We've all heard the familiar phrases"If mama ain’t happy ain't nobody happy” and “Happy Wife, Happy Life”. Even though we throw those words around in a fun light-hearted way, there couldn’t be more truth hidden beneath them. We as moms hold an honored position of making or breaking the mood of anger, discontent, and crabbiness in our homes. Maybe you have found yourself like me, getting short-tempered with my kids when I wished I could have held my tongue or shown more grace in the heat of the moment?
There can be so many reasons that we as moms end up acting out of our adam nature and not with a softened spirit-filled heart. For me it is a daily journey to keep seeking the Lord, and examining ways I can prepare my home, my children, and myself for a good day. We as keepers of our dwellings, have the power to set our home's thermometer in both practical and spiritual ways. When I have bad days or stress-filled moments, I realize the degrees of joy, peace, and calmness in my home are a direct measure of my own physical, spiritual and mental well being.
Over the last year, I have been making some intentional changes to help me set a different tone to our home and cultivate more warmth and grace in the atmosphere. Here are 10 ways I found that help me to combat the anxiety and anger that can arise in my home.
10 Ways To Create A Home of Warmth and Grace
1. Getting Rest. I still stay up late sometimes so I have time with no one asking me to do anything at all. It is a sacred quiet time for me. Scheduled bedtimes for my kids and myself gives me time to stay up beyond them and still get enough sleep. I see a direct link to whether I get enough sleep and how I handle my kids the next day. If you have babies and can't control your sleep patterns, then give yourself grace and do the best you can. We have all been there and we're cheering you on!
2. Time with God. Spending time talking to God in prayer and reading the Bible has a strong impact on me as a mom. Maybe you are in a busy season and taking devotional time is next to impossible. Do what you can, when you can. I wrote a post about the struggle I was having in this area, you can read the post here, where I started giving up perfect hours for divine minutes. I hope that post will encourage you to grab a few minutes here or there. Staying in the presence of God gives me strength to be proactive rather than reactive when anger arises in our home.
3. Simplify Schedules. We limit outside activities, or at least try to have seasons of off time to keep stress levels lower. I have learned to allow margin for rest, for fun, and just being together. I can tend to be task oriented. When I spend direct one on one time with my kids, (Not just homeschooling them) playing a game, looking them in the eye and giving them my attention, the level of anger in my kids comes down considerably and we feel better.
4. Clutter Busting: Keeping a few most important areas of my home de-cluttered keeps me less stressed and less angry. Not perfect but picked up through the day. I am also trying to train my kids to pick up after themselves. This is a hard area for us, but we keep working on it, and as we do it seems to bring a peace and a whole lot less anxiety for us all.
5. Giving up Perfection - The only one perfect is God. I am reminded of this when I put too high of expectations on myself. There is nothing that gets me more angry inside and lashing out then the pressure I put on myself to do too much. When we can let go of striving for perfect, we can rest in grace and let God work on our hearts. This softens us to be better moms and wives.
6. Meal Planning - When I know what is for dinner first thing in the morning this makes the day go better. Just planning it out is a simple thing to do, but sometimes I forget, and then I end up in a panic to get dinner made in time. I love my crockpot for ease and anything I can do to make meal times smooth in the evening really helps all of us stay sane. The meal planning guides provided here on The Better Mom are a great place to start.
7. Having Mom Time Out: Time outs are crucial for me to re-group and feel human. I encourage you to take time outs through the day. Try to simply go to your bedroom for five minutes and breathe--this does wonders for us as moms. If your kids take naps, then you have some time to soak in the silence. Doing anything here or there for yourself is so important in refueling and rejuvenating. A date with your husband, reading a good book, any hobby or interest that is just for you is important to feed your soul and make you a calmer mother.
8. Playing Music: I play music every day in our home, and it works like magic. My kids might be fighting a lot or I might need to cool down too. Music works so well to change the atmosphere of our home or to keep it peaceful.
9. Give Grace for Limitations: We are women with hormone changes going on all the time. Hormones are a normal part of our ever-changing bodies, but it's good to recognize them as a valid mood changer. Communicating with our kids and husbands when we don't feel well, is a good idea. Recognizing any medical limitations gives everyone in our home room to extend grace to each other.
10. Scripture Memory: Memorizing scriptures as a family, with my kids, and for myself has made such a difference in our home. When situations come up where we get angry, I can turn to the scriptures we have learned and get my kids to recite them back to me, or I recite them as a reminder when things are not going well. There is nothing that works better in the heat of the moment then saying out loud "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"! I encourage you to memorize scriptures with your kids and for yourself.
I hope these 10 ways to create a home of warmth and grace will be a guide for setting the optimal temperature in your home. We as moms don't have to have it all figured out, but together we can walk day by day to create a home that reflects Christ.
God Bless You! Denise from Denise In Bloom
For your convenience, we've created a sheet of these 10 ways that you can print. Click on image to print.