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I’ve been a stay-at-home-mom for about six years now. There’s been a lot of transition during that time and our home has had it’s calm and chaotic moments over the years.
When my kids were little, I was crazy-busy looking after them, picking up toys and just struggling to get through the day until I could crawl into bed at night. By the way, if that’s where you’re at and feel like it will never end, hang in there, it will! 🙂
Now that both of my boys are in school we’ve entered a whole new phase with after school activities, friends over and homework.
No matter what stage your family is in, there are a few things you can do to keep a peaceful home.
Here are five things that have made the biggest impact on our family and have helped make our home a calm and happy one!
1) Listen More and Shout Less
Shouting doesn’t make kids behave, it make them shut down or act up more. I know because I’ve test the waters on this one. I’m not a “constant shouter” but there have been days trust me.
If you’re at your wits end with your kids, give the listen more, shout less thing a try. You’ll be more in control, think clearer, your blood pressure will go down and your kids will respond better to you. Add positive words of encouragement to build them up and they will want to do the right things.
2) Declutter Your Home
Do you have a ton of kids items like toys, books, baby clothes, shoes, hair barrettes, whatever, scattered from one end of your house to the other? If so, consider donating what you don’t need to Goodwill.
Once you’ve tackled the kid’s stuff, take it one step further and downsize clutter in other areas of your home. Get rid of extra dishes, nick-knacks, clothes, whatever is consuming your time and taking up valuable space.
Less stuff equals less distraction, less dusting, less picking up and most importantly less chaos!
Just a side note: If you’re worried about throwing something out that you may need in the future, give it a trial run. Put all the items you want to donate in a box for a 2-weeks or even a month. If you haven’t touched anything in the box after a month, chances are you won’t miss them at all.
3) Take Time for Yourself
I know this is a hard one for moms with little ones in the house but I urge you to find a way to get “me time” in everyday. When my kids were little I would head to the gym when my husband got home, then I would take the kids out over the weekend to the park so he could have some time to himself.
I call this “time to decompress” and everyone needs it.
4) Create Routines
Creating daily routines and structure may sound boring but it does let everyone know what they’re responsible for on the home front.
Every family is different so what works in our house may not work in yours. Since I stay at home, I do the lions share of the work.
My husband knows he can count on me to make him a lunch for the next day, do the laundry and cook dinner each night. I know he will mow the lawn, stop at the store on his way home if needed and help get the kids to bed in the evening. Our kids have set chores they do everyday too.
My point is, we count on each other to do specific tasks everyday to keep things running smoothly.
5) Set Limits on Outside Commitments
If outside commitments are leaving you exhausted and overtaking quality time with your family, it’s time to cut back and say “No”!
And I’m not talking about work, everybody has to work. I’m talking about things like joining the PTA, coordinating a bake sale and heading up the soccer league at the same time kind of thing.
One area we’ve struggled with in the past it how many after-school activities to let our kids get involved in. In the past, I’ve felt a lot of peer-pressure to keep up with what other families were doing. And who doesn’t want their kid to be well rounded, right?
After weighing cost and time, we decided to let our kids do one after-school activity or sport at a time. Again, what works for our family may not work for yours.
Find a happy balance for your family and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. I hope you find these tips helpful.
Wishing you and your family more joy and less stress!