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:
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/