Embracing Self-care: Peace in the Home

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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.

How do YOU create peace in your home? What does it mean for you and your family?

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4 thoughts on “Embracing Self-care: Peace in the Home

  1. I am SO IMPRESSED that you’ve been getting up at 5:00 am! What a challenge, but I imagine it is a huge blessing once you get into the habit. I would love to get back into the habit of being up early, but needing to walk 35 minutes or bus for 20 means I have to get up a lot earlier than I’m used to just to get to work on time.

    “My” home is far from peaceful right now because it a) isn’t mine, b) isn’t tidy, and c) isn’t aesthetically pleasing. This is all natural and to be expected when you’ve just returned from living overseas, but it is already driving my bonkers. I’m sure that once these small things get accomplished (which I WILL make time for this week), both Graeme and I will feel like better humans!

  2. These are all wonderful ideas. My children are a little older now – one is getting his license in just a few days. Even so, the errands are what disrupt our time the most. The running out to get poster board for a project or new printer ink. Or the running out of ketchup or milk. All those little errands can really put a damper on the level of peace and contentment in the home.
    I agree with the getting up early too. Boy, does that one help. I get a little more centered and purposeful with my day if I have the time to reflect and prepare prior to the kid onslaught…

  3. Great post! I am realizing that we are exact opposites when it comes to, what I call, “peaceful progress”. I never feel fully at peace but am always progressing towards it. Our life’s most peaceful times are often away from our messy, poorly decorated home. :) We find a lot of peace at the park, on play dates, …..and especially in the car going to those things. Our best talks about life, concerns about school, etc. have been in the car. Somehow, my kids feel like the straps on their car seat make it safe to ask me all kinds of questions. They tell me all kinds of things they don’t think of during our take-out pizza dinners.
    You and I are compatible in the ‘just say no’ department. I figured out, around the time the twins were 3 or 4, that we were signed up for so much gymnastics/storytime/ballet/karate that we could never spontaneously meet up with friends when the weather turned gorgeous or have lunch with Daddy when his afternoon meeting got cancelled. I had to say ‘No’ to lots of things so I could say ‘Yes’ to more things that made me progress towards my peace.
    Also, if I got up at 5am for anything other than my Saturday long run, people would be physically harmed by me at some point in my day.
    Thanks for your post, I love knowing that everyone does it differently and that if I tried it your way I could probably make peaceful progress, too.

  4. Pingback: Embracing Self-Care: Taking Some R&R |

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