Our daily rhythms set the cadence of our lives. Some people thrive living life to a fast beat. Others feel their best when their pace is slower. Whatever your ideal pace is, the routines, traditions, and schedules of our lives are the punctuation points to daily living. “Life” happens between them, but we know we’ll go through a morning routine, we’ll eat dinner together at night, and we’ll do our evening routine before going to bed. Nevermind that the cat escaped or an entire jug of milk was dropped on the kitchen floor in between all those things, the rhythms are flexible and carried through from one day to the next.
Last year, we rented a small condo for the time between moving out of our Tampa house and moving into our Pensacola house. It was awesome, but it wasn’t home. I knew I was going to feel untethered without all our stuff and without being in our space, so I made sure to carry our rhythms over into the time we were living there. They aren’t perfect, and they are flexible above all else, but they made a big difference in helping our temporary space feel like home while we were there. Here are the routines and traditions that help our family thrive:
Morning routine: 1) I wake before the kids. 2) I have a minute to myself and enjoy my coffee. 3) Kids get dressed, eat breakfast, and then we all go into the master bathroom for everyone to get their hair done, faces wiped off (kids. breakfast. mess.), etc.
Evening routine: 1) As soon as kids come home from school, I go through their backpacks and clean out their lunchboxes. 2) We have dinner together (Bryan and I pack lunchboxes while cleaning up from dinner), followed by bath / stories / prayers / bedtime. 3) Bath time for mom. I love my baths. I love the ritual side of it: bath salts, bubbles, etc. It’s the most relaxing thing for me. I take a bath every single night.
- Traditions: Pizza parties on Friday nights. Taco Tuesdays. Notes in lunchboxes. Funfetti cakes on birthdays. A snack dinner on Christmas Eve. Even just writing these things down makes me smile.
I also wanted to address routines as they relate to “setting the mood” for the home in this section. I believe smell, sound, and light can really help our routines to run smoother and to feel more comforting. Plus, when your routines involve three small kids, these environmental factors can help dampen the chaos a bit.
Smell: I brought our favorite candle to the condo. It was a Magnolia candle from Target that I’d been burning in our old house. When it burned out, I bought another one because I felt like the smell would connect our hearts to home in our temporary space.
Sound: Our family is really loud. Five big personalities, what can I say. During morning and evening routines (those really important times when things can unravel), I turn on music to help manage the mood. I set our Amazon Echo in the kitchen and played our favorite slow, chill songs.
- Light: Just like smell and sound, lighting can really impact the mood of your home. When we first arrived to the condo, I spent a few minutes figuring out all the light switches, so I could dim the lights during quiet times and turn them all on when we were cleaning.
As you think about your own routines, ask yourself:
- What are the pain points in my day? How can rhythm and routine help alleviate these complications?
- What rhythms and routines are really working for you and your family? Can those be duplicated in other areas?
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