Daily Routines for a Rich Family Life
I’ve never met a parent that wakes up in the morning thinking, “I have absolutely nothing to do today.”
By definition, we took on the responsibility of raising children and now we have a long to-do list of, well, responsibilities.
Giving Your Family the Gift of a Life Worth Remembering.
Making every day a memory means taking a regular, even mundane, activity and elevating it into something special. It’s about adding dignity to the maintenance of life.
Family life revolves around the ordinary – the ritual of dailiness. At the heart of an intentional home, there is a balance between work, play, and rest.
And good relationships grow out of this balance.
Like a backbone, family routines are something to count on.
Everyday rituals offer a sense of belonging.
Take the Ordinary to the Extraordinary
By examining your regular routines and considering small tweaks that will add the zip, zest, and pizzazz to life, you can elevate them. It’s not about perfection, spending money or hyper-activity.
Living with a spirit of wonder, curiosity, and inquiry infuses joy into the simplest of pleasures.
These ordinary moments have to happen anyway, why not add a spark of the special?
Family life is messy – it can be downright boring, overwhelming and difficult at times. When we had our fourth child, someone told me that big families are either well-organized or chaotic.
I was hoping for well-organized.
Sometimes we hit the mark – working like a well-oiled machine – and other times, there’s a monkey wrench in the works. All families are a mix of good and bad memories.
My family is very intense. That means it’s not all smiles, sunshine, and harmony around here. But we try to keep the scale tipped toward the positive side. Do you want to tend to your family in a way that lets each member know they matter?
A lesson I’ve learned during life with four kids – there will never be a perfect time – for anything.
One child will always be a little too young, or a little too old. Someone, of the six of us, will probably be out-of-sorts on any given day. And I guarantee at least one person will be hungry.
The family dynamics are always changing. Regardless of circumstances and resources, we pursue peace over perfection. I like to call this ‘failing forward.’
4 Practical Suggestions
Change as the family grows.
There are endless variations on how to bring structure to family life. And I use the word structure loosely. What looks like a smooth-running operation to one family would be bedlam to another. Instead of following someone else’s idea of a “perfect” daily routine, think carefully about what will work for you.
Nicole Avery at Planning with Kids has a great series on slowing down.
During times of upheaval or stress, cling to this routine.
Daily rituals give life continuity and stability. Think of it as a rhythm, rather than a schedule.
Make it a priority to sit down at the table and eat at least one meal together.
It could be dinner, but if your unique lifestyle prevents that, pick breakfast, or snack time. This is one of the areas the “experts” can make us feel like failures. There is no shortage of research and articles floating around on the importance of sitting down to eat dinner together.
Personally, I don’t think it’s the time of day that matters so much as the simple grounding of stopping to look at one another, around a table, with a bit of conversation.
Think through your day, from breakfast to bedtime, and pick three simple things you can do to add that extra flourish.
Give yourself time to create a habit. Children are infamous for making a tradition out of a one-time event. They will help keep you on track.
Where can you inject a little verve…