Monday, March 15, 2010

The rhythm of life

I love the sense of possibility that Monday morning brings. Today, for the first time in a while, the clutterpunk household is starting the week fresh and sparkly, with a tidy home, sunny weather and no illness. I'm looking at the week ahead and feeling alive with possibility and optimism.

It helps, when staring down the barrel of a new week, that we're getting into a bit of a rhythm with our days. For the small boys and I, our week days are now defined by a predictable morning activity, a time of 'rest' (ha!) in the middle of the day, and then a home-based afternoon period while we all wait eagerly for the man of the house to return.

Monday is home day. After a busy and often very sociable weekend, it's good to have nothing scheduled and to focus on domestic life a bit. We hang around at home, wander up to our local shops for any needed supplies, perhaps visit the library, and generally enjoy the neighbourhood.

This was us this morning, riding up to get some fruit. Do you like my Curlypops teatowel tote?

Eating blueberries together... best treat ever!

Tuesday is care day. The boys spend three hours at the local neighbourhood house in 'occasional care', and I use the occasion to care for myself! During this time I avoid all responsible activity, taking time to savour a coffee, ride home to an empty house to do some sewing, or browsing my favourite op-shops at leisure.

Wednesday is adventure day. On Wednesday mornings I try to get the gang a bit further afield, which means a trip to the zoo, the Melbourne museum, CERES, or visiting with friends (aka trashing someone else's house). In recent weeks, my gorgeous God-daughter has come adventuring with us to give her lovely mum (my friend and fellow crafter Anna of Dillpickle) some time to study. She spends her time watching my boys in a bemused fashion and being delightfully placid.

Last Wednesday we visited my dear friend Kirsty. I made little aprons for her three little girls, and together with my kids they decorated cupcakes, ate too much sugar and generally ran amok, while Kirsty and I enjoyed the solidarity of parenting side-by-side, and ignored all the crumbs being ground into the floor around us.

Thursday is creche day. We ride over to my church, where the boys spend a wonderful hour and a half playing with friends while I get a chance to chat, pray and study the bible with friends. Win-win - soul food of the most important kind.

Friday is playgroup day at our local kindergarten. It's great to be going along to a playgroup which gives us access to interesting activities, outdoor equipment, and an opportunity to watch my boys interacting (or not!) with other children.

So, that is our week. But before you start thinking that it's all so very peachy... I confess that afternoons are still a bit of a struggle. I don't quite know how to ride them out. Our days begin around 5am, and only my younger boy naps (sporadically) during the day now. After a morning out and about, I run out of puff, and all I want to do is read blogs and craft books. If the boys' 'free play' is not going well, it is tempting at this time to resort to endless hours of ABC television to get myself some space. I happily employ the TV for an hour or two in our long long day, but when it's more I feel rotten about it.

So I'm trying hard to make the late afternoon our time for visiting the park and wandering the neighbourhood. This works really well, if the weather is decent and dinner is organised already! When we start heading for winter I'll need to be more ideas for ways to engage my energetic, attention-deficit little toddler-aged boys. Suggestions are so very welcome.

How's the rhythm of your life?


  1. Now I've got that 'rhythm of life' song in my head... thanks!

    I like your rhythm far more than my rhythm - can I borrow it?

  2. What a lovely week!

    And yes, afternoons are killer!

  3. My mother in-law raised two boys and had the same problem in the sense of entertaining them all day. She said living down the road from a big park was a god-send. Rain hail or shine, she had them down at the park so they could run all that energy out. She said it was harder in winter but that's what gumboots and raincoats are for.

  4. Sounds like you have really got it together.
    I try for a rhythm but at the moment life is like some crazy improvised jazz piece. I used to take my son to the park alot when he was a youngster. School has really settled him down.

  5. Great pics! Nice handy work on those aprons! Will pray for saner afternoons and lots of great suggestions from other lovely bloggers (sorry I got nada right now). xx

  6. I love your plan for the week. I need to try to stick to soooomething like that. And afternoons are rough here. And by afternoon, I mean most any time between noon and bedtime. And sometimes said afternoon starts before noon. It's just wrong. Susan

  7. I'm not sure I'd call spreading butter all over the kitchen floor placid, but it's all relative, I guess!! And don't get too used to it - as she feels more at home she'll get more engaged and less watchful....

    I've just discovered playschool airs on ABC 2 at 4.30 which might help with witching hour around here. And gumboots and raincoats sound very useful!

  8. The plan sounds like a lovely week. For me (with one toddler), the dog is my best trick up my sleeve. Afternoons aften involve taking the dog (and toddler) for a walk, playing ball with the dog, giving the dog snacks, taking the dog for a walk... You get the picture. Love the aprons, very girly and very nice!

  9. I love mummy routine, it's ace. As your family grows, they start school, your business grows, whatever . . . only my Monday morning just didn't go well at all - impromptu hair cut lead to fire alarms & evacuating the shopping centre. Damn, really did want to get a hair cut!! Love Posie

  10. I read this post on my mobile phone today while I was eating my lunch at work (vegemite ryvita...very exciting). It made me smile, especially the photo with all the kiddies in the bike trailer.
    Oh and by the way, I love your CurlyPops bag, and that is one very ace teatowel that you used!

  11. I love peeking into your life Gina. You remind me that just because everything isn't perfect, doesn't mean that some things aren't.

  12. What a wonderful, engaging and interesting week! Mmm.. I love the Museum too, and especially because entry it's so cheap ;-)

  13. wish my life was that organised! i like the idea of having a theme for each day

  14. I have a theory there is no way past the witching hour(s). It's just going to happen and there ain't nuffin going to stop it. But I have had some excellent success with audio books borrowed from the library. Tired tetchy kids are pretty good at sprawling over the floor and drawing while listening to adventure and mystery while I have my own little meltdown over what the heck is for dinner.

  15. Oh dear, I still remember that late afternoon/early evening time with a shudder... and the phone would always ring! No matter how many times I told people not to ring me then, they always would. Love that you know what your days will contain. I love Tania's idea of audio books - stimulating the mind while keeping them enthralled... sounds great. Wish I's thought of that all those years ago! ;) Have a lovely week Gina. Kx

  16. I love that pic of the three kids loaded into/onto your bike Gina - too cute.
    Blueberries are a huge fave here too - and I love nothing more than the chance to have an easy morning, a time to potter around with no goals.
    Not sure what to suggest about filling the afternoons, like you I like to go to the park if possible. My older two either sleep or they 'rest' which involves time on the couch with their rug and a pile of books.
    I tell them I also need some quiet time!

  17. Wow... our lives are very similar! I try to get the kids out in the morning for my own sanity be it a park, shopping centre, friends house etc. With "naps" in the afternoon... mind you Cdael has decided he doesn't need them... I'm not quite willing to concede on that yet though. I am lucky to have Cadel in kindy 2 days a week which he loves and Hamish is babysat by a friend one morning a week while I work/sew. Sometimes when afternoons are especially bad we might walk to a friends house or have someone over. I hate the afternoon wait for the man... and at the moment he's not home till nearly bed time but there's not much that can be done about that. The 3 in the bike pram pic is so cute...

  18. I forgot to say theres a fair bit of TV watched ariund here too but sometimes it is a very necessary evil... in terms of dinner being cooked or Mummy earning money...

  19. It would seem I'm living my life upside down compared to you... perhaps it has something to do with living on the left-side. We have a couple of morning activities - but generally we take the mornings slow, playing outside, gardening, drawing, cooking - nothing too full on and then in the afternoon when they're ratty I tend to take them to friend's places or public spaces. The theory is that they both seem to behave better around other people and non-home stimulation seems to be the best distraction.
    Mr. 3 is becoming increasingly particular about his food which strangely enough has also worked out really well for our afternoons. You see he prefers to eat things that he has made himself... so omlettes (crunchy style!) are often on the menu and keep him preoccupied for a good half hour at the worst part of the day. Actually there are lots of things he can "cook" - salads, sandwiches... "cooking" his own dinner (motherly love just doesn't go far enough for me to eat it too) is really effective entertainment.

  20. Life isn't something we can plan and we certainly can't plan our days or weeks when the little people in our lives have their own idea about their own life path. Our afternoons are the easiest actually.

    The mornings are the hard part coz our kids wake at different times so they eat at different times and sleep at different times. That's the way it has always been and no matter how much I would like the Bubble and Bear to sleep together after lunch IT WONT HAPPEN. although today might just be the exception.

    Meanwhile I say your wonderful mode of transport!! More info please? Hehe Carlos and I picked up brand new bikes for ourselves last week so now I am on the hunt for the 2 seater carriage which I can pull along behind me. Then we can ride EVERYWHERE. I am so excited!!

    I love your life!! It's perfect chaos... just like mine!!

    xo Steph

  21. so organised and neat! i love it!
    i felt relaxed just reading your post.
    i might need to start applying some of the same into my life.
    i think your kids probably enjoy the routine as well.
    my son would probably benefit from it as well


“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
~Albert Einstein