Wow, summer is almost behind us and during the last few weeks I’ve been catching up with girlfriends and other moms and finding a mixed bag when it comes to the question, “How did it go?”
Answers ranged from great family time, fabulous downtime, re-connections, to frazzled, too many meals on the fly and reeeeally ready for the school year to begin so things can return, if not to "normal," at least to a more manageable routine and schedule. (Moms Talk columnist Dyan Chan had a a couple weeks ago.)
As with pretty much anything in life, a solid foundation has a better chance of withstanding turbulence or disruption. So as our family goes through the inevitable changes, morphing, shifting, and evolving I find that my friends ahead of me in the journey as well as other resources invaluable for helping us with our journey.
We have and still do experience some murky moments and one of the many things that have helped us through is tapping into our foundation of rituals. Our whole family enjoys and finds comfort and stability in meaningful traditions which can be as simple as meals, or walking around the block, a stroll for ice cream, or the bedtime story.
With the beginning of a new school term right around the corner, it’s a great time to sprinkle the day, week, or month with practices or rituals that can help create the space for connection. Family meals can be a time to bond, create memories, deepen relationships, and build ties. Sharing meals together goes so much further than just getting food into our bodies. With planning and organization, we can reduce or eliminate the stress around meal prep and create meaningful rituals.
Check out The Family Dinner Project. It’s a great resource if you’re not connecting with your family as much as you’d like. They’ve got fun ideas to include in your family dinner, as well as conversation starters.
We’ve also found The Intentional Family; How to Build Family Ties in Our Modern World by William Doherty, useful for creating meaningful rituals that strengthened our family.