Is it just me, or does fall sneak up and smack you in the head, too? Our agenda includes going back to school, music lessons, and Boy Scouts, entering the world of college, and keeping the toddlers from taking over. It’s fair to say that we are in a particularly challenging season of life right now, and our old routines are not serving us well. To be honest, they aren’t serving us at all.
We have had a chore system in place for at least seven or eight years. It has served our family beautifully, through thick and thin (4 pregnancies), in sickness and in health. But our family has grown, the season has changed, and it is time to let go of last season’s system to create something new.
I am a bit overwhelmed and must admit that I loathe changes, especially big changes. But our family needs a new rhythm to our days, one that is joyful and relaxed. It is up to me, as the family’s composer, to write the music.
I love reading home magazines and when it comes to remodeling, a common theme is, Live mindfully in the old space so you know what you need in the new space. I am applying the same principle to remodeling our daily routine and chore system. I have a small journal that is quickly filling with scrawled notes that read something like this:
- Get up 15 min earlier to get dishes in before bus comes? Too much hurry every morning is making me crazy.
- Only 3 kids on the chore schedule for breakfast and lunch chores?
- How can life be all go and still seem to accomplish so little? Laundry and dishes have got to be a priority. Grocery shopping, too.
- After school backpack/lunch box/jacket routine seems to be working. Add a short chore to that time period?
- [College-age daughter] needs to be taken off the daily rotation and assigned irregular chores. What needs to be done regularly but on a flexible schedule?
You get the point. Mindfulness in the frenzy. Identify the pieces.
Soon, I will be able to pull together a new routine that meets our family’s needs for togetherness and a tidy home with a good measure of flexibility. If I try to force a new system before I fully understand our needs, we will still be limping along when we could be dancing.
Megan Vowell blogs about her large family life over at Shoeprints.
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