Monday, February 05, 2007


My husband and I have worked into our family routine a monthly day of solitude for one another. The first Saturday of the month, I enjoy a mother's sabbath during which I spend the day alone, doing whatever will bring me rest and refreshment for the weeks ahead. And on the third Saturday of the month, my husband is free to do the same with a father's sabbath. This month for his day, he spent 8 hours at an urban retreat center. And for my day, I enjoyed journaling and sipping a frothy latte at a local coffee shop for the morning, a drive across the valley singing to Tori Amos at the top of my lungs and a leisurely peruse of my favorite thrift shops for the afternoon. We both returned home from our solitude with renewed vigour. The parent at home likewise enjoyed a special unstructured day with the kids.

While I was at the coffee shop, I settled in beside a wall hanging of the Desiderata, meaning "things to be desired (Latin)". One of my favorite lines in this reflection is: "Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. " On many levels, this sums up my present focus. There are many areas of our life where we are stiving for wholesome (self) discipline and in the midst of the striving, we want to be gentle, to hold the changes with nurturing hands, knowing that small choices toward change will require larger choices toward change down the road.

In mid- January, my husband transitioned from a stressful, and largely unfulfilling 9-5 job to start a business from home. We have spent the last month working together to establish new patterns for our days together. He has an office downstairs he does most of his work from. And he takes 3 breaks a day, lingering to wrestle with the kids in the few minutes between.

With him at home, I feel more "at work" at home and find I am more efficient with my time. His need for consistent breaks (and FOOD) creates a rhythm for my day. And since we share a car, and he no longer needs it to commute, I have a more organized week of small errands rather than the previous "one-day-a-week-BLITZ" we were used to.

Besides the daily chores that keeps our household running, I have tried to work in one "deep organization" task each day. Today I re-organized the tupperware drawer and threw out a few kid's books that are ripped up or unexciting. Each time I do the laundry, I reorganize the clothes that the kids have grown out of and I either put them in my "give" box or fold them away into the appropriate bin of sizes in our downstairs storage room.

These are the small bricks that comprise the building of our "wholesome discipline" in this season of life.



Brynn said...

Enjoying your thoughts. Great suggestions for rhythm and ceremony in your month and day...I am going to share this idea with my hubby. I am looking hard for some rhythm in our three year old has transitioned out of his afternoon nap, but the babe still has two. I have not transitioned yet and am fighting crabby mom syndrome.

Mama Monk said...

Hi Brynn--
I fully understand the "crabby mom syndrome" that can make days at home with small children VERY long. I am finding that creating rhythm and "ceremony" breaks up the ordinariness, and elevates it somehow to a more meaningful level.
I've peeked at your blog a few times and am enjoying your thoughts as well.

L.L. Barkat said...

Hi, there. Thanks for stopping by Green Inventions! Wordless Wednesday is a picture posting day (mostly wordless: as you can see, I couldn't resist a bible quote). If you go to the "Mr Linky" site, you can get a code to put in your template, and instructions for how to put that "link box" under your picture. Then you join the Wordless Wednesday blogroll whenever you post (google it to find).

On on another note, I loved your blog profile. You sound like such an interesting person! I'll stop by again.