It’s been five months now since we “discovered” Waldorf. We’re in our own home now and have settled into some helpful routines. I have several friends who are likewise inspired by Waldorf ideas. I’m often asked, “What is your routine?” You see, we all agree that the children thrive on having some sort of routine or pattern to their days, and we know that WE do better with a routine too. Predictability is soothing. It “holds” the child and “carries” us through the day, promoting cooperation, making transitions easier and simplifying the “what next” for mom.
But, how do you get there? No one wants a rigid set of rules. And, no one can just adopt another’s routine, since everyone’s life and priorities are different. Here I’ll share my routine and then some thoughts that helped me along the way. The timeline listed works as a guideline for me. It’s not a schedule that I must stick too, but a reminder of sorts that helps me keep up with my day.
As a part-time working mom, I have Wednesdays and Fridays home with the children, plus weekends when dad is home too. I’ve color-coded some routines that are unique to Wednesday or Friday. Our weekends are less formed and more open-ended, leaving opportunities for spontaneity. But, generally, we try to have one weekend day be a “work day” for gardening, home improvement, etc and one be a “play day” for friends, kid projects, or rest.
- Rising-7:30am: Breakfast, Getting Dressed and Ready for the Day
- 8am: Laundry/House Cleaning, making an effort to welcome and include the children as helpers
- 9am: Coloring/Painting, stopping my work to do artwork as a family
- 10am: Snack followed by free play inside, while Mom does more of the day’s chores
- 11am: Play Outside, when I might play with them or do some gardening (which they may do too!)
- 12am: Lunch
- 12:30-1:30pm: Rest Time for all, when I may catch up on my computer or read
- 1:30pm: Read Aloud a few books, followed by free play
- 2:30 Snack
- 3pm: Free Play/Friends arrive for Play Group with Circle Time and a Craft or Game
- 5pm: Dinner prep
- 5:30-6pm: Dinner
- 6pm: many nights Daddy plays guitar while the children dance or make music
- 6:45pm: Get ready for bed, read a bedtime story (or two) as a family
- 7pm: Children in bed
In making my routine, I first identified things I’d like us to be doing everyday, such as playing outside, regular snacks, rest time and free play. These are a MUST for us. If the kids don’t get these things, they don’t behave well. Next, I identified things I must do as a parent, such as laundry, cleaning and having some “me” time. If I don’t get some “work” done, I don’t feel good about my day. And, I don’t behave well without a break in the middle of my day!
Lastly I chose a few things that would enrich our lifestyle, such as coloring (on blank paper), painting, and playgroups. I had to be pretty selective here. There are SO many fun things I could be doing with my kids, but time is limited. Also, I realized that I’d have to say “no” to some things to make time for this lifestyle. It means staying home. NOT running errands. NOT exercising with my mommy friends. How is this possible? I run errands maybe once a month (and it makes for a downer Wednesday) or on weekends, when we do our grocery shopping. I exercise at night, after the kids are asleep. And, most importantly, I realize that less truly is more. Staying home is wonderful, meaningful, and restful for this part-time working mom.
I wish you the best as you work towards discovering your routine. Living more intentionally is so fulfilling for both parent and child. For some more inspiration, see “Heaven on Earth” by Sharifa Oppenheimer. It’s the very best book I’ve come by for practical Waldorf-inspired parenting advice.