Interview: The Rhythm of the Home with Meagan Wilson

Meagan Wilson is the creator of Whole Family Rhythms, seasonal eGuides for mamas or carers who have young children at home and who are yearning to slow down, create and connect with the rhythm of their days together so that they feel empowered to raise children who are wholly connected.

What are Whole Family Rhythms?

Guides designed to help you plan, create and animate a peaceful, balanced and holistic rhythm in your home, flowing between structured, adult led activities and child led, imaginative free play.

I believe from the bottom of my heart that peace begins in the home.

Each Guide contains a seasonally inspired early childhood curriculum (or rhythm) complete with ingredients and supplies master lists; early childhood stories and fingerplays and detailed directions for daily themes such as whole foods baking and cooking, watercolour painting, salt dough modelling, drawing, crafting and hiking.

The Guides also contain weekly mindfulness meditations for mothers or carers, simple monthly handwork patterns, as well as seasonal nursery rhyme and picture book recommendations.

What motivated you to create and share them?

I began to document my own journey as a mama to young children on my blog six years ago and as its readership grew, the same burning question arose time and again from like-minded mamas around the world: How do I bring peace, connection, presence and rhythm to my home?

A balanced and flowing daily rhythm includes both ‘in breaths’ and ‘out breaths’ – times for contraction and expansion.

I began researching play-based learning, natural parenting and early childhood education in 2008 after the birth of my first child and on that journey I stumbled across some Waldorf inspired blogs that resonated with me deeply. From that moment on I spent countless hours reading about the importance of rhythm and developing, planning and animating our own daily rhythm. With each new year, new child and new stage and age our daily rhythms change and adapt to our needs but the steady beat always supports us.

My vision is to connect and inspire mothers, carers and communities with each other so that they feel empowered to raise children who are wholly connected with themselves (head, heart and hands) and to the planet.

What feedback do you get from families using them?

There are a lot of testimonials on the website. I get heartwarming emails from mums all the time which I am so so grateful for. Here is an example of one: “The guides have helped me immensely in maintaining a rhythm and to just generally be more relaxed, I think because all the organization is done. In the first few days I stood in the kitchen amazed at how happily my children were playing in the morning.”

How have they helped your own family?

The Guides were originally made just for my little family. I was inspired to share them because they worked so well and incorporated so many things I was looking for in a daily rhythm. Now the Guides are second nature in our family.

The Whole Family Rhythms Guides are designed to help you bring to life a magical, enriching and flowing rhythm unique to your family.

We don’t follow them strictly week to week, although you can, because we have finally struck a pretty good balance between rhythm and flow and a bit of spontaneity. If I feel that something needs to shift or I am looking for some crafting or story inspiration I reference them absolutely.

Are they for homeschoolers?

They can be but not exclusively by any means. These guides were designed for carers of young children of a pre-school age, in the strict sense of the word.

How does it benefit a family to create a rhythm in tune with the seasons?

Through my work I try to inspire mothers and carers to incorporate outside time into their daily rhythms. Seasonal rhythms, festivals and celebrations inform children about the ever-changing landscape in which we live. When we celebrate seasonal rhythms within the home we are creating traditions and rituals that mirror, compliment and illuminate what is happening in our natural environment.

Connect with the rhythm of your home.

Expansive activities include free unstructured play, outside play or hiking. Inward activities include mealtimes, sleeptimes, storytime or a daily activity such as drawing, painting or crafting.

Rhythms are not meant to be followed militantly but they do require perseverance, dedication and sometimes sacrifice from the caregiver in order be maintained and observed with consistency and respect.

Can dads use these too or are they gender specific?

Yes. My husband and I share full-time care for our almost four and two year old right now. Our older children, ages six and eight, attend a local Waldorf school. On school days the parent who brings the older children to school also has a working day. Currently Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays I am at home with the younger children. Thursdays and Fridays my husband takes this domestic role. He loves the Guides as he is naturally more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person, which doesn’t always work for toddlers.

How do they benefit parents?

Daily, weekly and seasonal rhythms are the anchors that provide security and happiness to your child. With a strong daily rhythm a child knows what to expect and what is expected. With rhythm, simple daily activities, chores, self-care, mealtimes, become habits instead of arguments. In the early years especially, daily rhythm should revolve around food, sleep and unstructured play both indoors and outdoors.

Every family is totally and completely unique and so is every family’s daily rhythm.