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Back to the Basics

Have you ever had a period of internal struggle? Struggle to feel grounded. Struggle for rhythm. Struggle without slow or simple.

We just came off of one rough month of changes for Fiona. When the nanny’s daughter came down with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, Fiona spent 2 weeks with various caregivers as we plugged the gaps. Her birthday party was in there, then a long weekend traveling out of state to see Great-Grandma, followed by her coming down with HFMD and requiring a hodgepodge of care again. 2 doctor’s appointments, 1 dentist appointment, a switch to her new big girl bed, and waaaay too many movies (“baaa moowie” = Shaun the Sheep) later, we’re struggling to find firm footing.

So while we get back to our routine of childcare and work, long commute and homestead chores, I’m also looking for ways to simplify, slow down, and reset ourselves. These are a few of the ways we will proceed; perhaps they will help your family if you ever find yourself in need of a reset.

  • Just say no to the junk food: When Fiona was miserable with HFMD, we pretty much let her eat anything she wanted (since she hardly was eating anything at all) and we pushed things like juice and pedialyte that we don’t normally give her. But it’s time to put the junk out of sight and out of mind.
  • Nutrition: After all that junk, it’s time to up the nutrition, especially the veggies. I’m looking to find ways to incorporate more veggies into our diet this week. Cooking healthy food ahead of time is a big part of being successful here when we’re in transition. Leftovers from the weekend, a good crock pot meal that will stretch for several days, overnight oats to last us the week. Cooking ahead helps as we reset our bodies and attitudes. No decisions need to be made. No reaching for the easiest dinner option. No skimping on those packed lunches.
  • Quiet time: Too much noise has been happening. After the noise-making toys that effectively distract a sick babe and constant “moowies” (plus the Olympics, I admit I’m at fault on this one), we need a little noise-free time. So I put the toys away, and we’re keeping the TV off.
  • Schedules: We slept in, we were up half the night, we took naps, we skipped naps. It’s been hectic. Time to get back to a schedule. For Fiona, that means 8pm bedtime, 1pm nap time, 6am wake up. We need this consistency.
  • Mama and Fiona time: Fiona clearly has Mama withdrawal on Mondays, even more so when she’s been traveling with me or home with family the prior week. To counteract this, my plan is to spend lots of time focused on her in the evenings. She has a Mama bucket that is hard to fill, but I will do my best.
  • Rhythms of homestead life: Rhythms are SO important to life on our little homestead. Be it our sleeping and waking, feeding animals and collecting eggs, family time etc. It all matters. It is important to include Fiona in the work of our hands. She LOVES to feed the goat, collect eggs, feed the chickens, feed the dog, etc. But when we are too rushed, we don’t have time to allow her to participate. In recent weeks, she has also taken a liking to washing her dishes and doing her laundry. These tasks take longer with a toddler. But she is so very proud of her contribution. This is what we need to foster in getting back to the basics. This is why we homestead.
  • Outdoor time: Whenever we are able to sneak it in…morning feed and egg collecting, evening feed, ten minutes of sandbox play as the sun sets, five minutes of stargazing on our way to bed. During the week, it’s tough to get it in, but it will happen if we purpose it. And the weekend? That’s wide open.

What about you? What are some of your go-tos when reorienting yourself after illness, vacation, or other disruptions? Share your ideas!

Have you ever had a period of internal struggle? Struggle to feel grounded. Struggle for rhythm. Struggle without slow or simple. For us, those times we struggle are the times it is important to get back to the basics or our life.
By BarefootMama, February 19, 2018
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