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 plenty of 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 we will naturally be outdoors more often. This is a time of year to recommit to rhythm by thinking of the acitivites you value most. Make time for joy, for self-care, for adventure and rest...write it into your rhythm. If you don't make the things you value a priority, who will?
A simple way to vision into the month is to use our free printable monthly calendars. Each month we offer you a way to capture your intentions for self-care, home-care and meal planning.
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 back yard. 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.
Do you need support creating a healthy home rhythm for your family? Please join our online self-paced e-course, Healthy Home Rhythms. 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 self-paced online 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.
Home Care with children
The key word to the above title is WITH. I know that you can get it done faster. I know that your child may make a bigger mess than you started with...way bigger, sometimes. But I promise that this investment will pay off ten fold.
Children want to be part of the household, they want to do what we are doing and the more we say no when they ask to help, the less they will ask to help. There are plenty of tasks that a child of any age can do. Let them. Say YES. For a bit more inspiration, I really like this article from Slate titled, The Value of a Mess.
If you want to dive deeper into intentional home care and home rhythms, LifeWays North America offers a wonderful course this fall on The Living Arts. You can click here to learn more and sign up.
What you need to share home care with your child:
On a practical note it's nice to have child friendly tools for your little one to lend a hand around the house. You could buy a child sized broom or mop or just saw the handle shorter on one at the thrift store. Create a little home-care kit for your child to feel invited and prepared to participate.
Here are a few ideas to add to your collection:
- rags (old swaddle or burp cloths make great rags)
- a duster (here is my favorite)
- a child sized broom
- a dustpan/hand broom combo
- a spray bottle (filled with water, soapy water, hydrosol or a child-safe cleaner)
Homemade Child-Safe All-Purpose Cleaner
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons castille soap
- 20 drops essential oil like lemon, grapefruit or lavender, I like a mix of lemon and thyme.
- Pour ingredients into a spray bottle, preferably made of glass, Shake well before use. Store in a cool, dark place. (Essential oils oxidize in sunlight)
For Small Hands is a great resource for quality child-sized tools.
Clarity is the theme for March in our Heart of the Home online course. Together, with a warm and bright group of mamas, we will set an intention to embody the qualities of clarity. Each month we have a new focus to explore and lots of support to warm the heart of your home and create your own unique family culture...and it all starts with a simple intention. Join us this month to receive support with inner clarity as well as clearing space in your home. Our wise woman this month is Christine O'Brien, a Konmari consultant and Simplicity parenting coach who has real practical tools to help you clear your home of items that just don't spark joy. Click here to join The Heart of the Home. We offer both a one time investment and a monthly payment option.
Nettle Pesto. Nettles are highly nourishing as we wake from winter rest:Vitamins A, C, E, F, K, B- complexes, as well as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B-6 all of which are found in high levels and act as antioxidents. Zinc, Iron, Magnesium, Copper and Selenium, Boron, Bromine, Calcium, Chlorine, Chlorophyll, Potassium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Iodine, Chromium, Silicon and Sulfur.
Be aware that nettles help us wake from our winter slumber by asking us to pay attention and handle with care. She gives quite a sting unless you are using gloves.
- Equal parts fresh nettles, parsley and cilantro leaves.
- 1 preserved lemon (I've been finding these at Trader Joes)
- 1 cup raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- 3-5 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 to 1 cup of olive oil
- sea salt to taste
Using rubber gloves, separate the nettle leaves from the stem and blanch for 30 seconds in hot water followed by a cold water bath, then drain and pat dry. Place all ingredients into the food processor and pulse while adding olive oil until desired consistency. Use on everything from baked yams, to black beans to crackers, it keeps for nearly two weeks in the fridge.
This is a go-to recipe for me. It tasted fresh with celery, sweet with raisins and hearty with beets. This well balanced recipe is a crowd-pleaser, easy to prepare and suitable for dietary restrictions. Click here for the recipe.
Include your child with cooking, setting and clearing the table. Even the youngest children can place a napkin on each spot. Create a moment of connection and gratitude by saying a blessing or offering thanks at meal time.
You can download our free collection (3 lovely watercolored pages) of mealtime blessings here.
How To Make a Simple Travel First Aid Kit
Spring is here and the great outdoors calls us to come out and play. For our little ones, Mother Nature has everything that one could need, not only to fill up our hearts but also to nurture an ouch, bite or bump. While we are out exploring, I like to feel prepared to care for basic ouchies. I have a simple first aid kit that I keep in my backpack for hikes, picnics and play dates to tend to any minor bumps or bruises. It is made from a piece of thick felt and a recycled ribbon. As you can see, I am not going for a pinterest worthy post here, i just want you to see how easy it can be made and not feel intimidated by a gorgeous custom embroidered kit. Now those of you who are gifted with a needle and thread, PLEASE feel welcome to share your creations too 🙂
Wrap it up and pop it in the car, your purse or the stroller.
A sweet little blessing for ouchies:
"Pat it, kiss it, stroke it, bless it;
Three days' sunshine, three days' rain,
Little hand(or knee) all well again."
Some of my favorite healing items:
Uriel Pharmacy Arnica Echinacea First Aid Cream
Uriel Pharmacy Arnica Nettle Burn and Bite Gel
Rescue Remedy Flower Essence for Kids
Colorful band aids, we currently like rainbow unicorns.
A little birdie finger puppet to give a kiss.
*I'm not a doctor, just sharing my favorite things.*
What are your favorite healing items in a first aid kit?
Please share in the comments below.
Another gem from our dear friend author, Jessica Malone Latham.
This Month's Journal/Conversation Prompts:
What is coming to light in your parenting that you weren't able to see through winter's darkness?
What seeds of intention are you planting?
What part of you needs clearing to allow for new growth?
What does that clearing look like?
With your children, in what ways can you thank the earth?
- Find a lovely glass pitcher and fill it with water, add a handful or combination of: borage, cleavers, lemon balm, lemon verbena, chamomile or meyer lemon slices, keep the pitcher on your counter top to encourage more hydration. It will look so inviting, you will drink more water and receive the benefits of these delightful plant allies.
- Get your hands in the dirt. Clear out dead leaves, make space for new growth in the garden. Gather ideas and seeds and friends to work in the garden together.
- Host a potluck. Our country needs more togetherness, more shared meals, more conversations face to face. Don't clean, cook simply and relax into real community.
- Get outside under the full moon this month. It's on March 12th. From Moongiant.com, March's Full Moon is commonly known as the Worm Moon because it's the time of the year when warmer temperatures thaw the ground and earth worms reemerge bringing migrating birds back to feed on them.
- Hang up some bird feeders and create time to see who comes to visit.
- Find a poem to read when you wake up.
- Single mamas and friends of single mamas, please read this heart-felt post from Isa Down; Seven Comments Single Moms Don't Want to Hear.
- Give. Give the gift of time or money to an organization that you support and aligns with your values. The two organizations that Mothering Arts supports are LifeWays North America and Women's Earth Alliance. A portion of every online class purchased on our website goes to both of these valuable organizations. Click through to learn more and I'd love to hear who you support <3
I would love to hear from your in our comment area.
Sending you all spring time blessings,