What makes a happy home? Every home has an atmosphere and I know a peaceful, happy one when I walk through the front door.
This is part three of our series How to Create a Home Overflowing With Joy.
And today 5 secrets to building a happier home!
I believe we can take charge of the atmosphere of our homes and when we invest effort into this process we can turn our ordinary homes into life giving homes.
Secret #1: Be Present
One aspect of a happy home environment is quality time together. We were built for relationship and I believe it fulfills a deeper need within us when we have thriving relationships.
Though in today’s world we have so many things striving for our attention.
This is an area where we need to be intentional or we can lose these face to face connections so easily!
Questions to seriously ask yourself:
How are you spending the majority of your time at home?
Are you glued to your cell phone? Computer? Television?
What do your dinner conversations look like?
How often are you spending quality one on one time with your family members?
Be honest, how many times a say are you hitting that little Instagram or Facebook icon to simply scroll and “see what’s happening.”
I know I’ve been convicted of this recently.
This is a hard truth to share, but I think it’s so important. Sometimes pretend play, baby play, toddler play (whatever you want to call it) BORES ME!
It just doesn’t excite on a day to day basis. So what do I do instead? I scroll to distract myself. To try and entertain myself with my phone.
This quickly becomes a pattern and soon my kids realize it. They start whining more and I find myself being less patient.
The days where I leave my phone in the other room we seem to really thrive as a family.
Now I understand it’s hard to balance it all.
As a stay at home mom who works multiple part time jobs I often find it difficult to find the perfect balance.
The dishes in the sink are overflowing, I have to answer 10 different emails and my kids are asking me to play with them. Which do I choose?
Sure there will be times where the kids have to play by themselves. It’s good for them and it’s okay for them to learn mommy isn’t available every hour of the day.
But we can’t let our adult responsibilities take us away from the most precious gifts of all, our children.
There has to be a balance between work (whether this is outside of the house or as a SAHM) and family.
One way we do this is by eating dinner together every night. Turn off the cellphones and engage in conversation with each other.
To build a happy home we must find time to be together and enjoy one another’s company.
This leads me to the second secret.
Secret #2: Have a Grace Filled Heart
This step probably seems like the most obvious, but it’s worth exploring. The secret of a happy home is to have a grace filled heart. What does this mean exactly?
Let’s imagine your husband tells you he will be home for dinner at 5:30. It’s now 7:00 and you haven’t heard from him. How do you greet him when he finally gets home?
When we first got married this happened often as my husband worked in the hospital which was very unpredictable. I will admit, I was not a happy wife when he came home.
I often questioned, what were you doing? Why didn’t you call? You’re really telling me you didn’t have 5 seconds to text and tell me you’d be late!?
I was hurt and I wanted him to feel bad. Though in the end my angry attitude only made things worse. What am I showing my children when I treat my husband that way? They are certainly watching!
Now we all mistakes and there will be times where we overreact or say things we don’t mean. But with prayer, practice and love we must change our angry attitudes.
There will be times when grace and compassion are absolutely necessary.
What would a home feel like if you could make a mistake without fear of being rejected or being yelled at? We must extend grace to our family.
Secret #3: Live Clutter Free
I know what you may be thinking, I don’t want to read yet another post on how to organize my home. I understand.
It’s not my natural instinct to organize and declutter. Yet when I do, I notice a huge difference in my family’s mood.
There is something refreshing about walking down in the morning and seeing a clean kitchen island. Instead of coming down to one that is filled with mail, dirty dishes, toys, etc.
More clutter equals more stress. It makes a difference in your attitude. The decor we chose, the way we organize our things, the lighting, it all affects our mood.
You don’t have to buy fancy organization systems or expensive decor to create this. You just need to find the balance between things you need and all that other “stuff.”
Take one room at a time and slowly pair down. Is it necessary? Is this room filled with things I love?
This leads me to my next step…
Secret #4: Be Intentional
Think about what you what your home to convey. Then write it out. I’ve created a mission statement for my life, but what about a mission statement for our home?
When your children set foot in the door what do you want them to feel? What do you want your home to convey to your family, friends, guests?
Life is so busy and we often make quick decisions without thinking about the impact. What if we were intentional about creating a space that is pleasing to the eye and our spirits? What do we need to do to create this space?
Again this may mean getting rid of things or changing bigger things like how we react to stress in motherhood.
Secret #5: Set Boundaries
If our homes were only filled with grace we’d have some problems. We must balance grace with discipline. Believe it or not kids thrive when we set boundaries.
As I was writing this my kids were taking a bath. My son kept whining and moaning about this or that.
I give him an enforceable limit (read more about that here). “If you keep crying, I’m going to get you out of the tub.” I gave him the warning.
A few minutes later, he was crying and whining again. I’ll be honest and tell you at first I didn’t want to deal with it. Yet this little voice in my head said “Be consistent. Follow through with what you said.” So I got him out of the tub.
He wasn’t happy with my decision, but he needs to know what is acceptable and what is not. There was no good reason for him to be crying and complaining.
When kids don’t know what to expect they are confused easily. When boundaries keep shifting they don’t know how to act or how we will react.
Kids thrive on consistency and knowing what is expected of them.
Boundaries reduce confusion. Discipline builds character.
So there it is! My 5 secrets to creating a happier home for your family. I’d love to hear your thoughts, so scroll down and comment below with your tip to creating a happy, life giving home!