A rhythm. I've been dying for organization, rhythm, something Lydia and I can depend on to keep our week flowing without so many forgotten tasks or hiccups. Something we can look forward to or dread, depending on which day of the week it might be. So far the only real routine Lydia can trust in our home is her bedtime process, which is pretty much set in stone: play till 8:30-9:00, take a shower with Mommy or Daddy (or maybe even Mommy and Daddy!), get all cozied into jammies without throwing too big a fit because we got out of the warm shower, nurse until baby's in a coma, rock for a little while so baby's good and out, and finally down to sleep in her crib.
I remember when I first began thinking about developing a routine for Lydia; it was unfathomable to me that she'd ever come to understand that these things happen and that she'd actually abide by the rhythm. At the time it occurred to me to try, she was rounding the bend on being about 6-8 weeks old, and just starting to sleep more and interact with us on a personal level, not just on a "I need something and I need it now!!" basis. I also remember thinking that I'd never be able to stick to it! What if I screwed up? What if one night we didn't shower, or I didn't sing the right lullabye as I rocked her? Did everything have to be the same every night--same song, same times, same sides for nursing?
That answer would be a big fat no. As long as I managed to do the components of her routine in some semblance of an order, it became easier and easier for us to get her down every night. Now she's almost six months old, and reliably sleeping through the night, going to bed on time, and waking up proverbially bright eyed and bushy tailed.
All of that of course is wonderful for Charlie and me, but it doesn't really give us the rhythm and routine to our days that we need as adult beings. Here comes my idea that is scary, but invigorating and something I can't wait to try: thematic days. Remember those? Our grandmothers, and our grandmother's mothers, and so forth abided by themed days for years; they hemmed dishtowels with the days of the week and their purpose in my family, and my mom has stories of my grandma Leone doing laundry on Wednesdays, ironing on Thursdays (a whole day devoted to ironing, sheeeeeeesh if a wrinkled shirt gets thrown in the dryer with a Bounce sheet that's ironing)...
Now we have to figure out how to spend our days in the Chapman household. My friend Laura up in Alaska with her fantastic blog (click the link and learn a ton about homemade amazing food, boy-rito rearing, green living and more) wrote a few days ago about working on developing a rhythm with her boys, which ignited the whole process of my thinking about it (lightbulb, "duh, why didn't I think of that" moment).
If I could divide up my household living tasks into a weekly schedule, it would look something like this:
- Monday: Funday. Who wants to start a week doing laundry or cleaning? Not me. Mondays are a day to write in the baby book, send out some snail mail letters, scrapbook, take Lydia to the library, go get my hair done, etc.
- Tuesday: Paperwork day. Fun's over, now it's time to get some business done. From doing all my student loan and taxes forms to keeping up on work emails, my inbox is usually full of papers that need places to go. And go they shall on Tuesdays.
- Wednesday: Cleaning day. Dusting, swiffering (oh swiffering is too a word, Blogger), tidying, sweeping, taking out trash, you name it. A total necessity in our house, but I get overwhelmed when I try to do a cleaning task every day. I'd rather get rid of it in one fell swoop during the day. And since we use green/nontoxic cleaners, I'm not worried about Lydia being around all that cleanly hoohah.
- Thursday: Food day. Make baby food and freeze it. Go to the grocery store and stock up for the week. Create an awesome baked good, and make a fantastic lunch for my lover and me. Food=happy in this house.
- Friday: Laundry day; this may have to change as we phase into using cloth diapers (they're on their way and I'll blog about that later!!), but my goal is to do all clothes on Fridays.
- Saturday: Lazy, do whatever the heck we want day. It's the only time I have with Charlie to do fun projects around the house, or stay in with a movie.
- Sunday: Recycle, reuse, return, regift, reorganize. Donations. Goodwill runs. Trips to the recycling center.
Am I forgetting anything? I really think this rhythm will be good for Lydia. Right now we float through our days, unsure of what's to come. By having these themes and projects in place, we know what to expect and are better able to structure our days instead of going through them willy-nilly.