A group of bloggers are doing a series called Embracing Self-Care and each is posting on the same topic every Wednesday this month and they’re extending an open invitation to join in. Here are my thoughts on this week’s topic, Peace in the Home. And check out the other installments as well: Know Thyself and Health and Spirituality.
If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy
As much as I wish this wasn’t true, it is. There’s a direct ripple effect that takes my frustration and stress directly to my children. I recognize more and more that my behavior, attitude and even countenance can change their moods quick. So, this mama needs to stay happy and enable peace to flourish in our home. How do I do that? Well, to be honest, I don’t always. It’s been a rough season with Ryan in grad school while working full time so we’re both stretched pretty thin. I do my best to choose joy and create an environment that helps my family flourish but it’s not easy. However, there are things that make it easier for joy and peace to thrive within our four walls:
- Menu plan. Life is so much better when I’m not nagged by the eternal question of “What’s for dinner (or breakfast or lunch)?” I wrote a post about menu planning and just how much I love it and it helps my day, and life, to go much more smoothly.
- Maintain a beautiful, organized space. There’s nothing like the feeling of relaxing in a clean, cute space after a long day of parenthood. Aesthetics are very important to me and I just feel better when things look nice. Life also flows well when things are organized and I know where they are and I don’t have to spend a ton of time searching for something. In our trans-continental transiency I haven’t been able to curate this area as I would like. Someday…
- Say ‘no’. This one is hitting me hard right now. There’s so many wonderful things I could do and I’m pretty good at convincing myself I can do them even when I know I shouldn’t. Recently I backed out of something I had just committed to because I quickly realized it was too much. Especially in this season of raising two small kids I need to say ‘no’ to almost everything and choose a few things I can really focus on and do well. I’m a much happier person when I don’t overload my plate and I can actually enjoy playing with my kids and not feel like they’re in the way of my personal agenda.
- Give myself plenty of time. Nothing sends me and the kids into a downward spiral faster than when I feel rushed. Our worst meltdowns happen when should have left the house five minutes ago and I’m trying to wrestle my he-bear of a son into a clean diaper (which, as he lets makes clear, is torture) and I’m yelling at Eleanor to put.her.shoes.on.NOW for the tenth time. So I start getting us ready way before I think I should and it usually winds up being the right amount of time. I’ve also started getting up at 5 am and it makes a huge difference in my entire day.
- Spend time at home. While taking the kids to the park, children’s museum and on other outings is important for all of us, I can’t get 90% of my ‘to-do’ list done when I’m out and about. Since I value a made-from-scratch, DIY lifestyle I have to be at home. It allows me the time necessary to create the home environment I desire for our family and places the relationships we have with each other at the center of our lives.
I want our home to be a place every member of our family wants to be and I know that, as mom, it starts with me. While I depend on God’s grace to help me choose the attitudes necessary to make this happen, there are practical steps I can take. The more experience I gain as a ‘homemaker’ the better I get at it and it becomes easier to get routines and systems in place that positively impact our home.