Fanning the fire midweek, we are tossing you a spontaneous quote, question, or conundrum related to Monday’s post. We invite you to riff on this prompt or share a story—heartbreaking or hilarious—to spark further conversation about the path of motherhood.

I have always been challenged at establishing a strong rhythm at home. We have so many appointments in Boulder, it’s hard to make it home to Lyons to nap. But the idea of rhythm intrigues me, and i try to do the best we can. For example, I try not to have two very busy days when we are on the go  in a row. And, if every day is wildly different, I try to brief my kids on what’s in store for the next day the night before.

My son had the good fortune to attend the preschool Rainbow Bridge, which was started by Faith Baldwin and then continued by her mother, Rahima Dancy, author of You are Your Child’s First Teacher (a new edition of this must-have has just been released).

This is from an article Rahima wrote for Mothering magazine that speaks to the essence of rhythm:

The other thing to remember is how nurturing and supportive a rhythmical home life is for your child?and for every member of the family.  In addition to having meals at regular times, think about how your child’s day “breathes,” i.e. what does she need when she comes home from school?  What kinds of activities will help to balance her energy and her experience of the day. Spending a half hour together with a story, or letting her play by herself outside can go a long way to counteracting the effects of having been with a large group and having been worked at desks all day.  Try to avoid lots of time in the car, running errands or lots of classes.  Children need time to be dreamy, and time to “digest” the impressions of the day.

 

And I love what Kim John Payne, author of Simplicity Parenting, has to say about rhythm:

Meaning hides in repetition:  We do this every day or every week because it matters.  We are connected by this thing we do together.  We matter to one another.  In the tapestry of childhood, what stands out is not the splashy, blow-out trip to Disneyland but the common threads that run throughout and repeat:  the family dinners, nature walks, reading together at bedtime, Saturday morning pancakes.

Increasing the rhythm of your home life is one of the most powerful ways of simplifying your children’s lives.

What are your favorite “common threads” that you try to do each week?