As moms, we want to make the most of our days. We want to feel successful as we manage our homes, homeschool our children, shuttle kids here and there, prepare healthy meals, stay involved in our community, and keep relationships healthy. Although the job of being a mom can seem a bit overwhelming, instituting a daily rhythm of routine makes all the difference.
A good place to start is with listing all of the non-negotiable priorities in your life, then using that as a springboard for establishing a rhythm of routine that works for you and your family, keeping you all well-balanced and healthy.
Using a simple piece of paper, you can easily get your schedule going by breaking your day down into segments. Write Monday–Friday on the top of the page with 6am through 6pm on the left hand side, using one line for each thirty minute increment.
Or, if you aren’t a “by the clock” person, you can create time blocks, such as morning, afternoon, and evening. (Hint: This is actually what I recommend over a clock-based schedule, since it lends itself more toward a good rhythm of routine.) Start by creating space for weekly planning, planning and shopping for meals, cooking and feeding the kids, laundry, household cleaning, work, the kids’ education, and other non-negotiables. Then add any additional top priorities.
With a view of the entire week, you can begin implementing a weekly rhythm. Try out your new schedule for a week and then make adjustments. The goal is to find a rhythm of routine that works for your family. As each family is distinctly different from each other, here are a few tips to finding your rhythm.
Finding a Weekly Rhythm of Routine
Sometimes, predictability offers the greatest comfort. But that doesn’t have to mean a rigid adherence to a day-in and day-out schedule. Instead of creating a schedule that looks the same every weekday, look for your family’s weekly rhythm of routine.
- Do you need to start strong? Then protect Mondays as a day to buckle down and attack the week.
- Does the midweek hump reduce focus to nothingness? Regularly make games, field trips, or hands-on learning activities a part of the Wednesday or Thursday plan.
- Do you find that at least one day every week tends to be “interrupted” by the need for errands, appointments, or interaction with friends? Turn the interruption into routine by planning for it! Pick a “running about” day for each week, and, as often as possible, try to schedule on-the-go activities for that day of the week.
Refreshing Your Rhythm of Routine
Is the routine getting a bit, well, routine? Focus more on paying attention to your family’s signals than on sticking to the daily plan. Perhaps today is the day to take school on the road, enjoying picnic blankets in the park instead of seats at the dining room table. Or maybe that history lesson will be better learned through a field trip or living book than through the normal lesson plan. Don’t be afraid to break the mold by shaking things up a bit!
It’s also helpful to keep your rhythm of routine light and flexible by incorporating a little play into your day. Use games instead of math drills. Turn housework into a lighthearted contest. Let some dance fun lighten up PE. Play not only makes the mundane more fun, it also solidifies learning!