Finding Joy in Routine

by | Nov 4, 2021 | Family Life, Society

I’ve been married for 16 years and have been a mom for 15 years.  In all our married years I have truly counted our blessings that Dan and I had never become two passing ships in the night.  The two of us worked very hard to keep a schedule that always put our family time at a priority.  There have been times where my job or his kept us busy, but we were able to recognize it quickly and were able to realign our priorities and gain a new focus.  We truly worked very hard to make time for each other.

A few months ago, we had our oldest child begin a job, high school, and get a drivers license.  Our second child (our socialite) started middle school, our ten-year-old desired to play football this year…THREE times a week, and our youngest always has some sort of appointment or meeting that we must attend.  Guess what?  For the first time in sixteen years, we all became passing ships in the night!  All of us…exhausted ships!  When we were home, we found ourselves doing our responsibilities and quickly falling asleep with very little family time.

One of the biggest changes was family supper time.  Family suppers have ALWAYS been a priority in this house!  Now we have a daughter working during supper time and a son who must be at football practice twice a week from 5-7pm.  My mama heart was breaking!  Our family was surviving, but we were not thriving, and I missed the joy we typically have in our home…and so did Dan and the kids!  We had entered a season in our lives that was crazy busy, and we did not prepare ourselves or our children very well to experience it!

Guess what?  Dan and I took time out for a date night and discussed how we were going to rectify this situation.  We knew that football was not going to last forever, but we knew that our oldest would still work during supper occasionally!  We decided we needed to be more intentional in our time home as a family.  What does that look like?  Even though Lu was still working over supper we still needed to do daily check ins with her (which is our supper ritual).  So, when she gets home from work, we now spend time with her listening to her stories from the day.  When Leo had football, we took advantage of the one-on-one time we had with Eva and George.  When Leo was home, we’d find ourselves outside throwing the football and laughing with each other.  We HAD to make the best of the season in our lives and be more intentional with our time together.  No more sitting on the phone scrolling mindlessly through Facebook for me!  I had no time to waste!!! 

I do not believe that our life will slow down as our kiddos continue to get older, but, making sure that we find simple joy in this daily routine of life is essential to the Brooke families mental health.  Each day we must find something to be joyful about and those simple joys carry us through the times that we are apart.  May St. Monica and St. Mary protect our family and all of yours too!  Remember friends…find joy in whatever you do…it will always keep you going!

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Tara Brooke

Tara Brooke is a wife, mother, educator, and child of God.  Tara has worked in various aspects of ministry in the Catholic Church for over 20 years, her last years as a Director of Marriage and Family Life for her local diocese.  She now stays home and tends to the needs of her growing and beautiful family.  She has three biological children and two adopted children, both with Down Syndrome. She loves helping engaged couples grow in their understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage as well as helping enrich already married couples in growing in holiness together.  She resides in Bismarck, ND with her amazing husband, Deacon Dan! 

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