In this interview series my intention is to reveal the endless ways our family values can inform our Daily Rhythm. The mothers I have interviewed lead diverse lives but they each have a huge sense of clarity about what their Family Values are (even if they change over time) and consciously and creatively strive to create a Daily Rhythm in alignment with those values.
It is my hope that through these stories more Mothers feel inspired to explore what their own family values are, to question them and bring them to life in their everyday experience. I know that seeing the world through another Mother’s lens will develop more empathy, understanding and compassion between us.
Today I am honoured to welcome Kristen Mittler to the Whole Family Rhythms community. Kristen is a homeschooling mama to four beautiful souls- you can find her on Instagram @oldjoy and on her blog www.oldjoy.com
Who are you? Can you introduce yourself, your work and your family?
My name is Kristen Mittler, homeschooling mother of four, Eleanor (10) Wolfgang (4) Rufus (3) Agnes (10 months)
What is one of the greatest joys you experience as a Mother?
Waking up everyday surrounded by four little people I grew from scratch. Being able to hold them and care for them and watch them grow.
What is one of the biggest challenges you face daily as a Mother?
Not having enough time in a day to accomplish everyday tasks like cleaning the toilets or scrubbing the floors.
What does having “Rhythm in your Home” mean to you?
To me it means finding peace when rhythm isn’t always in my control. By letting go of what I thought rhythm needs to be it made room for a natural rhythm. Somehow it inevitably finds it’s way into our days without us looking for it.
Can you give an example of some of your most cherished ‘Family Values’?
Be loving with your words. Always be loving with your words.
How do you hope to pass these values on to your children?
Lead by example. If I behave inappropriately, I try to talk to them about it. “I shouldn’t have reacted that way or I shouldn’t have done that, I’m going to try again.” Give each other room to mess up and practice forgiveness. Constantly uplift and root for one another.
Can you outline a typical ‘Weekday Rhythm’ for you and your child(ren). Specifically when/where/how do you and your little ones eat, sleep/rest, play inside/outside, work/learn and make time for..
this is a schedule we try to follow during the homeschool year
8am- wake up, eat breakfast, make beds, get dressed
9am- school begins. Eleanor starts math, I read to the boys.
10am- writing and spelling with Eleanor, Writing and letters with boys.
11am- lunch and some play time
– reading for Eleanor, quiet time for boys( lay on the couch and watch a movie, puzzles)
2pm- history, science, geography with all kids
3pm- play, painting, outside
5:30- dad’s Home, eat dinner
7pm- play with Dad, baths if needed, pick up the house
8:30- kids to bed
9-11- mom and dad watch tv together
*the kids all have extra curricular activities throughout the year that are mixed in there as well like ballet, art class, nature class
When does your family rhythm get thrown off kilter?
Summer is when we lack rhythm the most I think. Bedtime is all over the place, but we try to embrace it because we’re living life outside with friends and family, making memories and having a blast.
Eg. sickness, holidays, when you’re tired etc
Do you consciously re-evaluate and change your family rhythm with the seasons and ages and stages of your kids?
Yes, absolutely. The boys no longer take naps, so lately I’ve been trying to establish a time during the day where they can find rest without falling asleep.
When you’re feeling stuck, tired, frustrated with your role as Mother, what do you need most to shift your energy and perception?
One hour away from home on my own. Lately I’ve been taking evening walks on my own and it revives me like no other. Cannot explain how much it has been helping me.
If you could recommend one book to ALL Mothers out there what would it be?
Your own personal journal. Write in it. Reread it. Reflect.