Monday, January 24, 2011

How To Create A Joyful Home: Keep Mom Happy

We didn't have a happy home this morning.

It's kinda like the domino effect.

I thought I would let my six-year-old daughter sleep in a little bit because she hates waking up early...

So I woke her up at 7:30AM instead of 7:20AM.

We have to be out the door at 7:50AM.

I woke her up, gave her, her clothes (her outfits are folded and stacked in order so she wears the one on the top - it takes the guesswork and the tears out of getting outfits together)

So she had her clothes and I left her so she could get dressed and ready.

Meanwhile I was making school lunches, emptying the dishwasher, etc.

At 7:40 I went into her room and she had done nothing to get ready.

Nothing.  And we had to leave in 10 minutes.

This is when I lost it.

Did this speed her up?

No. It had the opposite effect. She acted like she didn't know how to put her socks on, she wanted different shoes, etc.

She dragged her feet into the bathroom to brush her hair. Slow. Slow. On purpose slow because I was yelling for her to go faster. She was making me so upset, I even threatened spankings.

In the car she whined about her car seat, etc. Then I gave her a lecture about responsibility and she told me she hated me.

She got into her classroom seconds before the bell.

At home my husband asked who won the wrestling match. Me or her.

I started realizing my responsibility in this mess of a morning.

1. I should get her up earlier rather then later.

2. I need to stay on top of her - rather then leaving her to herself for 10 minutes.

3. I need to stay disciplined and focused in my words- being gentle, yet strong.

Some great advice on this subject was written by a blogger friend of mine named Tonya Kissack.  Here are some excerpts from her post:

Rolling with the punches

I see my children coloring nicely at the table for 5 seconds and I think "Ah. My life is perfect. Look at those beautiful children. They are so kind and good. I am the most blessed woman in the world. God is so good to me."

That thought gets stuck in my mind so that the next minute, when Lyra writes on Solomon's page and he whacks her and she starts screaming, I just think "Oops! We need to deal with this little problem so that these beautiful children can get back to their delightful day." Then I deal with the problem and go back to living the perfect life for the next 5 seconds until something else comes up that I need to deal with.
I guess you could call that optimism... or ostrich-ism. Whatever you like.

My life isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination. It's not exciting. It's just a day to day walk of doing pretty much the same thing. I enjoy it because I have vision for what I am doing. I believe from the bottom of my heart that God put me in the place where He put me because He knew that I could not only get the job done, but that I could do it beautifully. I believe that it is my personal job to see that my home is a thriving, delightful, happy place for my family to live. I believe that it is my job to teach and train my children in love, love, love.

When I set them down and let them go, I want to set them down at the highest point I can reach. I want them to have the very best of starts!

This focus gives me unbelievable joy. It helps me to look past the circumstances of the moment, to see the goal and to go for it. I really believe that I have been given everything I need to do what I am doing really, really well!!! I want my home to be a reflection of the love of God, so that is what I aim for - when I'm in my right mind.

When I'm in my *wrong* mind, I start focusing on circumstances and I get ROBBED!!!! I mean really robbed of all joy. I can barely make it through 5 minutes without feeling like I am going to lose it at least once. Everything drives me nuts, even ridiculous things. My expectations rise and I start finding fault with the children instead of enjoying them (they leave their things everywhere, they are noisy, they are lazy, they are whiny, they are arguing...)

oh, and their behavior is SOOO much worse when I'm off balance. (I can't even tell you how much further a smiling, playing, singing mother can get with her children than an annoyed, distracted, naggy one.) I get annoyed with my husband (why does he work so much, why does he not come to dinner when I call him...blah, blah, blah). I get annoyed with myself and I feel like I am ruining my entire family (I'm not consistent, I'm too busy, I'm not busy enough, I need to clean out the fridge and I hate cleaning out the fridge...). Do you see my point? When mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

I am absolutely the mood setter in my home.

Now, fortunately for me, I like being happy. I like feeling like I am getting ready to bubble over. I like having a song constantly on my lips. It's addicting. So I avoid focusing on my circumstances as huge obstacles and only think of them as opportunities to honor God. That makes them exciting. I start smiling and singing and taking every thought captive. I start doing my own job and leaving everyone else to do theirs (without putting high expectations on them), and in a very short time, I am out of my funk and back to my "perfect life".

I think of how God has always come through for me with a change of heart and I think of how merciful He is to put up with all the times I forget to live in an attitude of thankfulness, even though I know better.

I feel calm, I feel peaceful, I feel content and I feel effervescent. I laugh with my children instead of getting annoyed. I train calmly with a clear mind and with understanding, not in the heat of the moment.

The days I go downhill by not keeping my focus right, I am responsible for that too. I can't bury this or try to play down my joy in order to keep stressed out moms who haven't found this truth to be self-evident yet:) from feeling bad about their daily troubles when my life "looks" so good. I have to try to share the wealth!!!

I want everyone to be so joyful!!! 

I deal in the imperfect all day, but I'm happy anyway:):):).


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