Thursday, January 30, 2014

Habit

Winter Mist Winter Mist Winter sunset sky
The view from the west side of the house. That blue is pushing the grey away!

The prompt for yesterday was Habit. Almost 4 weeks ago the prompt was New Habit.

I went back and re-read what I wrote then. And I am happy to say that my morning routine is no longer a "new" habit, instead it is a comforting one that I count on each day. Without my morning coffee, prayer, writing & planning out of the day I feel like the day doesn't flow as smoothly as I'd like.

I feel there is more flexibility in rhythms then in schedules. And with a new baby there has to be a lot of flexibility or else the anxiety levels will sky rocket!

I have also found in the past week or so that I need a more definite rhythm to our days. There has been so much upset, tantrums, chaos, and general peacelessness here since the holidays. So I sat down with a cup of tea & my journal and wrote out some notes. I am going to share a bit of that here, mainly for my own benefit & to hold myself a little bit accountable.

Ideally I like to get up around 6:30ish but of course that depends on baby.
Then it is coffee, morning prayer, quickly stopping on-line, writing, reading, knitting (only coffee, prayer, on-line & writing happen each day. Depending on how long those last the others happen).
I have taken to getting dressed before Ree gets up. That is a HUGE benefit. When Momma is dressed it signals to her that we aren't going to have (yet another) lounge around lazy day.

Ree gets up around 9. She is allowed one tv show at that point. While she is watching I get breakfast ready, do up the dishes, a load of laundry etc.

Breakfast; she gets dressed; finish cleaning the kitchen.

Then it is errands/art/free play/NO TV.

This is just our morning. We're still working on afternoon rhythm but for now I want our mornings to have a better flow to it. We're working on one thing at a time. I keep reminding myself changes happen slowly. And I've already noticed a huge difference in how we manage our time & what gets done.

I also have noticed a huge change in our moods. We are getting things done. There is dedicated time for no technology. There is a block of time in the morning to do art/activities with Ree where she gets my full attention (sometimes she shares with baby of course, but no on-line distractions). There is also time where I sit at the table doing my work while she's next to me doing her's. We are working on she allowing me to do my things without needing to be doing the EXACT SAME THING she is doing. Or watching every movement she makes. It's ok to work side by side on different things. She's slowly getting it.

I'd say the biggest change we've made is shutting the tv OFF. It was like withdrawal for Ree for a few days. I hadn't realized just how much she'd been watching until I took it away. But now she's back to using her imagination & creative play and it's wonderful to see. And the tantrums when I turn it off are non-existent. There have even been a few times she hasn't asked for the morning show. And I haven't offered!

I'm working on my own withdrawal from the internet during certain times of the day. But that is a post for another time!

It is amazing how giving a routine to our mornings has changed the atmosphere in our house & my own mood. And that I am finding time for a lot of the things I want/enjoy/need to do. Of course this is still a work in progress and I need to be prepared for it to be ever changing as life with a baby & little ones always is.

But I feel like that early morning habit of quiet time & dressing as soon as the first cup of coffee is finished helps center me. If I am intentional about my morning habit--realizing that I NEED this time of quiet by myself, then the rest of the day has a much more peaceful rhythm to it. And that makes life a lot more fun!

12 comments:

  1. I love that you've carved a ritual in the morning that is just for you and then for you and Ree. I limited tv for my kids and like you noticed imagination and free play took over. However I must confess that sitting her in front of Sesame Street got my house super clean during my blitz through the rooms :)

    Thanks for a peek at your habit, lovely to see:)

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    1. Ahh yes that is one of the reasons that she gets one show before rest time. A little wind down time but also so I can get as much cleaning done then so when she's upstairs I can have a few minutes of doing something I enjoy rather then dishes/laundry!

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  2. I salute your for limiting your daughter's TV time. My daughters do the same with their kids. Sounds like you have wonderful, happy productive days with this plan. Have a good weekend.

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    1. You have a good weekend too Deb!

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  3. Your morning routine sounds like it's working out wonderfully! Our day really changes when we take out tv. In a good way! Although as I type the kids are in front of PBS right now... but it's Friday ;) The rhythms make the day. Love that you're sticking with it!

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    1. I have to admit, Ree did watch an extra show this morning. The baby was up quite a bit in the night...I was tired. I started to get anxious that I was "ruining" the rhythm until I relaxed & let the moment be. When the tv went off we were very productive & I was more relaxed then if I'd forced the "rhythm" that I had set in place. Learning to be flexible and not so rigid :-)

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  4. I love your routine. It sounds like it is really setting the tone for the rest of the day. Limiting TV is a wonderful thing. I am not much of a TV watcher but the rest of my family is and it drives me crazy! When Nicole was a baby there was no "technology". The internet had just come into existence and there wasn't much attraction to it. I can see how that can be a real distraction these days! I fight it all day at my desk at the office. Have a blessed day friend!

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    1. Even when Ree was born the technology wasn't what it is today! I never really watch the tv when it's on, it's more of background noise for me. Ree however will sit & watch it. So now we put music on for background noise & get things done! :-)

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  5. Sounds like you are making great strides and already seeing payoff! So happy you're finding time for you, too!

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    1. Amanda a lot of this is from your wonderful suggestions & the Write Now course!

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  6. I like reading about your habits, rituals, commitments, and life. <3

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