

With all the talk of back to school going on, we've been asked quite a lot about our daily schedule and what we do to keep things running smoothly every day.  I of course laugh at the very idea of things always running smoothly.  We do try, but with two small girls, with very different personalities, it isn't a goal that we always reach. 

For us it is a matter of trying to balance nurturing the needs of each individual while still keeping harmony within the whole family.  To make that work we try to keep our days pretty unscheduled and by limiting the outings that we make.  My girls simply do not do well when we are extremely busy and out of the house a great deal.  Especially Kaitlyn, she very much prefers to spend her time right here at home. 

Of course there are times when we simply must be somewhere at a specific time, sometimes that can't be avoided.  For the rest of the time we don't allow the clock to rule our days, instead we follow our inner clocks.  We have a basic rhythm and flow that guides our daily activities.  The girls (and mama) really thrive with the predictability of a familiar rhythm.  This rhythm certainly didn't always come easily to us.  I spent a great deal of time observing, thinking, and retrying until we found something that worked well for us.  Even now there are times when we find the need to change things to suit the needs of the family, the season, or our outside schedules.  That is the beauty of a relaxed flow, it is easy to make adjustments as needed but still keep the core elements in place. 

We try to keep this flow as natural as possible, especially for the girls.  I often use transitional songs and countdowns to help us move from one thing to the next with as little disruption as possible.  Sometimes we all need a bit of a reminder (especially busy and tired mamas) so I have this little breakdown printed and posted in the kitchen where I can see it easily when I need to.  Kinsley also loves being able to see where she is in the day, especially in relation to Daddy coming home.

Morning Routine
School Time
Free Time
Clean Up
Free Time
Weekly Activity
Clean Up
Screen Time
Free Time
Clean Up
Bedtime Routine

Certainly there are days when it does all go quite like this but this is a good example of what a typical day would look like in our home.  You'll notice that there aren't any times listed along with the activities.  I have an idea of what general time most things usually happen but it is more a window of time than a schedule, and certainly not a rule.  Typically the girls wake around 7 or 7:30 and that will begin our day which means a need for quiet time will usually arise by 12:30.  If there is ever a day that they sleep later I consider it a blessing and things simply start later that day. 
I am not saying this rhythm would work for everyone, every family is different and that is what can make finding your own rhythm so difficult.  It is important to observe your children and find their natural rhythm and build around that.  This is simply what I have found to be true for my girls specifically. 

1 comment:

  1. What sort of things do you do for a weekly activity? My problem seems to be that we are remodeling our house and although we are almost finished, it seems impossible to keep everything organized and together and running smoothly! I just wonder where you fit in your cleaning/laundry/dishes time? With three children it is really messy some days and with another on the way, i sometimes find it very difficult to fit in everything without becoming exhausted!!