Sunday, May 26, 2013
Our Daily Rhythm: 21 Days to Make a Habit
We started our journey here during Screen-Free Week. We've established some new rules about eating and I gave a brief update at the end of our first week.
Time for some truth: rhythm is exhausting!!
I've spent a large majority of the past 21 days giving reminders, setting and enforcing boundaries, planning and preparing meals, enforcing rules at the meal table, etc. There were a few instances over the past few weeks that it took every fiber of my being not to throw up my hands and say, "Fine, you don't want breakfast/lunch/dinner/bath/bed/clean-up time? Do whatever you want! I'm done!" and then go take a nap.
I was able to set my frustrations aside for the most part and come up with clever, concise replies for whatever was thrown my way. In most cases, this reply was a simple statement of a rule we've already established and have been following for three weeks.
Despite the fact that these few weeks have been unbelievably difficult, I'm not giving up on the new rhythm anytime soon because, as is life, where there are negatives, there are also positives.
With the regulation of meals, I've been paying closer attention to not only what everyone is eating, but how it is affecting them. I've discovered, after some tummy/digestive trouble, grains don't seem to be that great of a choice for Monkey (of course, after I plan a menu entirely around grains). I'm hoping it's just a temporary issue caused by his previous diet made up of not-so-great stuff and will repair itself with a grain-free diet. He has been *almost* grain-free for a few days now and the past two days, he has eaten a huge breakfast, including scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit and a super-yummy vanilla chia seed pudding.
Breakfast has been a huge hit, but he's also increased the amount of food he's eating throughout the day. He tries pretty much everything without being asked now. He just says, "I'm going to try my (insert food here)." Along with better food choices comes a better attitude, more energy and easier regulation of emotions. In addition, both kiddos are sleeping better and are sleeping through the night in their own beds almost every night, though the baby goes back and forth depending on how the day went.
Rest time has been a bit tricky, but just this week, Monkey came out of his room after about 20 minutes (rest time is an hour long) and asked if he could come downstairs. When I told him rest time wasn't over yet, he just said "ok" and went back to play in his room. Even if he's not sleeping, that alone time helps him get centered and he's a joy to be around for the rest of the day. And of course, rest time gives me time to breathe as well.
And speaking of me....I feel like I'm actually accomplishing things. I still have a laundry list of things to get done, but menu planning has allowed me to prepare for each day the night before, which makes everything run more smoothly and I find I'm able to keep up on housework and laundry and everything else I manage to squeeze into a day.
As an added and unexpected bonus, my husband has mentioned that he feels like he gets things done on his days off as well. Knowing when grocery/errands day is and what we're having for meals each day has freed everyone up to spend time together, working, playing, just being.
Shortly, my husband's work schedule will change and my schedule will also shift just a bit to allow even more down-time for everyone, which means more time together as a family.
I'm looking forward to the upcoming summer months full of rhythm and the joy that comes from just BEING.