Monday, January 14, 2013

5 A Day

Welcome to the January 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Recovering from the Holidays

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about how their families get back to normal after the holidays are over.


New year. Resolutions. You know the drill. We needed a way to create a sense of expectation and rhythm to our day. Mostly because we were wasting our days unsure what to do, daunted by all the things we needed to do, and irritated at how those things kept us from doing the things we want.

5 things. Every day we have 5 things to do. 5 things were enough to feel accomplished, but few enough that even my three year old can remember.

1. Do laundry
2. Pick up bedroom
3. Do dishes
4. Make cookies
5. Play games
1. Fill bird feeder
2. Clean playroom
3. Scrub Toilets
4. Prep produce delivery
5. Go to the library

School time is dispersed between these activities. Because there is only so much help you can inspire from the five and under crowd. And we don't say no to creative play, book reading, dancing, or any of the indoor things that are good for our bodies and minds. The first three things can be done in any order, but must be done before the last two.

This system creates the expectation of the day. They know when we will get a chance to go somewhere or turn on the tv. So far it helps curb the whining, and encourages everyone to participate in running our home and spending time learning.

It is really hard to teach intrinsic value to creating balance in our home when we lack it ourselves. As children, Mike usually had everything done for him and I was learned "just do it to avoid consequences." Neither are effective as adults when there is no one to do things for you or dole out punishments. We have to find appreciation for it on our own, and show our children that at the same time.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting this March!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon January 14 with all the carnival links.)
  • Pinterest Inspiration for Easier Winter Holidays Shannon, writing at Natural Parents Network, shares inspiration for having more relaxed winter holidays from their Handmade Holidays Pinterest board.
  • Seven Recipes for Beans - Post Holiday Cleaning — Destany at They Are All of Me shares her favorite bean recipes that she hopes will help her body recover from overindulging her sweet tooth during the holidays.
  • The Recovery in the Change — Laura at Pug in the Kitchen made changes in her life and attitude throughout 2012 and was pleasantly surprised at how those changes impacted her holiday recovery!
  • Could this question change your life for ever? — To get your new year off on the right footing, Mrs Green of Little Green Blog is challenging us all to love ourselves with commitment and discipline. She asks you to focus on a simple question which might just bring you back in balance...
  • Holiday Recovery — Meegs at A New Day talks about how the holidays can be overwhelming for a toddler, and how she's helping her 3 year old recover.
  • 5 Ways to Detox After the Holidays — Brittany at The Pistachio Project gives a few ways to help you detox and get back on track after the holiday season has passed.
  • 3 Simple Ways to Establishing Rhythm After the Holidays or Any Time — Sheila at A Living Family shares 3 simple ways to reestablish a rhythm of connection and calm in your family after holidays, visitors, travel or any time.
  • Gemstones For Holiday Hangoverss — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama delves into the power of gemstones as an often overlooked means of dealing with the holiday letdown.
  • Getting back to Healthy — Bess at A Warrior Mom talks about the struggle of getting young ones back to eating healthy after several days to weeks of getting more candy and sweets than normal for the holidays and gives some suggestions on how to get them back to eating healthy in the new year.
  • Post Christmas Juice Feast — Sam at Love Parenting explains why she has created a new tradition of juice feasting, and how she includes her toddler when detoxing.
  • The Java Monkey On My Back — Christy at Eco Journey in the Burbs realizes it is time to kick her cup of Joe habit as a first step toward detoxing.
  • Minimalist Holidays — Jorje of Momma Jorje doesn't find much need for recovery after her minimalist version of the holidays.
  • Do something for you — Lauren at Hobo Mama urges you to find a silly and indulgent reward of me-time — and she has hers.
  • do we recover? — Kenna at Million Tiny Things wonders what recovery really means in the context of the tragedies of this past holiday season.
  • 37 Easy Ways to Save Money — Shannon at GrowingSlower is sharing these money-saving tips to help get your budget back on track after the holidays.
  • A Two Year Old's ResolutionsThat Mama Gretchen is putting the holidays behind her with a spin on traditional resolutions — New Year's goals for her two-year-old! Sound crazy? Read on for an explanation!
  • How to Find Balance after the Holidays — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells her favorite ways to start a new year with hope and calmness.
  • Fresh Awakening — For Luschka at Diary of a First Child, the new year has coincided with a return to restful nights. With sleep, she's found new directions in life, but while she can't make too many changes to her life right now, she's inspired and excited about the future.
  • Learning to slow down after a busy Festive Season Stoneageparent describes the joys and lows of this year's festive season, as well as her New Year's resolutions.
  • Detoxing' Your Toddler After the Holidays — Does your family suffer side effects from the holidays? Join Christine from African Babies Don't Cry to learn how she detoxed herself and her toddler off the treats and festivities of the season.
  • Scheduling is OK! — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep explores the possibilities of the — SCHEDULE!!
  • We're Saving their First Christmas for Next Time — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot takes it easy after moving with her husband and new babies to Scotland.
  • A Vacation from the World — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children retreats with her family at the end of every year in order to recuperate and enjoy one another.
  • On the Road to Recovery — Dionna at Code Name: Mama isn't just recovering from the holidays, she's recovering from a lifestyle.
  • We Never Left the GrindErika Gebhardt compares a typical day pre-holidays and post-holidays.
  • Remembering and Recovering from the Holidays (One day at a time) — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM is recovering from holidays slowly--taking one day at a time--while trying to remember all the sweet moments that passed too quickly.
  • 5 a Day — To get back on track Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy needed a simple system to help her family learn new values.
  • Holiday Detox & Healing: Bieler Broth — Megan at The Boho Mama shares her secret for a gentle, whole-foods-based post-holiday detox: Bieler Broth!
  • I'm Mama Not Supermom — After a year filled with changes Angela at EarthMamas World has to remind herself that she does not have to be supermom while recovering from the holiday chaos.


  1. Oh wow - so simple, yet one of my favorite posts this go 'round! I'm getting out the dry erase board and starting this today! A short list will do *so* much to help Kieran (and me) find a rhythm in our day. I think I might even add a "school" thing or two. (btw, I *love* lists. This satisfies me in a primal way ;))
    ~Dionna @

  2. DO you write these 5 things on a dry erase board? I'm wondering if you just keep them in your head or if it's on a list.

    I love the idea of encouraging a lack of entitlement in kids and yet not being punitive taskmasters. It sounds like you've got a great balance, and I will totally steal this. :)

    1. Mike does. And in doing so, learned our boys love to mark of the completed tasks. Not erase, strike through, so they can see what we have done.

  3. It sounds like a great idea. I've been trying to start having more of a rhythm, just to make sure I'm keeping on top of things around the house.

    1. That is my favorite part! For the first time in a LONG time, our home is not a mess. Well lived in, but no junk, stacked dishes, mountains of laundry. Even with a barfing baby this week, I am only half a hamper away from catching up!

  4. Oh my goodness what a great idea! We've been struggling to get back into a routine with a new baby, husband on paternity leave and now back at work, the holidays, and now we've all been sick. I'm soooo looking forward to having a routine again. Five things a day is going to be how we do it! Thank you for sharing!

  5. That sounds great! Every day Bella (2.5) asks what the three things are we have to do today. I like that you have two fun things in the mix too.