Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Peace Places

Today is a rainy, blustery Fall day.  The type that make you want to cozy up with a flannel quilt, a few books, a few kids - and revel in the comfort of home.  A few of the kids seem to have picked up a cold this week - not entirely surprising considering the post - Halloween sugar surge and the fewer hours of sunlight.  I've got plans for a big pot of chicken vegetable soup and biscuits for later, and oatmeal and tea seemed to hit the spot just right this morning.

I'm not a morning person.  I don't tend to get up much (if at all) before the children, so the mornings are off to a manic pace before I've had a chance to swallow some lukewarm coffee.  The babies must be diapered and fed, breakfast made and served, dishes and laundry started.  Dinah is sent to reading, Daddy off to work and by bible time I'm still not out of pajamas.  Mornings are crazy.  Mornings don't agree with me.   I know I could be more organized about it all.  I could maybe try to pry myself out of bed without waking the various occupants to get a head start, but recently when I have made the attempt, it has backfired.  It makes much more sense to stay in bed as long as everyone is happy and sleeping.

But afternoons, afternoons are my place.  My space.  The house quiets down.  Babies nap.  Dinner is made.  After lunch chores leave the house a little less cluttered.  Older kids find books to read, places to play, things to do.  We wrap up school in a quiet and peaceful way without toddlers underfoot and babies in carriers.  I turn on some music and knit for a bit.  The whole family seems a bit more at peace.

I've been thinking about it - just where I find my peace and why those spaces are different than others.  What makes me breathe deeper, smile wider, feel lighter?  So I made a few lists.  On one - the things that rachet me up, get me going, rub me the wrong way.  On the other - the things that soothe me.  

I often feel guilty that I'm not "like" other people.  Despite my efforts, organization is not my strong suit.  I battle against my own personality quite a bit, trying to shoe-horn myself into my idea of what a "good" person would do.  And time and time again, I fail.

Last year, when we tried out an online public school, I came to the realization that something had to work for both me and the kids in order to be a good choice for our family.  I'm revisiting that notion this year, taking a good hard look at the personalities, needs and seasons we are dealing with and trying to be flexible, to find a solution.  Finding the places that peace tend to lurk in my life and in my home and finding ways for those to flow over into other areas.

One of my biggest fears about easing into the day as opposed to hitting the ground running is that everything won't get done.  If we don't start book work until nap time, will I be drilling math until bedtime? But really, part of the beauty of this lifestyle is each day can be different - following the needs of the family, not the confines of some predetermined schedule.  Being open to what is right right now.

 Each day, a new chance to find new footing, to try something new or to relax back into patterns that work.  Looking for the places where peace rests and living just there.

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  1. This post describes me and my mornings (and afternoons) perfectly. I "get" what you are saying. I have been working on finding that "place" of peace in our household as well. Very nicely written.

  2. Beautiful. I am a morning person, so for me it's well worth a few less minutes of sleep to pull myself out of bed early and savor the quiet house to myself before everyone stirs. I write best in the morning, too, so once I identified these natural rhythms, I stopped fighting the frustration that I couldn't work well while the kids were napping or late at night while they were sleeping. I love how you describe those places where peace rests...we need to help each other dwell there, parents and children.

  3. What's awesome is that you realize the type of person that you are, and you embrace it. So great :)

  4. It has taken me awhile...a while of wondering what is wrong with me and why I'm not like those super organized, morning people Mamas. It's just not me!

  5. Thank you, Emily! Since writing this post, I've left mornings alone - just to do what needs to be done, spend time playing and interacting with the littles and letting the bigger kids do what they can on their own. It has been very good for us!

  6. I'm so glad that you found something that works for you. I'm continually tweaking things to find something that works.


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