Spring Cleaning with Mothering Arts By Kerry Ingram
Spring is coming! Spring fever, spring babies and spring cleaning. This is my favorite time of year to create space for new growth and freshness by clearing clutter and getting the house in order.
A Traditional Folk Rhyme invites us to simplify the work that is done in our home to one task each day. Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Wednesday, Churn on Thursday, Clean on Friday, Bake on Saturday, Rest on Sunday. Though some of the activities may sound dated, the idea of doing a little each day is quite revolutionary! In our multi-tasking culture this old rhyme offers order, simplicity, focus and freedom woven into a weekly rhythm of home care.
Let’s shift the word “chores” or “housework” to “home care“…it has a different feeling. A new quality may emerge while we care for our home rather than do housework. It’s also a great phrase to use when we are asking our children to help. And by all means, invite your child to help at an early age and give them more opportunities to participate in home care as they get older. A good rule of thumb about sharing home care with your child(ren) is to focus on process rather than product.
One thing that I can count on in the season of spring is springtime energy. When I was teaching I would be sure to simplify our rhythm to offer plenty of time for deeper play both inside and outside. More time with our hands in the dirt planting seeds, rolling down hills, climbing trees and running with kites. At home, March is a time to revisit our rhythm knowing that with more daylight and warmer weather, more time will be spent outdoors. This is a time of year to recommit to rhythm so we have more time for nature, play and remaining present with my family.
Rhythm can help us remain in the present moment and avoid multitasking. With the world literally at our fingertips, are we really connected to the present moment? Multitasking has been a challenge for me: I’ve been guilty of nursing while texting, checking my email in between flipping pancakes, and writing a grocery list while building sandcastles in the backyard. At those moments, nothing is getting 100% of my attention, especially my child. When I can give my attention completely to lunch making or working or snuggling, I feel nourished, and my child feels loved, seen and heard. Rhythm has helped me create the time for connecting and being mindful in the present moment. I know there is time for the bathroom cleaning, the email checking, work, sweeping the floor and making the bed. Our home rhythm has made me a better parent and a better human being, it has given me a sense of freedom so I can stay connected to the moment and truly be present with my family.
Ready to create a healthy home rhythm for your family? Please join our online self-paced e-course, Healthy Home Rhythms, whichi I developed for Mothering Arts and offer jointly with LifeWays North America. This course has inspired hundreds of families to transform surviving into thriving, create a plan for weekly home-care, plan meals, and embrace open space for rest, self-care and fun. You will receive a step-by-step course on how to create a weekly rhythm unique to your family, four seasonal printable rhythm wheels, one printable meal planner, oodles of resources, and access to the course and the online community forever. Click here to read more and sign up.
Kerry Ingram is LifeWays graduate who ran a program in her home for many years before founding Mothering Arts. She also serves on the LifeWays board. See her website at www.motheringarts.com for many more resources.