What do I do all week? I guide myself and my little loves, (two boys, aged 4 and 1 respectively), through many important socialisation, stimulation and natural learning activities…
– Silkwood School’s Steiner-inspired playgroup
– KinderEnergy Musical playgroup
– Greystone Farm Steiner family daycare
– Hinze Dam Catchment Kids class
– Sunrise beach visit and
– Sunday outing with ‘daddy’
– plenty of home time with reading, puzzles, talking, gardening, crafting, cooking and PLAYING of course.
… All of which involve high levels of energy from the kids, and me! 🙂
In between this I attempt to regain order in the house (yes, very funny) and create new things for myself.
My two active little boys keep me on my toes every minute they are awake!
Sound similar to your week?
So what’s this Recovery Day business? Read on …
It’s week 4 of the first term. I am so happy with our weekly rhythm and I can see that my little loves are also happy; I can just tell because they’re showing that they feel safe and their moods are improving every day.
I was so excited to start term 1 and get the rhythm and flow started again.
Importantly, we include in our weekly rhythm a ‘Recovery Day’. What is it? Simply, a day lounging around inside the house, playing on the floor, napping in bed, reading or watching a movie together, enjoying regular snacky-meals together as a family (many outside on the grass), as well as some peaceful relaxation outside in the garden with nothing to do except cuddle and watch the birds fly overhead.
Our recovery day is, in my opinion, the best day of our week. 6 days of the week are busy and energetic, and the Recovery Day is just what we need to replenish and appreciate the small, simplest things in life.
We don’t all share the same Recovery Day.
My 4yo has his Recovery Day on Monday, whilst I tidy and clean the house, work a little on the computer, and occupy our toddler. Master 4 enjoys a blissful day of ‘no scheduled anything whatsoever’. That is, cruising at his own pace, following his own instinctual needs for the day (lounging around or playing in sandpit solo) and just letting his day flow and move with the breeze.
My toddler and I have our Recovery Day on Wednesday, when Master 4 is having the time-of-his-little-life at Greystone Farm family daycare. I schedule nothing for this day. After I drop him off I return home and make Breastfeeding and cuddling – without any distractions – my priority. Master 1 loves our day together of nursing, reading, snacking and napping. It completely reinvigorates me, gives me time to meditate or practice mindfulness, and let’s me think about our family’s health – and get in touch with my intuition – without much interruption.
I am certain our Recovery Day helps prevent us getting rundown. If we are coming down with a bug, this special day gives the best natural cure – rest- before influenza or injury can begin.
Do you deliberately set aside one day of the week for recovery?
A Recovery Day is different to a regular home day. It is a day of rest for the person receiving the Recovery Day. You could do it for yourself on the day your child is in daycare, or you could all have your Recovery Day together by lounging around quietly, blowing with the breeze, quietly reading, using soft voices and lower-than-usual energy levels. You could stay in your pajamas to symbolism the day’s ‘uniqueness’ to your older children and just hang out in the bedroom doing crafts and having a picnic on the floor.
Even though my children are too young for school and we are fans of natural learning and homeschooling these early childhood years anyway, school terms still impact our lifestyle – and I like that. Despite our freedom from school, our kinder activities and my work need to be switched off – just like any other family – during the year. By planning with school term dates, I can make sure we have clear holiday and celebratory breaks throughout the year.
Holidays are important but also have a use-by date. The restlessness and anxiety that children and mums can feel after a few weeks of holidays can highlight how important rhythm and repetitiveness is for the whole family. (While my personal experience doesn’t stretch to older children, I believe rhythm and repetition benefits ALL ages including us parents).
Everyone feels safer with routine and everyone finds comfort with purpose and rituals. It’s human nature.
Recovery Day is a ritual I’m proud to include in our schedule, and proud to share this personal information with you. I hope many mums can feel comfortable taking the same kind of break knowing it’s healthy and safe to stop and replenish every 7 days. It’s ok.
Day by day we aim to repair our bodies and have trust, faith and optimism for the future. You can join me as I walk to wellness in the private facebook group Joanna Haley Homestead (Journey to Wellness)
Joanna Haley, Author