Last Friday, I picked up Emily from school and as soon as she hopped in the car she squealed, “FRIDAY FAMILY NIGHT!!!!”
Nathan started cheering right along with her, and soon we were all car-dancing. We really like Friday Family Night. 🙂
Since Emmy started school, and we have significantly less time together, I’ve started putting some intentional anchors into place for our family. My kids thrive on routine, and having certain things they can count on each day, and each week, have come to be very important to their mental well-being (and behavior).
And honestly, I think the same can be said for us moms. We need a few intentional anchors in our days & weeks to keep us grounded, rested, and filled.
Plus? They can be a whole lot of FUN!
What are Intentional Anchors?
Intentional Anchors are routines, events, and traditions that anchor your day or week. They are intentional, meaningful routines that bring connection and rest to you and/or your whole family. They provide a fun, filling break in the middle of a busy day or week, and give everyone something they can count on and look forward to.
What Intentional Anchors look like in our home:
As much as my kids thrive on routine, so do I. And so does my husband. We like a good plan, and we like to celebrate things. So, in our home, Intentional Anchors often look like mini celebrations.
Every Friday night, we have Friday Family Night. We swing by Costco on the way home from school, grab a cheap pizza, and head home. We lay out a big old quilt on the floor, break out the paper plates, and watch a movie together while we eat pizza, picnic style. After the pizza, I’ll often make popcorn and hot cocoa, too. The kids LOVE this time together, and so do Jon & I. It’s a fun way to celebrate a week well done, and time together before the weekend begins.
Then, on Saturday mornings, we make Cinnamon Rolls, and we call it Cinnamon Roll Saturdays. 🙂 (Everything is more fun with a catchy name, right?) I just grab the refrigerated cinnamon rolls from Trader Joe’s sometime the week before, and we make cinnamon rolls, eggs, and bacon every Saturday. It doesn’t seem like much, but the kids wake up on Saturdays now yelling, “It’s Cinnamon Roll Saturday!!!”
And most Tuesdays, we have tacos and guacamole, and we call it Taco Tuesday. Nathan won’t even eat tacos, and he still cheers for Taco Tuesday.
These things aren’t huge, you guys. They are cheap and easy and so not a big deal. Except they ARE a big deal, because as we create these little routines & traditions for our family, our kids are establishing memories they won’t soon forget. We’re bonding, we’re having fun, and we’re growing closer as a family. And THAT, my friends, is a big stinkin’ deal.
I want to be cultivating a home where my kids love to be. I want to be building a place where they will be excited to bring friends, where they will hang out, where conversations and laughter and tears will all happen. A safe refuge from the brutal world out there.
And building that home starts now.
What Intentional Anchors look like in my personal life:
On a smaller scale, I’m learning to use this strategy in my own daily life as well. I’m developing some Intentional Anchors throughout my day that help fill my soul & keep me from burning out.
Each morning (for the most part – I am still not perfect at this), I try to get up and have a quiet time. I read the Word, write out Scripture, or read a devotional book. I do a quick workout and then get going on my day. You can see a detailed peek into my morning routine here. That one small space of quiet in the morning really helps me approach my day with God’s perspective, and a whole lot more patience. Spending time with the Lord changes my heart to be more like His, and doing this on a daily basis seriously feeds my soul.
On the way home from dropping Emmy off at school, Nathan and I listen to an audiobook. This is just for 20 minutes or so, but it’s fun to listen through a book together, or for me to listen to a devotional book before we get home and attack the day.
A new anchor I’m trying out right now is reading a fun book in the afternoon. I try to get most of my work done while Nathan naps, but about 20 minutes before we have to leave to go pick Emily up, I get out whatever fiction book I’m reading, and read a few pages. I’m finding that if I keep working until we have to leave, I’m running late and stressed, and unable to focus on the kids after school because I have loose ends to tie up. But if I stop before it’s time to leave, and still have some time to read, the rest of the afternoon goes much better.
In the evenings, after putting the kids to bed, I clean up the kitchen and get it ready for the next day. Honestly, I’m still working on this one because most of the time I just want to fall onto the couch and never get up. But I always feel so much better in the morning if I did the dishes the night before!
Weekly, I meal prep each Sunday afternoon, after we get home from church. I make all of Jon’s and Emily’s lunches for the week, and stow them away in the fridge. This seriously cuts down time in the mornings. In fact, I didn’t do Emmy’s lunches before last week, and all week long I was kicking myself for having to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every single morning. It’s so much easier if it’s done the weekend before!
Again, these are not big things, but being small and simple means that I can actually accomplish them each week. Plus, they feed my soul and help me to care for my family better. If I’m not taking care of myself, I’ve got nothing left to give them. And cleaning a little each night and preparing a bit of food each weekend save me from falling behind and eating out constantly.
What could Intentional Anchors look like in your life?
If the idea of setting up intentional anchors in your home sounds like something you want to start implementing, I’d love to share some ideas with you!
Below you’ll find suggestions for Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Anchors. DO NOT DO ALL OF THEM AT ONCE!! Pick maybe one or two things that you want to start with, and spend a few months implementing those. I think you’ll love how they ground all your crazy, and build your relationships!
Do you incorporate Intentional Anchors into your days? What do they look like in your home?
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