Tag Archives: rhythm

My path into a rhythm at home

The 2nd batch

I have been struggling with this, well, since I became a mother. Having grown up in an anthroposophical home and knowing how central rhythm is for growing children, and adults alike – I did not need much convincing that this would indeed be important.

And yet, almost 2 years later, I am still struggling.

DS’s sleep has been all over the place – and I wrote about my poorly managed sleep fiasco recently. I KNOW that if his sleeping and eating times were predictable, much of the angst and frustration could be resolved. On paper/screen it looks so damn easy. You just wake up and the day flows.

Mine does not. I aim for general eating and sleeping times and structure outings to accommodate that. However, in practice it just doesn’t always work. And I end up with a toddler who is overtired and me being strung out.

Apart from now consistently getting into bed by 7:30 in the evening and waking up at 6:30 in the morning, I have made sourdough each Tuesday for the last 3 weeks. I make 3 loves, enough for our family for a week. I like it that it took a week to start the sourdough starter, and I just keep it going for a week each time. Each time the bread has come out tastier and more bread like. This is my  anchor in my weekly rhythm. No matter what happens, we will have fresh bread on Tuesdays. Oh, and clean laundry on Sundays. Sunday has become washing day. I like having a day where I know that I will wash all the laundry – and not just wait for the dirty laundry to be full.

I remember reading in a LLL magazine about the difficulty of transitioning to being at home. One mum advised that it takes 2 years to make that transition. And I think that might be true for me. In a month I will have been home 2 years. And only now do I feel like I am starting to get a handle on the situation.

I know that once I get beyond preparing wholesome food, I need to get it right with regards to serving said wholesome food at a regular time, and not just when it is ready – usually an hour later than DS needs in order to nap/sleep on time.

I’m getting there. 🙂

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Apricot Balls

I am loving this menu. Serisouly.

I drew up the menu by hand, adding in suppers and the weekend (Deciding on those 6 extra meals and 4 extra snacks was like pulling teeth – but I got there). When I have made it all pretty and ready to go on my fridge, I’ll post a picture here. More on that later.

And this morning we had banana pancakes for breakfast, mamalega (polenta) with cabbage stew for lunch, apricot balls for afternoon snack, and we’re off for supper with the IL’s. It’s all a bit of a mishmash – starting Sunday I want to try and stick with the plan, at least unti it is second nature to sit down for all meals and snacks. And not just eat the quickest easiest thing (salad, fruit, pita etc).

So, I made a bunch of banana pancakes, with extra frozen. I made a stack of apricot balls, with extra frozen. And they are yummy! I have pics to post, just no USB cord 😦 I suspect DS has hidden it, and I just have not gotten around to buying another one – I keep hoping it will turn up.

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Lunch

I have often written about (or sometimes alluded) to my dificulty with fostering a rhythm in our home. I know that it is good, I am convinced it has the potential to be beneficial for me, the caregiver, and my DS. And I like to read up about just how it can be beneficial – but I have an awfully hard time actually making it happen – hence my purchase of the Winter Menu from Little Acorn Learning. Which I really like. It incorporates Traditional Foods methods in the food preparation (soaking and fermenting) and uses in season fresh foods. I think I am really going to enjoy working with it. Breakfast, lunch and two snacks are now all laid out for me – no need to think 😉

I used one of the recipes from Winter Menu. The coconut pumpkin soup, although I used sweet potatoes instead of pumkin and date syrup instead maple syrup. And it was scrumptious. Now I just need to get going with grinding my own grain and fermenting our bread 😛

And my kitchen is all clean and sparkling…. today is a good day. I even cleaned and organised the fridge. A part of me wants to cringe with embaressment that this has become a worthy goal in my life – but at least I know it is clean and I did not use any harsh chemials to clean it – just warm (ecological) soapy water, and DS helped me scrub the shelves. It was actually kind of fun.

I think I really just needed some sort of frame work to give us a varied diet and the reassurance of knowing what I am preparing (or DH is preparing – he is the more established cook between the two of us). I know what I don’t want (fast food, ready made food, industrial food) and I know I want made from scratch food loosely along the lines of Nourishing Traditions, but yikes. It is a hard one to actually put in practice – for me anyway.

So, here’s to our first day. And hoping that there are more in store and that I do not loose my mind in the predictability of having each week planned so meticulously…. I know I need it, I suspect DS needs it, it’s just so, argh!!!

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Update

020716

DS at my SIL's wedding

I have been having a rough time with sleep, as I wrote about earlier. It’s getting much better. Last night we went through the steps of supper (table clear of clutter and a candle for a more serene mood), bath, pajama’s, bed time story in bed, DS switching the light off and snuggling down to breastfeed and in 15 minutes he was fast asleep. I was extatic.

I have also been reading up far too much about vaccines and the immune system. It is not making me happy. I know that vaccines are not going to be part of our preventative health options in our family. I however doubt that every problem in modern societies can be atrributed to vaccines.  And I am getting tired of investing so much time and energy in seeing just how wrong most of the scientific community are when it comes to vaccines. I know enough to know that I want to support our innate immune system as best I can, and not freak out when DS gets sick. I know enough to keep our commensal bacteria happy through diet and lifestyle and avoiding drugs, heavy metals, chemical cleaners, etc. I also know enough to make sure my next birth is at home and that it stays at home.

Anyway, I have also been feeling the need to grow my mind a bit. I have stagnated and it does not feel good. I need to have something going on in my head other than health and childcare. So, I found free courses available through MIT – no certificate or registration, but at least I can expand my mind somewhat – and register should the bug bite.

On the issue of what to study, I have been thinking of getting into something like TCM. Through my reading up on health, I find this approach and understanding of health and disease far more comprehensive than what my ped/GP has to offer. However, I have also thought of doing my masters in OT with a Senosry Integration spin. I think my challenge is to find something that I can study and then apply to real life. I love gathering knowledge, but then get cold feet about applying it – all sorts of self esteem issues there. I seem to really believe that I can’t apply what I am learning, unless it is being a mother. I seem to be applying all that I learn there without any conflict or insecurity…. well kind of. I know I need a strong rhythm in our home, based on mealtimes and rest times, play times etc. And it eludes me. I just kind of whoosh from one thing to another – other than the sleep, it’s all approximate.

I am thinking of trying to use the anthroposphical idea of a grain a day/colour a day. I have not read enough about it to know if I agree or not about all that goes with planetary influences, etc. I do hope it will give me the frameowork I need to have more of a varied diet – ensuring I don’t get stuck on oat porridge, pita with eggs and salad as our staples. The more I read about diet and food, the more I think have a varied whole foods diet is the key…… anyway, I got lazy and ordered the Little Acorn Leaning winter childcare menu…. I’ll see if it helps me get myself more organised.

As I write it is pouring rain outside. Winter has arrived, and with it the need for rubber boots, indoor shoes and warm drinks. I always love the change of season.

Oh, and the pic is just ‘cos I love it. 🙂

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Sleep deprived

And miserable.

I have been MIA due to sever sleep issues in our family. DS went on a waking every half hour stint for about a week and is now on a sleep strike, taking anywhere from 2 – 2 1/2 hours to fall asleep for each nap and at bedtime.

I have been unable to figure out what has caused this upheaval, other than one night of fever and no other illness following. I have had to resort to ecological disposable nappies as he has been wetting his nappies beyond their absorption capacity – and that has made a difference to his night waking. But investing 4 1/2 hours in getting to sleep, like I did yesterday, is just not working for me.

Thankfully DH is working close to home today, so he has come home to take DS off my hands after half an hour of no sleep success.

I lost it yesterday. screaming into my pillow –  slamming the table with my open hand. I fantasized about being able to intimidate my son into sleeping. Which I know is impossible and not something I would follow through on even if I could. Disturbed sleep and being chronically sleep deprived is just horrid.

Add to that my FIL (the doctor) being a complete jerk at his daughter’s wedding (to me, not her) and I am a seething cauldron of annoyance at the moment. DS was one of the stars of the show at the wedding and people were commenting on how comfortable and confident he is, and FIL piped up with “Yes, he has all he could need being at home with his mother. Although I am not sure it is such a great idea as it will be harder for him to start school if he is used to being with his mother”.

Nothing like, “You’re doing such a great job with him, he is so delightful”. No, rather telling me I am ruining his chances at happiness early by giving him a secure and happy infancy and toddlerhood. Grrrrr.

I really should not be surprised and I should not let it bother me. But it is just so disrespectful to twist circumstances against me. I am sure that if my son were timid and shy I would have been told that it is because he is not in kindie.

For the record, I do not think children at home equals happy chilled out children and children in care equals stressed out unhappy children. Personality has so much to do with it, and the quality of the home and the quality of the care are obviously important.

Anyway, FIL is a very limited person despite his achievements in his career (I am following his published work on pubmed, which is a bit weird, but interesting). And I will have to work on myself with regards to not taking it personally when he finds opportunity to point out my mistakes in parenting. This from a man who has been father in name only to his son (my DH). Well, he has tried to guide DH into not getting married, not buying a house, not having a family. Any sort of choice that involves a committment and demands of DH to be a responsible adult freaks him out. And his type of fathering is to tell his daughter her mother has cancer, it does not look good and then follow this with instruction to not come and be with them, but to study?!

So yeah, this man clearly has emotional issues which are not about to resolve themselves any time soon.And they haven’t. It really upsets me how he relates to his wife and father as medical statistics – but that is a whole other issue. And also to a certain extent none of my business. Neither of his wife nor his father have a problem with his attitude from what I can see, and it is working for them. They adore him and he can do no wrong.

In the mean time I need to get to grips with our daily/weekly/monthly/annual rhythm. It’s so not happening at the moment and I am certain much of our sleep issue would be resolved with more of a structure to our time. I need to be more proactive and less responsive.

Probably when it comes to that set of IL’s too.

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