Although your heart multiplies with each darling bundle of joy, your time is divided exponentially. This is why developing a new rhythm that works with your new family dynamic is so critical. It’s not going to come overnight, but you can find a pattern of life that works for your expanding family! Here are 4 tips to help you on your quest for a new family rhythm!

4 Practical Tips for Gaining a Routine After Baby

Life before baby was different. You managed your finances a certain way. You spent your free time doing things you wanted to do when you wanted to do them. Then baby came along and changed the money priority, the activity priority, the leisure…okay there’s no leisure now. It’s another person fighting for your time and attention. It gets even more difficult with the addition of a second or third or more! Although your heart multiplies with each darling bundle of joy, your time is divided exponentially. This is why developing a rhythm that works with your new family dynamic is so critical. It’s not going to come overnight, but you can find a pattern of life that works for your expanding family!

Here are 4 tips to help you on your quest for a new family rhythm

#1 Take it slow.

Take it slow. If you hear nothing I am saying, hear this: I beg you, implore you, plead, admonish, strongly advise that you take it slow. Very. Slow. Receive the meals for as long as they are offered. Eat take out when they stop. Do whatever it takes to stay sane in the early weeks and months postpartum. The mommy guilt can be strong with this one.  We didn’t take it slow and this still lives on as our biggest parenting fail to date. And it happened with every single birth! We tried to bounce back way too quickly. You can read about that adventure here but here’s the short of it: I went back to work too quickly. I literally wore my third child through an entire summer of working because I loved what I was doing so much, but it would take me 5 hours to do what I could do in 30 minutes with a good night’s sleep and good childcare. Neither of which was available. Bless my little heart! Please. Learn from my stupidity. Take it slow.

#2 Look for natural emerging patterns

As life begins to stabilize, take some time to observe your family and your daily activities. Observe what is happening on a daily basis without any amount of mind power. For example, our dinner was consistently on the table about an hour later than our normal dinner time. So dinner time changed. When we brought home our third child, my husband started taking the older two children to school on his way to work. It was meant to be a temporary fix out of necessity, but it turned into a new rhythm for our family.  Often these patterns will appear to be failures. Did you notice that you have cooked grilled cheese every Wednesday for a month? Instead of looking at it as a nutrition fail, look at it as a pattern that you and your family can rely upon. Grilled Cheese Wednesday it is! Instead of beating yourself up over things that are not the same, celebrate the new constants that are forming. Find sustainable patterns and rock them, momma!

#3 Be Willing to Experiment

Getting your children on the same schedule is not easy. It will require some give and take and some serious trial and error. Coordinating naps was such a beast for me. For a while, I was putting one child down for a nap just in time for another to wake up. I treasured the one-on-one time but I didn’t have any time for laundry, rest, or creativity. I was exhausted. Through experimentation, I was able to get all three kids on the same schedule. Remember how my husband was taking the kids to school? We added early care so he could get to the office earlier which meant he arrived home earlier. All the mommas say “hallelujah”! We also simplified our menu. We made a list of easy to execute meals and a list of all the grocery items needed. We posted it to the fridge and followed it as best we could. Even now, we have a 7 day menu that we repeat every week. We literally eat the same thing each week. Tuesday really is Taco Tuesday in our house. Is it boring? Yep. It’s working now, too. As the kids return to school in a few weeks, that will probably change, but heeding the advice of tip #1 above, I will be taking it sloooooow!

#4 Ask for help and Don’t Feel Bad About it

I recently heard an interview with Shauna Niequest where she said of seeking help: “Most of us have a deep well of people who would love to care for us but we don’t let them because we don’t think they’ll catch us.” When I had an unexpected C-section with my third child and everyone got sick at the same time, I reached out because I was so scared. I just couldn’t handle it. I HAD to ask for help. The most amazing thing happened when I did. Friends and framily came out of the woodwork to help bring meals, clean my house, and take our kids on adventures so mommy could sleep. One precious woman would text me every week and say: “I am on my way to Kroger. What can I pick up for you?” Do you know how humbling it was to ask for help? It took some major pride swallowing but the gift of love and support was so overwhelming it made dying to my highfaluted opinion of myself truly worth it. Having a baby is life-altering. Give yourself grace.

Although your heart multiplies with each darling bundle of joy, your time is divided exponentially. This is why developing a new rhythm that works with your new family dynamic is so critical. It’s not going to come overnight, but you can find a pattern of life that works for your expanding family! Here are 4 tips to help you on your quest for a new family rhythm

Change Happens

I am not a loud person. Having three kids, however, has made my house a loud place. The laundry piles up weekly and that drives me nuts. The minute I say I have mastered a system for the dishwasher the dishes mysteriously appear overflowing in the sink. Dear precious mommy, be okay with the laundry piles even though you swore that you would do a load a day. Give yourself a break if you are still depending on take out when you really thought you’d be well on your merry organic way by now. Family rhythms are as unique as musical rhythms. Sometimes the tempo is fast and upbeat and other times it’s slow and purposeful and sometimes it just feels like a toddler banging the keys!

There’s a time and place for all of it. Keep going, my friend. One day you’ll look up and notice that your family has found a new normal. You’ll think: “This is who we are and how we live now. I love us.”

What about you, friend? What have you done after the addition of a new family member to help create a routine, a rhythm, a breathing pattern? Do you think the dynamic is different with adoption or foster care? Comment below!

Read the Introduction Here! Bringing Home Baby, Again.

Next Week!

Bringing home a baby is hard on the siblings too! They have to get used to another person in the house that is interrupting their sleep or crashing in their room or possibly taking over their room and now they have to share their toys! It can be overwhelming for a little tyke. Join me next week as we talk about how to help the rest of the family adjust to life with another sibling.

Photo Credit: Captured Photography by Emily

There's No Prayer Leader in Kindergarten

There’s No Prayer Leader in Kindergarten

Dear Dominic Truth,

Not too long ago, you shared with me that your friend Blake told you, “There’s no prayer leader in Kindergarten”. Because you have been raised in a Christ-centered home, attended a Christian Preschool , been a part of church your entire 5 years of life, and have been surrounded almost exclusively by Christ-followers, I can understand your surprise at learning this.

At least that was my first response. But then, being the deep overthinker that mommy is, I began to contemplate what that really means for you.

There’s no prayer leader in kindergarten.

  • No one inviting you to start your day at school in prayer.
  • No one reminding you to fold your hands and bow your head to give thanks to God for your snack and lunch.
  • No Bible lesson to instruct you to be kind and loving. Or brave. Or honest.
  • No songs to reinforce that God will “strengthen you and help you”.
  • No teachers praising you for demonstrating Christ-like attributes. No teachers nurturing you with God’s word when your choices are not the wisest.

No prayer leader in kindergarten? I both shudder with fear and squeal with delight at the thought!

For now it really begins.

  • You will have to decide for yourself whether you will start your day at school with prayer.
  • You must decide for yourself to bow your head and give thanks for your snack and lunch.
  • It is up to you to lean on the stories from home and lessons from Church and decide for yourself to be kind and loving to everyone because that is what Christ instructs.
  • You will have to choose to carry a song of the goodness of God in your heart which you will, no doubt, share with your teacher and classmates.
  • You will have to rely on the Holy Spirit to make the right choice, the Christ honoring choice.
  • You’ll have to listen carefully to the quiet voice of God as he shapes you through your decisions. You’ll have to decide for yourself to confess when you have done wrong even if no one else notices.

No prayer leader in kindergarten? I disagree.

Perhaps, there will be no slot on the class job chart that holds this title. However, I believe and pray fervently that God will raise up a prayer leader all the same.

  • I pray you will own your faith.
  • When you cross paths with those, who like you, have a Biblical foundation, may you be the encouragement they need to live out what they know to be true even though no sticker will be placed on the reward chart for representing Christ.
  • When you come face to face with those who do not know Jesus….when you are confronted with questions of whether or not God truly exists…when you are faced with hard questions like: “Why is Jesus the only way?”…I pray you will wrestle through these questions and find the answers…find the truth in God’s word.
  • May you lead your friends to Christ.
  • May the years to come raise up a mighty prayer leader. One who will proclaim that he belongs to God and, regardless of religious opinions or cultural norms, lives out the truth of Jesus Christ in his life.

No prayer leader in kindergarten? Why, Dom, don’t you know that’s you?!

YOU are the prayer leader your kindergarten class needs. You’ve got this! And all your teachers and mentors past, present and even future will be cheering you on as you lead not only your kindergarten friends but everyone with whom you have contact because you are a prayer leader

Love, 

Mom

Dom’s Life Verse

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6

Paint

 




Dom working on puzzlesI sit here at the kitchen table surrounded by gerber puffs and puzzle pieces and luke warm coffee.

I ask for five minutes and,on this rare occasion, my children generously give it.

The playroom is splashes of purple violet dogs and red fire trucks. Yellow duplo blocks and pink baby dolls. A black and red rocking horse sits in the corner.

My children have colored my world in a way that I both hoped for and never expected.

Because of them, the “sun is awake” in more brilliant hues of yellow than I ever thought imaginable. eating

I am thankful for this blank canvas of Motherhood that God has given me.  It is quite a masterpiece in the making.