If you’ve been following us on Instagram then you will know that for a few weeks I have been consciously making an effort to establish a home rhythm. This rhythm was inspired by being a student on Eloise Rickman’s Rhythm In The Home course. I highly recommend this course for anyone who wants to be intentional about their parenting and their self care.
Identify the Family Needs
The first thing I did was identify my main problems. For me the problem was stagnation. I was feeling overwhelmed, under-stimulated, harassed, ignored, tired and a bit bored. I was uninspired by my life. I hate to admit this but it felt like there was nothing to do and all day to do it and yet at the same time I didn’t have time to catch my breath because there was so much to do! The weeks were whizzing by and there was no time to do anything but when I looked back I’d no idea what we’d been doing. What a pickle!
I realise now, that this wasn’t specifically to do with my role as a parent, it was more to do with a drift I was feeling with life in general. I was pouring all this love and energy into my parenting but it felt like the well was running dry because I wasn’t topping it up.
Planning a Home Rhythm
The first thing I did was make a list of things that the kids and I could do daily, weekly and monthly to be our anchors. These would be things that we all enjoyed and which would give us some structure through the days and weeks. It’s a pick and mix list, there’s plenty of cross over and doubling up and it includes some of everyone’s interests. It has helped tackled my feelings of under stimulation and boredom.
Our lists look like this;
- Morning Routine
- Evening Routine
- Free play
- Outside time
- A shared meal
- Local National Trust property
- Visit to the woods
- A long recipe
- Story Time Tea
- Library and coffee date
- Visit relatives
- Play date
- Eat dinner together 3 times
- Chicken coop
- Hillsbourough Castle (near-ish Royal Residence)
- Visit friends and relatives in Dublin
Not everything in the weekly and monthly list happens every single week or month but I try to make space every day for the items on the daily list. I also made a weekly date with myself to go horse riding so that I’d no longer feel ignored.
Finally, I looked at problem times and which lead me to understanding the habits I needed to adopt on a daily basis to lighten my parenting workload to help deal with the feelings of overwhelm and tiredness. This was inspired by Atomic Habits by James Clear. You can read about Habits for an Efficient Motherhood next week.
Happy with out Home Rhythm
I can honestly say that working out a home rhythm been one of the most beneficial things I’ve done for myself as a parent.
Being a stay at home parent is wonderful! It’s funny, interesting, rewarding, full of love, surprises and laughter. But it can also be easy to slip into a habit of sluggish loneliness. Our home rhythm has provide just enough structure to help me guide myself and my family productively and calmly through the week. I am so glad I took Eloise’s course (and she’s not paying me to say this, I’m just genuinely grateful!)
My biggest mistake in previous attempts at establishing a home rhythm was going too fast. In the space of one afternoon I would map out a rhythm without much time to pause and consider our problem areas or my needs. The plans I made were unrealistic because they reflected an impossible ideal. This time round has been so much better as I’ve been (uncomfortably) honest with myself about my own feelings, failings and abilities. This honesty has created a more responsive home rhythm that accommodates everyone’s needs.
Reflecting on the last few weeks of home life I feel like I’m happier, our days are more productive and no longer fly by in a blur of business.