It always takes us a bit of time to fully settle into the new season’s rhythm. It feels as though Autumn is really here now – my sandals have been put away along with the suncream, I’ve started cooking soups filled with squashes and root vegetables, and we have a tiny pumpkin on the nature table. I’ve even put the heating on a few times!
As the days get shorter, Frida is going to bed earlier, waking a little earlier, and so getting more tired in the afternoons. Our daily rhythms are thus shifting, nudging us to leave the house sooner each day and calling us home for slow candle-lit afternoons.
Our Autumn rhythm
Our weekly rhythm is intentionally simple. There is a huge amount of freedom for our plans to change, and copious space for playdates, trips, and days spent relaxing at home. It is designed to accommodate all of our needs and desires including Frida’s preference for spending slow days at home and my need for some social interaction during the week. There is lots of flexibility at weekends, which look different for our family each week depending on whether or not I am working (at the moment it’s usually a question of how long I am working for at the weekend rather than if I’m working!)
Our daily rhythm is also simple, with a lot of time for free play at home and space for time spent outdoors. The constants are our meals and the activities anchored to these; morning time, lunch, tea time and supper, all accompanied by the glimmer of candle light if we are at home. During the week we attend forest school, swim, meet friends for play dates, go on trips, and have at least one slow day in and around the home.
The most important part of our daily rhythm is undoubtedly our mornings. Unless we have to leave early for a trip, our mornings are always slow, and really ground us both for the day to come. I wake around 6am and go into the study to journal and then do a few moments of work until Frida wakes between 6:30-7am (my husband will usually have left for work by this time). We both go downstairs and Frida plays whilst I light a candle, put some soft music on, empty the dishwasher, put laundry on to dry, put the kettle on for coffee, and eventually start to prepare breakfast. When we sit down together, we do so with a pile of books, and we stay there until Frida has had enough. I feel so much better for the day knowing that whatever we do we have had that time together, starting off the day with beauty, joy, and connection.
Our evenings also have a strong rhythm. We eat supper around 6pm when my husband gets home from work, and then he will get Frida ready for bed whilst I clear up. She usually has a quick bath or a flannel wash, brushes her teeth and hair, and has a story read to her. Around 19:30 (perhaps a little earlier if she is tired, or maybe a few minutes later if we’ve had to eat supper later) Frida goes to bed. With just a few fairy lights glowing, she gets into bed, and we bring her a mini hot water bottle for her feet and her “warmsie” (a soft toy / wheat bag that you heat up in the microwave) to cuddle. We then blow some sweet dreams into her ears, turn the light off, and leave the room. A few months ago I would never have believed that Frida would suddenly be able to go to sleep on her own, or be happy doing so, but it turns out she is ready to do so now.
If you want to learn how to craft your own strong family rhythms which meet your needs and allow you to really live the values you want your children to grow up with, read on…
Rhythm in the Home
Crafting a dependable family rhythm has been truly life-changing for us. Having a rhythm that Frida could understand and anticipate has brought more ease and joy into our home than I could ever have imagined, and I have seen first-hand the power of rhythm in reducing feelings of overwhelm and increasing calm and connection for our whole family.
Crafting a strong family rhythm can:
- Reduce feelings of overwhelm – for you just as much as your children;
- Increase your child’s feelings of control, reducing their stress levels and related behaviours – young children thrive on dependability;
- Allow you to parent with more ease and joy, removing some of the friction in daily life;
- Provide regular moments of calm and togetherness, even during busy days;
- Let you focus on what is important to you, including ensuring time for self-care; and
- Simplify your life, allowing you to let go of things which aren’t helping you reach your goals.
Rhythm is emphatically not about establishing strict routines or schedules; it is there to serve you rather than turn you into its slave. A strong rhythm creates freedom through establishing a flow which feels natural, where everyone knows what comes next.
If you’d like to find clarity around what you truly need from a family rhythm, and confidence in crafting it, bookings open this Thursday 11th October at 08:30am BST for the last Rhythm in the Home course of 2018.
“I think this course is great – it has encouraged me to make space not just to think about our rhythms, and what is important for my family, but also what is important for my wellbeing too. I am profoundly grateful for the opportunities this course has provided me.”
This sell-out course is designed to create a warm, safe, and supportive space for you to dig deep into what makes you and your family happy, and how to shape your days to bring more ease and joy into your life with young children. It’s a very special course and I’m so proud of it and the changes that previous participants have made to their lives after participating (you can read what other parents have said about the course here).
If you feel like your family could benefit from more rhythm come and join us!