Day Number Eleven of 20 Days Toward Being A More Mindful Mother

This is a topic near and dear to my heart: making your home work for you.  This whole notion of “What makes a home a home?” is profoundly interesting to me!

This probably has more to do with the “intangibles”:  the way a home feels when you walk into it.  Is there warmth, joy, laughter, playfulness – or is it all tense, anger, bitterness, misery? 

Your own inner work is of utmost importance in maintaining your home as a place of joy, humor and warmth.  How YOU feel cared for is an important part.  There was a post earlier in this series regarding how to make yourself a priority; I believe this is important to continue to try to find ways to honor yourself and the wonderful parent that you are.  Quiet confidence gives a great strength and stability to the home.

So, when we think of “home” and cleaning up, let’s clean up ourselves first.  Discern the essentials for your family!  Do you have a Family Mission Statement?  Here is that post:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/05/08/creating-a-family-mission-statement/

Here is our Family Mission Statement:

Our family will be a place of KINDNESS, as we love one another, help one another, and are gentle and patient with one another in words and actions.

(“Don’t ever forget kindness and truth. Wear them like a necklace. Write them on your heart as if on a tablet.” Proverbs 3:3 and “Someone with a quick temper does foolish things, but someone with understanding remains calm.” Proverbs 14:17).

Our family will be a place of POSITIVE ATTITUDES as we have hope, cheerfulness and encouragement for each other in all situations and challenges.

(“Worry is a heavy load, but a kind word cheers you up.” Proverbs 12:25 and “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, making people happy and healthy.” Proverbs 16:24)

Our family will be one of INTEGRITY as we do what we say we are going to do and act in honesty and loyalty to one another.

(“The good people who live honest lives will be a blessing to their children.” Proverbs 20:7)

You can write something in accordance with your own spiritual beliefs!  Let your Family Mission Statement reflect the utmost priorities of your family!

Let’s think about “de-cluttering” in how we take care of OURSELVES; can we discern the essentials and leave the non-essentials behind?  Have we been ignoring the essentials in regards to ourselves?    Are you going to bed and getting enough rest?  Are you eating well?  Keeping up with your own doctor’s appointments?  Are you exercising at all (and no, walking at the pace of a two-year-old who stops every foot to examine things on the ground probably does not qualify to increase your own cardiovascular health!)  How could you work these things into your rhythm?  Could your spouse or partner help make this happen?

Now we are onto the physical beauty that is our home!  I think the issue is that as homeschooling mothers we are in our home ALL DAY, so the physical way our home looks and feels can really affect us! 

We have looked in the past on this blog at de-cluttering your home and also how to homeschool and have a clean house.  Those posts are here:

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/05/11/housecleaning-and-homeschooling/

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/09/12/is-your-home-a-sanctuary/

I also encourage all of you to not only come up with a rhythm for your de-cluttering and your cleaning, but for chores for your children.  In a homeschooling family, all the housecleaning cannot be just on the mother.  It takes a team!  That being said, many children need you to do chores WITH them until the nine-year-change at least.  We are doing things TOGETHER and you are singing and having FUN!  That is what makes a home a home; the beauty of caring for one another!

But most of all, remember a home is built of those soul qualities.  One book that may be of use to you all is “The Spiritual Tasks of the Homemaker”.  For a study of this book, please see AnthroMama’s blog here: http://anthromama.wordpress.com/spiritual-tasks-of-the-homemaker-study/

Many blessings,

Carrie

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2 thoughts on “Day Number Eleven of 20 Days Toward Being A More Mindful Mother

  1. Carrie,

    I love your posts, I have found nothing that compares; I look forward to reading your blog every night before bed. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy day.

    So when you posted the photo of you and your husband in celebration of 21 years since your first date, I was excited to finally see what you looked like, as well as your husband about whom you write so fondly.

    I was also impressed by the “21 years” compared to the five years I’ve spent with my husband, only one of which was without children (now we have three).

    I have been working very hard on myself and have taken all of your advice and admonishments to heart regarding how we treat our spouses. I have been hard on him and I am trying to change that.

    But… There is yelling (at me and the kids) and weekend-long bouts of swearing and exasperated sighs and unending complaints that he can’t get anything done, that the housework is unending and the kid noise is driving him mad… This from parent who takes fishing trips with his friends and plays sports three times per week.

    I have enough self-control these days to sit silent, as a stay-at-home mom with few distrations and dreams of homeschooling next year, while I listent to this. But inside, I just can’t believe what I am being expected to put up with. I would never sit silent if it wasn’t for the kids.

    I would like your opinion, because a good one is hard to find; when is it OK to say ENOUGH, and leave? When all my inner work is done and I can say I’ve tried everything? My biggest worry, of course, is the cost to my children.

    Judy in Canada

    • Judy, What a hard and challenging situation! To me, when there is talk about housework, kid noise, on the part of the spouse etc. it usually is more of a cover for he feels his needs are not being met or perhaps he is not even sure what his needs are anymore! And yes, it is hard to be the one to have to met everyone’s needs…I wish someone had told me BEFORE I got married that it was going to be up to me to set the tone in my home and so much would fall to me as a wife and mother to ensure everything was in place…:) I think we have to model things many times before it affects our spouses many times.

      I don’t know the ages of your children, but it sounds as if they may all be 4 and under?? That can be very challenging on weekends to have a rhythm that benefits everyone and to also have boundaries so that everyone’s needs gets met, including some needs for peace, quiet, rest for the adults. But also the need for family time and fun and physical expansion for the kids! It takes quite a bit of work to fulfill all that, such a tall order… And yes, with children those ages things are likely to become so much better as they attain higher ages and grow and mature…but it is difficult to be the only one who feels as if they are sacrificing during these Early Years to put them first. That can be something hidden we wives and mothers carry around in our hearts for quite some time before we can release it and set it free… and sometimes therapy or counseling can be so very helpful to sort these things out.

      I don’t know how long you have been working on yourself and on being a bit less hard with your spouse……. It takes time to change communication patterns, and to really see your husband for all his good qualities…It takes time to be able to find a place of forgiveness for each other and to be able to meditate or pray for him in specific areas each night…. What do you and your spouse have together? Do you ever get the kids to bed at night and get to be together? Do you ever get to go out to lunch or breakfast by yourselves? Do you ever get to have a date night even if it is in your own home? With three children within a five year marriage, it sounds as if you both have had many changes within that time span to adjust to! It sounds as if you two were just starting in your marriage and learning about being a husband and wife to each other and now trying to figure out parenting roles. Counseling can be such a big help with that, I think.

      It is hard to say when it is OK to say “enough” and be gone; physical abuse is one thing, feeling emotionally abused is also abuse as well……Your own inner work will provide you the clarity of what to do, because of course no one but you can make those kinds of choices…….However, I would just ask what are the chances of improved communication patterns and intimacy in your marriage? What do you think your husband would say about your relationship? Would he be open to counseling at all, would you be open to counseling at all? Is there a spiritual or religious mentor in your lives that could help you through counseling? There are several posts on marriage in this blog, I think under challenges in marriage in the tags section. Perhaps those would be of help. Imago Therapy is seen as compatible with the Attachment Parenting philosophy, and may be a place to look as well. You all just sound like you have been through so many changes in your lives in the past five years! You have my utmost compassion!

      Such hard issues, I am so sorry you are in this challenging spot. I am glad you finding some things here that resonate for you and your family. Again, hopefully your path of doing your own inner work will help provide you clarity for your own situation along with counseling/therapy for you and your husband. I wish you the very, very best for your life and your family, you sound as if you are working very hard to make it through and become the changes you want to see. That is so admirable and wonderful!

      Many blessings to you!
      Carrie

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