Thursday, August 02, 2007

Finding Gravity

JDub likes to use an interesting analogy about life, gravity, consistency.

As he puts it, what would life be like if, every morning when we got out of bed, we had to wonder which direction our feet would go? Will it be up today, or down, or sideways? It would be very hard to accomplish much of anything without the constance of gravity.

And so it is with our lives. If we are ever-wondering what will happen next, it is hard to accomplish much of anything, to move forward, to blossom and become better.

And so, in this stage of my life, I feel myself yearning to find gravity, to find and create some constants that can hold our family to the ground long enough to move forward.

I've never been good at routine, at consistency. Even as a teenager, when my days were pretty much planned for me -- School from 7:30-3:30, Madrigal Choir from 3:30-4:30, Soccer practice from 4:00-5:00, play practice from 5:00-9:00 -- I had no routine. I'd make it to school on time. Sometimes. Sometimes I'd go to a full soccer practice and miss part of choir, sometimes I'd skip soccer practice. Sometimes I'd go to play practice, sometimes I'd just go home and take a nap.

Now, I have learned much since those crazy days about being dependable and showing up when a team or a cast or a class is depending on me. But, I still find it difficult to rein my fickle ambitions and unruly emotions into anything that resembles order.

And if the over-scheduled life of teenage-dom didn't help me learn to pattern and plan my days, the empty canvas of motherhood and family life is certainly not bringing order to my life.

But order is something I really need to find right now. For me, for our children, for my sweet husband.

I've always thought of JDub and I as two parts to a song. He is the rhythm. I am the melody.

But, this isn't working anymore. In our nightly talks, between the time we put our kids to bed and JDub slouches into a sleepy, drooling blob because he's been awake since 4:30, we have determined that the rhythm JDub is marching our children to is a bit too strong.

Also, the relentless, maddening rhythm of his life outside our home is nearly killing him.

So, it falls to me, miss melody, miss fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, the free spirit of the family to find a better way.

Deep breaths.

So I'm searching and thinking and trying to find and create some laws that govern our family's universe.

Like eating dinner before 8pm and breakfast before 11am.

But, I also want it to be more than a marching order. I want ritual, beauty, joy and peace to fill our days.

Is this too tall an order?

So, I'm dying to know, for those of you who are so much better at this organization and routine stuff than I am, how do you do it? Any suggestions?

And for those of you who, like me, are a bit on the erratic side, have you learned any ways to channel yourself? Your family?

Please share your ideas.

How do you weave a sense of gravity, of ritual and things to depend on into your family's daily life?

6 comments:

Jamie said...

I found myself to your blog today. Routine is something I struggle with as well, as a mom. We did create a schedule board so the kids could look at it, and know what comes next. But I too, cannot be *tied* to the schedule, so it must remain simple.

I would recommend a schedule that takes care of the basics, and gives you say an hour leeway to do it.

Breakfast 8-9am

Clean up- 930-1030

Children's Chores- done before playing outside

Lunch-1230-130

etc

Jonathan wants it more "scheduled", but I just can't do that.

Good luck!

Brillig said...

I'm SO not going to be helpful here... sorry! I'm just like you, and it's not working for me...

Rynell said...

We have an approximate schedule. Meal times are kind of morning, noon, and around 6. But somedays, like today, lunch was at 2 PM. My kids get easily famished and overly dramatic, so they remind me to feed them, or they get it themselves.
When meal times are mostly reliable, my house and laundry and housework seriously lag. I found myself picking up a pile of dirty clothes in the bathroom just now, thinking, "I cannot do everything!"

And, yet, somehow everything seems to work out alright after all.

PS Summer messes up my schedule more than anything. All this time and yet I am far more organized with school, etc going on.

kickenchica said...

I think we as mothers would all be out of a job if there was a trick to keeping an organized schedule. Just as our kids and familys are individuals so are all of our schedules...regardless of age. I tried for a long time to find a rhythm, but sometimes the rhythm is just being a mom.
Im a single parent and have been doing it for years.

Thats my scheduled rhythm.

Kris said...

I also won't be of any help. I schedule is that of not having one. I would love to have more of one.

I know a lot of people like flylady.com

Derrick said...

I will have to get back to you on this one because it really deserves some though.