Have you ever stopped, dropped, and danced the minute your favorite song came on the radio? Or swayed to your pandora while washing dishes? Your body was created for rhythm.
And not just musical rhythm.
Think about the way you wake up every morning and sleep every evening. The rhythm of rest. Or the way you look forward to the weekends, when your days look slightly different than the other five days, and maybe, if you’re intentional, you embrace the Sabbath.
Creating a weekly rhythm for your family is like the natural rhythms of your body and life. You know what needs to be done each day, each week, but things can shift a bit according to specific needs.
Much like you can decide to go to bed an hour later if you get caught up in a family marathon of Catan. You do sleep every single night. Eventually.
Not that that has ever happened to me or anything.
Creating a weekly rhythm means having some sort of order to how you’re spending each day. After all, how you spend your days is how you spend your life.
It’s a way to provide consistency for your family- especially you homeschool mamas- without guilt inducing rigidity.
It’s what gives you peace of mind when certain days’ to-dos get all out of whack.
And if you have little ones, certain days will get all out of whack. Trust.
For example, every Monday I do my bulk laundry. It’s a day for me to catch up on those things that I intentionally let slide over the weekend, something I choose to do so that I’m more present with my family and available to help with farm projects.
There are always farm projects to help with.
So, when I see our laundry piling up, even massively overflowing baskets can’t hinder my family plans. Because I know, without a doubt, Monday is coming and I will again get laundry all under control.
That is just a piece of my weekly rhythm.
Remember how we talked about moving to the rhythm of our favorite music? That’s the best way to understand the difference between creating a weekly rhythm vs. a weekly routine.
When you have a rhythm, you move through your week with ease, flexibility, and joy.
When you have a routine, it’s a little more rigid. Think less contemporary dance, more two step.
Rhythms are grace based and give space for emergencies to pop up, or impromptu plans to take place, without feeling like you’ve fallen behind.
Routines often feel more like obligations. They require a fair amount of self-discipline, which is a great thing, but they can leave you feeling guilty when they are interrupted.
The beauty in family rhythms is that they cater explicitly to your own unique family. My weekly rhythm isn’t going to look like yours, and yours isn’t going to look like mine.
My first priority is my own family. These are the people God has given me to minister to in every day life. Yes, other relationships matter. But first and foremost, this is my calling: wife-ing and stay at home momming.
That means, my weekly rhythm is developed to best support my family’s needs. The days I block off for certain cleaning duties, I guard with intention. I’m not the greatest or most diligent housecleaner in the world, see this post for details, but I cannot function well in clutter and chaos… and I’m betting that’s true for my husband and kids, as well.
They deserve to have a home that feels peaceful, calm, and inspired. I make it my mission to ensure I give that to them as much as I can.
There are outside commitments to consider, too, especially if you serve at church or have a kiddo in an extracurricular activity.
Monday: laundry day. I do a couple of loads throughout the week as time permits, but this is the day that I do my bulk “4-6 loads folded and put away” laundry.
Tuesday: grocery day. We buy in bulk at Costco once a month, and then every Tuesday I run to a local store to replenish our fresh produce, milk products, and whatever else we may have missed.
Wednesday: family devotional night. This takes place after dinner, but I like to spend the day ensuring the kitchen is nice and tidy. Plus, I always plan a little treat for after our devotional. At this point, the after devotional treat is the most enticing part of our devotional for the 2.5 year old.
This year we get him to the table. Another year we’ll worry about his heart posture while he’s there.
Thursday: play day. I reserve this day for plans with friends. If a play day runs long, I don’t stress because I’ve got nothing else to do. This is the day we strengthen our relationships, have fun, and try be a blessing to others by opening our home and offering up our time, energy, and attention.
Friday: clean up day/horse riding lessons. When you have fun every Thursday, you have mess every Friday. My husband has every other Friday off…so each week, this day looks a little different. But generally, it’s a day of cleaning, working, and progressing some type of project. And making sure my daughter gets her equine fix.
Saturday: outside day. My hubby is fortunate enough to have a schedule that is consistent, so we know he has every weekend off. We plan accordingly. Generally speaking, we are building fences, animal shelters, or otherwise cleaning up the yard for some building project to come.
Sunday: Sabbath. We go to church each Sunday morning, and we try our best to relax on Sunday afternoons. We might have lunch with friends, dinner with my parents, or just play Catan mid afternoon. I’m telling you, Catan can quickly become an addiction. It’s too late for us, but you’ve been warned.
Sunday is also the day I do my planning for the rest of the week… meals I’ll cook, meat I have to take out of the freezer, outings I have to pencil in, cleaning duties I may have to squeeze in, and even times I’ll set aside to work on the blog.
So obviously there are some details I left out in the above rhythm. The fact is, each day there are any number of things on my to do list. But the day’s theme is the overarching decider of where we’ll be.
I won’t plan my baking days at the end of the week when I aim to be outside with the rest of my family. Nor will I plan a complicated recipe for dinner on Thursday nights, knowing my house will be full of friends for most of the day.
1. Brain dump all of the things you need to do each week. Make a list. This includes out of the house commitments, regular cleaning habits, and family routines you never want to miss.
2. Fill in the more rigid to-do’s. You can’t rearrange your son’s baseball games. Church isn’t going to change up which day of the week they preach. These things are pretty much set in stone.
3. Choose the main priority for each day of the week. Sunday can’t be both Sabbath and project day. Monday can’t be laundry day and errand day. The point here is to pick the one non-negotiable that everything else has to sync up with, that day.
4. Pepper in your other gotta-do’s around the main priorities that make the most sense. If Monday is errand day it might make sense to swing by the grocery store, too. If Friday is laundry day, may as well do the week’s baking while your hanging out at home!
Some weeks, you’ll have a doctors appointment. Or three. Or the dog’s quarterly vet visit is upcoming.
Maybe it’s strawberry picking season and the weather has not been cooperating and you have to take a spontaneous trip to the patch on Tuesday afternoon, groceries be darned.
The joy of having a rhythm, vs. a schedule or routine, is that you get to go with the flow, dance to the beat of your own drum, and leave space to linger on a slow song.
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