Happy Homes Are Not Perfect Homes
I remember years ago writing with our kids in wet cement in our driveway, “Our Happy Home”. For over 15 years, this great declaration greeted us as we pulled up to the house. But, to be honest, there were days this phrase for sure did not describe our feelings or circumstances… at all!
Just a brief encouragement session for all of us: no one is perfect! Nor is any family perfect!! We are all learning and seeking better ways to live life together.
“Happy Homes” have a foundation of love and confidence: love for life, one another, and ourselves, and confidence that there is hope and help for the challenges we face.
One way to define “happy” is a safe environment, and a growing, positive mentality that expects good things, where everyone feels connected to a degree and valued.
Happy homes start with a committed, secure, aware, and responsive caregiver(s). This may include a grandparent, single mom or dad, a married couple, relative or friend. THE GOAL IS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
Here are 3 helpful choices to make for creating a happy home:
1. CHOOSE PATIENCE AS YOUR IDENTITY.
A hectic, frenzied home is not a pleasant environment. You can be more “patient” with schedules, do lists and interruptions when you are not always “running behind”!! IT STARTS WITH US SEEING OURSELVES PATIENT AND IN CONTROL. Okay..… granted, there are always exceptions and at times we don’t quite pull it off, but take this label and wear it!!!
Obviously a) planning ahead, b) being flexible and c) keeping key things in place are non-negotiables for minimal stress! REFUSE TO BE REDUCED TO A DOMESTIC TIMEKEEPER! Trying to always hurry up the kids will wear you out (and them too!).
And most of all, WIDEN YOUR MARGINS!! Plan what you need for tomorrow’s activities today! If you think getting ready will take 30 minutes, give yourself 45! If you planned 15 minutes to get to the game or school.. give yourself 30! It’s a challenge for all of us to “be patient” and pleasant when we are late or unprepared.
DawnChere told the story the other day of her remembering how I would have 15 or 20 minute sprints to clean the house quickly. I remember them well!
I was convinced that we can, and definitely should, teach our children (and ourselves!) to move quickly, without being out of control, feeling pushed or filling the atmosphere with words of exasperation. SPRINTING CAN BE FUN! Whether cleaning or getting ready to go somewhere, time goals make it a game! “Okay, let’s be ready in 20 minutes! We can have time to stop for a snack!”
If we will stay calm, avoid the yelling-trap and patiently, step by step, move forward, the atmosphere of our home will be much happier. Remember, we are intentionally avoiding the unhappy, exasperated frustrations & anger that steal the fun & energy from our daily schedules!
2. MAKE MENTAL RESILIENCE A PRIORITY.
At any given time, we can access more energy, more self discipline and certainly more strength! When we VISUALIZE a solution, a plan, a happy ending, a new beginning…. our minds are “built up” and ready to move ahead.
Many times our inner dialogue is our worst enemy! We think thoughts of defeat, and being overwhelmed. We convince ourselves that dread and procrastination are our only choices. Unhappy adults have a difficult time maintaining a happy home!
The truth is negative thoughts actually decrease our energy level. But, choosing to SPEAK TO OURSELVES positive words of STRENGTH & THANKFULNESS will create an energy and resilience in our thought patterns & reactions.
Declare to yourself, “I am strong and confident! I choose to prioritize and focus on having a tough, resilient mindset! That is how God built me!” All will have to fight for our inner strength. But it’s worth the fight!!
3. ESTABLISH APOLOGIZING & FORGIVING A DAILY NORM.
A happy, warm home is a “connected zone”. The antidote for misunderstandings. arguments, and hurt feelings is choosing to be first in line to say “I’m sorry! Your feelings matter to me!”, or, “I totally forgive you! You are everything to me!”.
Our goal is be a family, a team, unified, supporting one another, with no one left out!
When we are honest with ourselves and each other, we are free to admit our mistakes, selfishness, and poor choices. As parents, we can model to our children, apologizing quickly and forgiving even quicker!!!
A happy home is founded on the reality that we are all learning unconditional love & maturing together.
Remember these are your “HAPPY” choices:
- CHOOSE PATIENCE AS YOUR IDENTITY.
- MAKE MENTAL RESILIENCE A PRIORITY.
- APOLOGIZE & FORGIVE DAILY.
Don’t give in! Don’t settle for less!! Declare: “ I AM patient, and strong! And today I am looking for opportunities to show mercy!”
And by the way…. I think we are all thankful that perfection is not a requirement for having a happy home! I sure am!! ❤️
Never Give Up!