I am soooo into trying to create some daily/weekly/monthly family and holiday rituals. I have wanted a family of my own for sooo long in part because I love the idea of a group of people who love each other more than anything in the world sharing values, spending time together and creating memories together. Can’t really achieve that very well when you are single and childless! Yes, I am still single but I now have a family. A teensy, tiny family – but a family. I have been a mother for just over two years and Coco can understand and look forward to rituals so it is high-time I start implementing some!
We already have some in place. They include praying before meals, eating meals together at the table, I read her books every night in bed and praying before bedtime. I tried to do church every Sunday but I just can’t seem to get that one together. The newest one I have implemented is: Sunday is hair day. I am trying to find styles that last at least a week and have been unsuccessful thus far, in part because her hair is so short, and I end up having to do at least one other time but the goal is to do hair only once a week.
This is a good start on my rituals but I have been looking for others, especially ones that can be unique to our family. Rituals help to bond and define a family and help make kids feel secure so this is very, very important to me. I think the hardest part is that our family is so small and most of the ideas I find appear to be for big families who are working on bringing everyone together. Coco and I see each other every night and spend most weekend nights together so trying to make events special in some way is trickier.
Many ideas that I have found seem to include food and I am fortunate to have an amazing live-in cook so although I have included some of those I am really on the hunt for non food-related ideas. Okay, so let’s get started. I am so excited to share all these rituals with you! The possible food-related rituals I may start include:
1. pizza or popcorn and movie every Friday
2. pancake dinner (every Monday?)
3. grilled food/eat outdoors rain or shine night (every Wednesday?)
Non food-related ideas are next. The first four would be 1x/month. The last one (Family Night) is supposed to happen every week and as much as I LOVE the idea I have to be honest– I think it’s too daunting as a single mom of a young child since I would have to do all the planning and execution on my own. It might work out once a month though with a more child-friendly format. Whatever I decide, I put it here so I won’t forget about it.
1. monthly outings somewhere new (local or a flight)
2. decorating the house in a monthly theme I love, love, love this idea! Here are my monthly thoughts: January-Ethiopian Christmas and winter; February-love; March-?; April-Easter; May-spring flowers; June-birthdays; July-red/white/blue/America; August: yellow/red/green/Ethiopia; September-? October-fall; November-Thanksgiving/family; December-Christmas. This could be done during the last weekend of the month so it’s ready for the new month right away. Any ideas for March and September?
3. Ethiopia Night where we focus on learning something new about Ethiopia (be it a holiday/food/noted person/current event or read her Life Book or research something she wants to know about the country–all depending upon her age of course–and eat Ethiopian food..which has to be made from scratch since there are no Ethiopian restaurants in Manila.. but that’s not a bad thing cause I need to learn how to cook it anyways!!)
4. art Saturday where we can collaborate on a project and/or I can devote time to organizing family photos/making-our-house-a-home projects while she creates art photo taken in art class a few weeks ago (which she loves, really)
5. monthly interviews I corner Coco and ask her the same series of questions (which I haven’t devised yet but things like age, favorite color/sport/animal/food, three things she’s good at, what makes her happy/sad, best thing that happened that month, etc.). I can write these down and/or videotape them — haven’t decided. 1st day of the month?
6. Family Night which would be done at home with just us–friends sent home, phones/TV/ computer turned off– and to include things like: a prayer or a song, a bible lesson or a life lesson, time set aside to share what we love about each other or to celebrate accomplishments each of us has made during the week, a special candle-lit dinner and an activity. Since the yaya is off on Sunday nights, this will be the night we do it… or maybe she’s still too young?
I am really excited about my list and look forward to starting some of these!! Some of them might be better to combine like do art Saturday the same day as Ethiopia Night or do art Saturday the same day we decorate the house. Or maybe Family Night is also pizza night. Or maybe Family Night combines with Ethiopian Night? It’s a work in progress. Clearly.
Do you do any family rituals? And do you have any ideas on how can I decorate my house in March and September???