Saturday, December 06, 2014

Pockets of rhythm

We moved.

Yes it was stressful.

But what was the best thing that we brought with us? What has brought the most relief and joy into my day as a mom of a 4, 2, and 10 month old?

Pockets of Rhythm that provide security for my littles

After an especially brutal day, I collapsed on the couch a few months ago and decided to try googling it again. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I had quizzed quite a few older moms in the previous weeks and very few could recall specifics of what did and didn't work when they had preschool age children.  hmmmmm. It was all wise advice.... but too vague to make a noticable difference.

That evening, I googled "routines that work for young children." This beauty caught my attention. It has impacted every day since.

Wow. Just wow.

Quotes from Alissa Marquess that I pondered over and over in my head.

"Myth: you need a great routine for your whole day" 

"I thought routines were for moms
 more organized than me"

"Think about the Worst Part of your day" 

"What needs to happen?" 

Oh man. The whole article is great. I was struck by the example of "our lunch routine" were she introduced a new "tradition" of lighting a candle along with three other steps for eating a meal.

That's when it clicked. I can do that.

I can't make every day a good day. But I can start somewhere and build on #pocketsofrhythm

It became a game for Emily. Operation Pockets of Rhythm. I gave myself space to think.


1) pick the worst 15 minute part of your day

No questions....9:00 am was miserable.
 Marjie needed to go down for first nap of the day.
But the older two kids were super needy RIGHT then, EVERY day
They would fight or be crazy loud the moment i walked down to the hall to put her in bed.
Marjie would tense up and begin screaming like a crazy woman

2) Think through a handful of practical steps that could help this miserable part of the day ... transition into something peaceful

.......BOOK PARTY on DADDY AND MOMMY's BED! Whoot! Whoot!

fill a diaper bag with their favorite books. 
add sippy cups with water. 
pack diapers and kleenexes 
and essential oils 
and turn on some classical music 

 Emily - set a timer for how long they have to look at books.
 tickle them when it's up
 then read aloud to them - set timer again.

 Make this "book party" not a punishment but a time to look forward to. 

3) Emily, visualize it as your kids can't read and you forget when you get frazzled

4) Stick with it, Emily, for one week. Don't ditch it the first time because it "didn't work" ...revise how it's promoted to the kids perhaps, adjust the implementation a bit...but stick with the main points.

I had found myself on my knees because of the anger 
I saw spilling over when responding to my littles. 
A women I respect deeply had told me earlier that week 
"Emily, shame turns to contempt"


The combination of realizing I could choose to start somewhere 
and dealing with my heart level issue of feeling incapable 
was The Holy Spirit speaking truth into my heart 
and answering my prayer for HELP 
(signed the exhausted and tired mommy) 

After 7 days - we were at a better place. 9 a.m. wasn't the worst part of my day. Far from easy, but no longer miserable.

So Game ON!

Bedtime was the focus the next week....Then Rest Time...then Breakfast and Devotions

after a few weeks my days were noticeably different. 

I felt like the Lord said to my weary mommy soul ...

"With Me, nothing is impossible" Abba Father

My days are still long. We still have epic meltdowns. Usually all three fall apart at the same moment.  I still get angry. But the pockets of rhythm are moments of fresh air in my day and I notice that I am laughing more when things fall apart. Tomorrow is a new day.

....and i notice their cute lil personalities and fall in love all over again. 

What works for you? What's your worst part of the day? Do your kids thrive on routine or spontaneity? 


Kaarin said...

I'm reading this timely article as I sit upstairs bc this time of night is becoming unbearable for this momma. Screaming and crying children that NEED mommy just to hang onto. I dislike my kids and myself at this time of night. I think pockets of rhythm may be what we need. Praying for patience alone just isn't working. If you find the author, I'd love to read more! Thanks for sharing!

Aunt Ruth said...

Great post, Emily! So glad it is helping you in the midst of busy, busy days to find time to appreciate these little beings.