Friday, December 29, 2017

The Happy Home

It is a fast world we live in today, a world of increasing chaos and stress.

Why do we feel rushed all the time?  Why do we not have time to be still at home?  Why do we not have time to think, organize, rest, to relax?  Is it the screens?  The shopping?  The broken families?

I think it is all of the above and more.  And there is one solution to the fast-paced, stressed out world: build home life!

Home life is missing.  There is not a happy, comfortable place to unwind at the end of the day.  So people go out to spend the evenings at restaurants, at parties or shopping through the stores for things they do not need...ask me how I know.  This is the modern world that surrounds us; we live this life!

So I try to make our home a happy one.  And I will share with you the things that are helping us in this task:






1. Pray the family Rosary.  Now we do not do this everyday.  There are actually lots of days when it gets too late and I am forced to put the children to bed and then pray.  But when they are included there is a real sense of peace that envelops us and we are absolutely better able to deal with struggles the following days.  So try this please if nothing else!  Pray the family Rosary!




2. Cook!  Cooking is healthy, it is the best way to get fresh ingredients and thus nutrition into our bodies.  The process of cooking is gratifying and important since healthy people will be calm and happy people!  It is naturally comfortable since most people are very hungry at mealtimes and especially at the end of a long day, not to mention the enticing smells and artistic settings that can uplift our other senses too.  Beauty feeds our souls and so the potential to create beauty with table settings and food arrangements should not be taken for granted!  The family dinner is a very underrated way to bring family closer, so establish it and defend it, Christian mothers!  Meals are better when significant thought and time have been put into the preparation; so here is an argument for mothers accepting the vocation at home.





3. Tidy up but don't stress it!  This one is hard for me.  I am a bit OCD when it comes to cleaning and so I don't like to leave one toy out or one section of floor un-mopped.  BUT I usually need to be content with what gets done as far as cleaning goes...  I have learned that one hour a day is sufficient to do "chores" and beyond that general tidying and an occasional extra cleaning task (like washing sheets and curtains, cleaning windows, vacuuming couches and scrubbing the tub) will get me through the weeks much less stressfully and much more happily!  If this is not up to par, please don't burst my bubble!





4. Have a strict but gradual bedtime.  We also are not great at this one.  But I'm working on it because I know what a difference bedtime makes even for adults who need our sleep!  The structure of home life for children is very, very helpful!  I cannot emphasize this enough.  I like to take them up for a bath around 7:30-8 and then have time for pajamas, brush teeth, find everyone's blankets and make sure they are settled in with a book or quiet game until they fall asleep.  Every night is a little bit different but having an agenda and goals definitely helps me!  Also, the time after the children are in bed is valuable for the parents.  Marriage is after all what sustains family life more than anything else!  So set aside time to relax and talk, work on a project, read or pray a bit more...together.  Something rarely done around here: a quiet grown up dinner after the children are in bed is surprisingly refreshing- if you don't starve in the meantime!






5. Be cheerful!  Happiness in our souls is the basis of a happy home life.  God designed our personalities and experiences to complement one another.  He is the Master of design and so even though it can be hard to believe sometimes, everyone is necessary in the family life!  Each person we have is a grace, even when they are being difficult.  So give encouragement when someone is down, play games with the little ones even when you're worn out, make another snack when someone is hungry!  It's worth it I am sure.  It is easy to be cheerful when we feel happy.  But when we are discouraged or tired it gets a little harder.  I try to remember that a bad attitude never helped anyone, while cheerfulness is always reasonable if we believe in Heaven!  So smile, stand up confidently and keep going.




Thanks for reading!  I would love to hear your tips for building a happy home life in the comments below!

7 comments:

  1. This is so true! Families need family time!

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  2. My husband and set aside time each evening for the two of us. He guarded it very carefully. We had older children who could help out with entertaining and watching over the younger ones. In the summer we went for a short walk down the street. I am very glad we were able to do these things. I also was quite strict about bedtime mainly because I needed the rest. So as ages changed so did bedtimes, but all children were in their rooms by 9 pm. The littlest ones were in bed by 8 pm. Thank you for sharing so many lovely ideas.

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    Replies
    1. I love this story! Thank you for sharing more ideas!

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    2. What a beautiful idea about having alone time to take walks and talk. My husband and I enjoy this luxury because we only have one little over who goes to bed at 7:30. I love your ideas on how to continue this as our family grows bigger and grows up!

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  3. Thanks for the advices!
    What I see that it's a slow and hard process to form good Catholic family habits because my husband and I come from non-religious families. But I can see the progress and it makes me happy and gives me hope! :-)

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  4. This is a wonderful blog. I stumbled across your site last night and am glad I did! God bless you and your family ��

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