A few months ago I had it all together… I was running a home based childcare, managing a household, keeping it clean on a daily basis [even with toddlers playing in it all day], organizing kids activities and crafts, meal planning for both my business and my family, preparing meals, exercising daily, completing projects, accomplishing goals, and still had time at the end of the day to sit down to dinner with my family and have some couple time with my husband once our daughter went to sleep. Then we moved… Everything changed and my whole life went into chaos. It wasn’t the first time.
All change has the capacity to throw our lives into chaos especially when the change knocks us off balance and out of rhythm. When you have a good rhythm, you can rely on it to keep you organized and carry you through even on the most challenging of days. But what about when you need to completely revamp it such as when you move to another city, change jobs, or have a baby? Okay so I didn’t just have another baby, but I did move and change jobs [with a toddler in tow]–it threw me off and I am still doing my best to get back up to speed in my new life in my new home.
Even though I feel like I am finally doing what I was born to do, blogging has only added to the chaos. I can’t think of anything but blogging, nor do I want to do anything else [with the exception of spending time with my family of course], but I must re-work my rhythms to find success in both my personal and professional life in the year ahead. [It would also be really nice to have a clean house again, and to be able to answer my husband when he asks me, “What’s for dinner love?”]
The concept of rhythm as it relates to childcare and education was first developed by Rudolf Steiner and is incorporated into the Waldorf philosophy where “right rhythm” is recognized as being of fundamental importance for optimal health and work outcomes. I first learned about rhythm a few years ago when I read You Are Your Child’s First Teacher, Third Edition: Encouraging Your Child’s Natural Development from Birth to Age Six written by Rahima Baldwin Dancy. [One of the most fantastic parenting books ever written! I have provided an amazon affiliate link for you above.] I further implemented the concept of rhythm in my day to day life during the time that I ran a “Waldorf inspired” home-based childcare called Magical Snapdragons. Much to my amazement, it kept me organized and on task even on my worst days.
Dancy explains rhythm as follows, “Creating a rhythmical home life will nourish both you and your child… Because the young child is so centered in the body and in imitation, rhythm is one of the most important keys to discipline. It both guides the child’s life by creating good habits and helps avoid arguments and problems.” (Kindle Loc 2071) She further states “Children provided with this regular life feel confident about their world and are not concerned by uncertianty about when the next thing will happen. Rhythm in home life can also help calm a nervous or difficult child by turning the child’s life into a series of events in which he participates, and from which he gains a new sense of security and competency.” (Kindle Loc 2099)
Creating a rhythm for our lives has helped me immeasurably with my spirited, strong-willed daughter because she has had a very difficult time with transitions. Having a daily rhythm has helped us get through our day without her breaking down–and me melting along with her–every time we change from one activity to the next.
Rhythm is the basic order of your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly routines and events much like a schedule without the rigidity. A daily rhythm flows from activity to activity in a similar fashion day by day. For example, the daily rhythm I followed in my home-based childcare was as follows:
- inside free play
- morning activity (art, craft, baking, modeling)
- morning snack
- outside play or activity (gardening, yard work)
- story time (stories, songs & fingerplays)
- nap time
- afternoon snack
- music time
- outside free play until pick up.
Then my family had dinner followed by my daughters bedtime routine. Since we have moved and I no longer run a home-based childcare I need to establish a new daily rhythm that fits our now changed daily life. There are also rhythms that are repeated weekly, monthly, seasonally, and yearly that help keep us organized and accomplishing our goals. How does one establish a rhythm? That’s the topic of another post… Be sure to sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss it!