Guest post by Alison of Pint-sized Treasures
A dash of this. A shake of that. Wouldn’t it be nice if that’s all it took to create a happy home? Though it’s not as easy as whipping up a batch of cookies, there are some special ingredients we need in order to create a happy home for our families.
With the holidays drawing near, many of us have warm and fuzzy thoughts of families singing Christmas carols around Grandma’s piano and the family snuggled around the fire to hear The Christmas Story one more time. For some families, this is only a distant dream. A happy home seems almost unattainable.
But, today, I am sharing some secret ingredients for a happy home–even if you have scars and hurts in your past. But, it’s up to you. You have to desire to do whatever it takes to give your family the perfect gift–the gift of a happy home.
I meet many moms who are stressed, worn out and frustrated with their marriage. Many of them wonder if there is ever any light in this dark, ominous tunnel they are traveling through. Is that you, sweet reader? If it is, I want to help you. I want to encourage you to not give up and give yourself and your family a second chance. Your kids deserve peace on earth, and you can be the one that offers a small haven of peace and rest in your precious home.
“Why do you encourage moms to create happier homes?”
That’s a question I hear often. I encourage moms, because moms have a super-power. Have you ever heard the saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”? Obviously thousands of people before me saw and witnessed the effect that a happy mom has on her home. Yes, your attitude, demeanor and thoughts can radically change your home.
Want to transform your home for the better? Let’s start now–one secret ingredient at a time!
Secret Ingredients to a Happy Home
It’s a simple thought, but it’s powerful. How can you show kindness? Sure you can obey the rule of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” but being kind goes way beyond words. Your husband and children can sense your nice-o-meter through your tone of voice, facial expressions and gestures.
You won’t be able to fool the closest people in your life, so you have to try to have kindness in your heart first. Then, and only then, will kindness come out in your words and actions. Instead of snapping at your husband or kids, try calming down and truly listening. Think and wait before you speak so you can ensure kindness comes out of your mouth, instead of harsh criticism that will only push your family away.
Don’t run away now! I am not telling you to have your home immaculately clean. I am just being honest when I say neatness helps create a happy home. Why? Because it cuts down on stress from being unable to locate specific items. A neat home is also open to friends and relatives that may want to stop by for a quick chat. A neat home has an overall feeling of peacefulness instead of chaotic disarray.
Now, I have six, wonderful, adorable kids that take a lot of my time. I do not have loads of extra time to scrub floors and dust ceilings. However, I still believe it is important for me to strive to keep things “picked up” and orderly. When things begin to get out of hand, I can just feel the crankiness taking over me, my kids and even my husband. Just 15 minutes here, and 30 minutes there, and 20 minutes there will keep your home from getting out of control.
These are a little different than schedules. Schedules are slaves to the clock and routines are more of a pattern. You eat breakfast, then shower, then check email, then chores etc. That is a simple morning routine. Establishing a routine for you and your kids will help everyone feel more secure and prepared for the future. It also gives you something to look forward to and adds a touch of comfort to your everyday plans. Kids know if they start to get a little bit hungry, that it’s OK because mom will have dinner ready by 6 p.m. You feel relieved that you can get your pre-planned nap or break in during your kid’s routine nap time. Routines are a win-win for parents and kids — just try them and see!
4. Heart connections.
Have you and your husband connected lately? Have you had a snuggle fest with your kids? Heart connections are specific times when we emotionally connect with another person on a deeper level. What are the best ways to do this? I have found the best ways to connect with my husband and kids are listening, playing, enjoying and respecting. When my husband talks, I listen. When my child wants to share something funny with me they read in their favorite book, I put down the dishes, make eye contact and really listen. I also connect with my kids by playing with them. We play hide-and-seek, soccer, I Spy and anything else my kids enjoy.
For my husband, I connect by taking time to enjoy his interests. He wants to go out somewhere, I ask to tag along. He wants to talk about some recent political situation, I curl up with him, watch the news and offer to make him a cup of tea so we can enjoy his interests together. Another heart-connector is respect. I never mock or ridicule my husband — ever. My kids are special gifts, and I also don’t mock them or laugh when they make mistakes. When they want to talk, I get down on their eye level and give them the respect that any human being deserves. These small, everyday heart connectors have created super-close relationships in our family, which have in turn created a happier home for all of us. Heart-connectors work!
Image from pixabay.com
5. Love-filled thoughts.
If you feel that your love-o-meter is down in the dumps when it comes to your husband and kids, try filling your mind with love-filled thoughts. Don’t focus on those dirty footprints from your husband’s shoes. Instead, focus on those blue eyes that make you swoon, those hard-working arms that provide food, clothing and extras for your family. Think about your husband’s winning smile and his infectious laugh. Simply focus on his good points and determine to love him for who he is, not who you think he should be.
With your kids, don’t get frustrated over the cheerios on the floor or the gum you find in their hair. Take those moments in stride and focus on those small hands that wrap around your face and tell you, “You’re da best mudder in da world!” Enjoy those chubby, pitter-patters and just breathe in all the sweetness that is wrapped up into one pint-sized human being. Sure, our kids and husbands have faults, but so do we. Do we want others to remember our faults or our strengths? Remember and focus on the good aspects of your husband and kids. Those sweet thoughts will fill your love tank!
If you’re desiring a happier home for your family, try adding these secret ingredients to the atmosphere of your home. You will see a difference–I promise! Your home may not be perfect, but it will be happier!
If you asked the average mom what are the top five things she desires to have in this life, most of them would say, “A happy home.” Many times we think happy homes only exist on sitcoms or in fairy tales. This is simply not true. You can have a happy home, but it takes hard work, time and sacrifice. This 25-day challenge will help you create a happy home for your family. Is your family worth taking the challenge? You bet!
In 25 Days to a Happier Home I take you through each day with honest, mom-to-mom and wife-to-wife advice. By candid, yet caring demeanor, I offer these heart-searching challenges to help your home. I have shared my own struggles to encourage you in every challenge to keep pressing forward.
If you truly desire a happy home, it is worth your time to give these 25 Days of challenges a chance. Your home will forever be changed — for the better.
What do you think are some important ingredients for a happy home?
Alison is a WAHM of six kiddos and has been married to one wonderful man for almost 14 years. She and her husband are church-planting missionaries in Southeast Asia. Alison is also a writer for parenting websites and encourages moms on their journey of motherhood with easy recipes, frugal living tips, fun crafts, parenting tips and more momspiration on her blog called Pint-sized Treasures. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ for all the latest momspiration!