So I’ve had a serious case of mother guilt lately. Not that I’m at fault (although, I suppose I am…?) Anyway, these last couple of months I’ve been an exhausted nauseous mess and the boys have had a pretty raw deal. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve been FANTASTIC. Superstar supertroopers, stepping up to the plate and showing us just how responsible they really can be. It’s actually been kind of lovely watching them care for one another when mama can’t (although there have of course been many moments of encouragement from our end, too!). But even so, they’ve missed out on a lot, and there have been many ‘we’re not going anywhere/doing anything interesting/seeing anyone/park? Psht/who wants ravioli for dinner (again?!?)’ moments.
My days have followed a basic rhythm: wake up, feel nauseous, eat something, stumble out of bed, get boys dressed, make lunches, get boys to school/preschool, go home, collapse, try to figure out lunch for Flynn (and sometimes Wyatt) without actually going into the kitchen, collapse, watch the toys/pillows/books/blankets overtake the house like the boys are trying to make every room thier playroom/bedroom/a fort/awesome (in their eyes), ignore the messy floors/dirty laundry, pick boys up from school, go home, collapse, try to figure out how to make dinner without entering the kitchen, go to bed when the boys go to bed, start over.
I turned a corner in the last week, but those were dark days.
So. In the midst of the yuckyness, I really felt that as soon as this stage eased, I wanted to do something special and intentional with the children. However, I figured I would still probably be a bit unwell, and knew I couldn’t do it all on my own. I wanted someone to take me by the hand and lead me. That’s when I remembered about Whole Family Rhythms. It’s a program developed by Meagan, a mother of three, designed to help families ‘create seasonal, weekly and daily rhythms’. Meagan blogged for five years at This Whole Family, but recently decided to take a step back from her blog. She now posts in a more paired back way through her Whole Family Rhythms site. I’d stumbled across her a little while back, thought genius, and then promptly forgot about it all. That is until about a month ago, when I was smack dab in the middle of first trimester darkness and I knew we need a light at the end of our tunnel. This program seemed to fit so well with our overall philosophies and goals and I started to get a little excited. There’s nothing like a little sense of control in the middle of feeling so out of control to spur you on.
So I downloaded the program and began to organise myself. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been taking note of the supplies we have, ordering pretty packages in the mail (I’m just not the sort of mother who keeps moulding wax on hand), and tinkering with the program to make sure it’s going to nourish and not exhaust us.
There’s a basic structure for your days, and dedicated activities for each day during the week: stories, craft, cooking and so on, all based around seasonal living. I’m only starting with the winter package, but hopefully we’ll move onto spring and so on too.
So now I’m looking forward to days that go more like this: wake up, eat a good meal with the boys, drink tea, stay on top of my responsibilities at home, enjoy being outside, enjoy being upright, cook together, create together, paint together, tell stories together, enjoy each other, and start over.
I know that the topic of mother guilt gets a bad wrap (we’re all doing our best!), but I don’t feel guilty about the guilt. I think it’s an issue if you only wallow in it, but I’m choosing to help it make our lives a little more inspired. (Say cheese?)
If you think you might be interested in this sort of thing too, click over here. I’ll let you know how we go. X