Every year around this time I think that I should be in major life planning mode. Organization is the key to happy life, right? Well, I teeter on the edge of ultimate bliss and complete misery just thinking about how to change diapers, get dinner made and work at the same time. I know I can do it. But, flying by the seat of my pants is just making me stressed and jumbled up. I need to map out a plan. Trouble is I am the planner who has major trouble getting to the planning stage because that would require me to add to my already lengthy, unorganized list.
For moms, planning out the next 12 months often seems like a dubious and ridiculous sort of task. Especially with very little kiddos, the changes that take place over a years time are so intense that there is no possible way to know what your family life is going to look like next week much less 365 days down the road.
Yet, there are women who are parenting map makers – and even the media knows it’s monumental or else you wouldn’t see “Mom Plans Meals for a Year” making headlines or discover that a Google search for “Mom” and “Planning” results in dozens and dozens of how-to articles on getting your sh*$ together.
Thing is, I have absolutely no advice when it comes to this area of life, nor should I pretend to have my own sh*$ together. Organization and family life are something I have struggled with since time immemorial and – with our blossoming family – have become the primary focus of what is not working day to day.
It is so easy to get lost in the everyday minutia that is required of motherhood that it becomes even easier for us to lose – or more than likely just not recognize – the rhythms within daily living that make for the easy moments. For me, at times, I find myself fighting against those rhythms. I have things to do, haven’t thought of how to gracefully accomplish everything, and the flow of the day is screwing me up.
Funny what a disaster any day that goes that direction ends up to be. Nearly 40 years old and I am just now starting to realize that powering through does not mean “Mow down the to-do list and if you don’t, feel entirely unaccomplished.”
But, I know that it is time for life to have its own calendar.
Of course, while I am having this epiphany I still need to feed my neurosis and start planning for this year. Not surprisingly, I’ve made myself more than a little insane trying to figure out what that planning needs to take in.
Take away all of the mishmash of work, lose weight, work more, raise kids, try to fit in that much more work and the whole house frau thing and one thing stands out as what I truly want to plan for this year – rediscovering our family’s rhythm.
How can I bring the decibel level down to a dull roar? How can we work and raise a family in the same space? How do we create a place where the creativity and imagination of childhood is constantly in play? How do we get enough sleep? Have time together to hang out as adults? Be individuals while finding the important connections that make us a family?
Throughout the next year, our new monthly feature – Saying Grace – will spend some time with moms who have found their family rhythm in one area of life or another. They’ll share how they created rituals and traditions, tools that simplified getting the kids off to school in the morning or hectic mealtimes. They will be slices of those peaceful moments in life that make the crazy ones seem a bit less whacko.
We also invite you to join us, share your own stories, tips and tricks for creating harmony at home. You’ll have chances throughout the year to post photos, chime in on what works and what doesn’t, try out some of the ideas that other moms shared and more.
Ah, planning a year of finding the rhythm of familyhood. We hope you enjoy and discover something wonderful along the way.