Family Life and Summer Rhythms

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I can hardly believe it – but here we are, mid-summer.

 

The newness of summer freedom has likely faded, the stores are attacking us with back-to-school sales, and yet, we still have some time before the Fall Hustle and Bustle return.

 

As you look ahead to the next month or so, I want to invite you to pause and take count of what has and hasn’t worked for your family rhythm this summer.

 

 

a family gathered around the kitchen table as a representation of the balance of family life

 

 

Last month I hosted the St. Louis Mom Takeover Tuesday.  I shared that some things I am often thinking about are family rhythms, schedules, and traditions. I think about it personally as my husband and I make decisions about our lives and family time amidst his travel schedule.  I think about it professionally as I’m working with parents who are navigating family life and caring for children and teens amidst a myriad of competing invitations for everyone’s time.

 

In question boxes on the Instagram story, I asked: What is and What isn’t working for your family this summer? 

 

Here is a summary of what you shared:

 

What isn’t working?

  • Life Balance – Navigating motherhood and working
  • Prioritizing taking care of self
  • The time after work, before dinner, before bedtime
  • Engaging in True Rest
  • Navigating Screen Time
  • Navigating motherhood while spouse is traveling
  • Inconsistent childcare/daycare amidst Covid closures
  • Increase in sweets and snacks, lapse in nutrition
  • Typical home care rhythms (laundry, meal planning, etc.), have been hard to keep up with
  • Husband engaging in hobbies, while wife has cut back but desires more

 

 

What is working?

  • Sunday Dinners, prioritizing as many family dinners as possible
  • Modifying family schedule to provide space to get caught up in summer fun
  • Seeking to be Flexible
  • Devoted time for Working, Devoted time for family
  • Saying No
  • Planning Rest and Recovery Days after events or travels
  • Modifying work schedule to make more time for family during the summer
  • Reminding myself that we are doing okay
  • Accepting that some chaos is expected

 

a family sitting together on the floor

 

I’m curious as you look at those lists— what resonates?  How would you answer what is working for your family?  How would you answer what isn’t working? 

 

Did you notice how some of you have found a rhythm that works for your family, that someone else is naming as a struggle?

 

I hope in this in-between time, on the cusp of a new school year, you can pause, take count of what is working for you this summer (make a note, so you remember for next year!), and take count of what areas feel clunky.  Then reach out and ask a few friends how they’re navigating the area you’re struggling with.  You may find some helpful ideas or, even better, a friend who resonates. 

 

You’re holding a lot, Momma. 

 

And in the midst of what is going well and what isn’t going well – You Matter.

 

 

 

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Rachel is originally from the Chicagoland area, but has grown deep Saint Louis roots over the last fifteen years. She married her high school sweetheart and they live in the Metro East with their three children and spunky puppy. Rachel is the kind of Mom who loves watching her kids grow and learn new things, and also wishes time would slow down a bit. Rachel and her husband love to travel together, dream together, and enjoy time with friends and family. Rachel loves getting lost in a story and is always up for a book or podcast recommendation. She loves time outside, good questions, long conversations, and a good theme to plan a party or meal around. Rachel works as a Child, Adolescent and Family Therapist who provides counseling, parent coaching and equipping. She loves helping parents strengthen their relationships with their children, and helping parents understand their children through a developmental lens. Rachel believes we were all meant to be heard, feel known and be absolutely delighted in.

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