#realmothersdiversevoices : Sara Charlesworth

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I am thrilled to be sharing a new interview series with you each and every week: #realmothersdiversevoices. In this series my intention is to reveal the endless ways our family values can inform our Daily Rhythm. The mothers I have interviewed lead diverse lives but they each have a huge sense of clarity about what their Family Values are (even if they change over time) and consciously and creatively strive to create a Daily Rhythm in alignment with those values.

It is my hope that through these stories more Mothers feel inspired to explore what their own family values are, to question them and bring them to life in their everyday experience. I know that seeing the world through another Mother’s lens will develop more empathy, understanding and compassion between us.

Today I am honoured to welcome Sara Charlesworth to Whole Family Rhythms community. Sara is a sweet and loving stay at home Mother to one, currently living in Arizona. She spends her days spreading warmth throughout her home and shares photos of her cozy house and sweet family on her Instagram, @chalkwhitearrow

Hello! I am Sara, wife to Camden, and mother to our son Jude. We have been living in Arizona for the past two years now, but previously lived in Salt Lake City, which still feels a bit more like home to us. We live in a 1600 square foot home where my three year old son, Jude, has now lived most of his life. Before Jude was born, I was a full time personal assistant but after moving to the desert, I decided to become a full time stay at home mom, something I had been wanting to do ever since he was born. I share photos of our home and life on Instagram which is a fun creative outlet for me. Being creative has always been a way for me to feel like myself and get rid of unneeded anxiety …. and homemaking has always been a huge passion of mine. I try not to ever take it too seriously and hope those who follow along with me don’t either 😉

What is one of the greatest joys you experience as a Mother?

Honestly, it’s hard for me to pick just one. I love being a Mother more than I ever thought I would. However, I really love watching Jude learn and his personality develop. Seeing the kind and smart person he is becoming brings me so much unexplainable joy.

What is one of the biggest challenges you face daily as a Mother?

Being patient. I always thought of myself as a patient person but being a Mother tests my patients in more ways than I could have ever imagined.

What does having “Rhythm in your Home” mean to you?

It means having a flexible schedule of daily routines …. The things that help our days go by smoothly and give us both a kind of consistency that we both crave. Somedays our routine gets thrown out the window, but I have found that the days we stick to our daily rhythm go smoother and tend to be happier than the ones we don’t.

Can you give an example of some of your most cherished ‘Family Values’?

Kindness, empathy, and compassion are a few things we try to teach and practice daily within our home. It is important to us to raise a child who is loving, understanding, and compassionate towards others and I think being a good example of that is key.

How do you hope to pass these values on to your children? Or in other words, how do you manifest these family values into your daily rhythm?

We always try to be kind and show respect to not just the people we interact with, but with the things and the toys we use. We also like to look at things from more than just one point of view. For example, when telling stories to Jude, we like to look at it form the perspective of all the characters, not just the heroes. I think teaching children compassion towards all living things is really important especially towards those whose beliefs or opinions may differ for our own.  

Can you outline a typical ‘Weekday Rhythm’ for you and your child. Specifically when/where/how do you and your little ones eat, sleep/rest, play inside/outside, work/learn and make time for selfcare?

6:30-7:00 a.m. – We wake up. Camden gets ready for work and Jude + myself get ready to get in the car.

7:45-8:15 a.m. – Is spent in the car taking Camden to work (we all share one car).

8:15-8:45 a.m. – Breakfast. Most days we just do cold cereal, toast, or overnight oats with a side of fruit, and then sometimes have pancakes or french toast on the weekends.

9-10:30 a.m. – Jude has free play time. He likes to play with toys, do puzzles … Also, this is the time of day when he can watch a show if he chooses. During this time I will clean up the kitchen, get dressed, make the beds, and make a list of all the things that need to get done that day.

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Is generally when we run any errands if there are any that need to be done. We like to get most of our errands done and out of the way at the beginning of each week. All the other days we color, paint, make something in the kitchen, or occasionally we’ll go to the aquarium or (in the cooler months) we’ll go to the park or the zoo.

12:00 p.m. – Lunch time

1:00-3:00 p.m. – Nap time.

3-4:30 p.m. – The most difficult time of day. We usually turn on music to give us a bit of energy. Jude likes to have a snack and play with a few toys while he wakes back up.  I’ll finish up any chores or projects I was working on. We then like to do something together …. play with toys or read books or run around outside if it’s cool enough.

4:30-5:00 p.m. – We clean up toys and put away things we got out during the day.

5-6:00 p.m.  – This is when we’ll go pick up Camden from work.

5:45-6:15 p.m. – Camden and Jude play together while I make dinner.

6:30 p.m. – Dinner time

7:00 p.m. – Camden will bathe Jude if it’s bath night, or they’ll play together while I clean up and ready our home for the following day.

7:30 p.m. – Time for Jude to get in his pyjamas, read a story, and go to bed.

8:00 p.m. – The time of day that belongs to Camden and myself. We like to play games, talk, or put on a good movie / television series.  

When does your family rhythm get thrown off kilter?

Somedays we just get off kilter … Days when we are both feeling tired or grumpy. It occasionally happens, but we try and just roll with it and pick ourselves back up the next day.  

When you’re feeling stuck, tired, frustrated with your role as Mother, what do you need most to shift your energy and perception?

This seems to happen most often when I have not taken enough time for myself or because I am expecting too much out of what can be accomplished each day. When I feel overwhelmed it helps to just let all of my expectations go and just be in the moment.

If you could recommend one book to ALL Mothers out there what would it be?

Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne

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Meagan Wilson is a parent educator and author of the now-retired seasonal series of Whole Family Rhythms. After finishing a BA, she went on to complete her Foundations in Steiner Education and Anthroposophy at Sydney Steiner College, as well as her Waldorf Early Childhood Certification at the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Toronto. She has received her certification as a Simplicity Parenting Family Life Coach and has supported hundreds of parents to create a strong family rhythm unique to their own values and culture. She has four young children. Meagan provides resources, support and information to parents who are looking for a bridge to cross between their unique family life and their children’s (often but not always) Waldorf schools.