I hope you are in a cozy corner with a tea or a coffee, or perhaps scrolling through this on a quiet commute. I always get dreamy about train commutes to a job in the city, though I imagine it's not as whimsical as I imagine in my head. Regardless, I wish you all the best on your journey LOL!
So today I wanted to write about keeping a peaceful home as a wife and mother. This concept came to me today on my bike ride with my babies. I was singing out loud to a random angsty emo song from my adolescence and the boys were in the bike trailer pointing out the ducks and boats we were passing, the sun on my face and my hair whipping behind me.
It was wonderful, and in that moment, I realized I just felt totally at peace.
And it made me consider how far I've come, from an emotionally volatile young woman, stressed and wrapped up in conflict, to the person I am now: peaceful, grateful, and relaxed. It's honestly like a night and day transformation that I believe has a major impact on my home life.
I believe that a peaceful home is a beautiful gift you can give your children, but also a beautiful gift to give yourself.
Or course, there will always be conflict in lifelong co-living dynamics like marriage and parenthood, but generally, we can usually determine a peaceful relaxed home over a chaotic and argumentative home. The latter is sometimes what we were brought up in, and I know from experience that this can make our drive to find peace even stronger.
So how have I worked toward having a peaceful home for my family? What do I do regularly to establish peace, emotional safety, and joy at home? Here are some ideas. Enjoy.
Manage your expectations clearly and enthusiastically.
I've met a lot of unhappy people in my life. And yes, that includes unhappy stay-at-home wives and homemakers. We are susceptible to chronic unhappiness as much as anybody else.
Of course, there are clinically diagnosed issues like depression or anxiety which require medical treatment, but generally, I think basic levels of unhappiness can often be a symptom of unmet expectations. Sometimes we might have a vision of what life as a homemaker or wife looks like, and when those expectations are not met, we find bitterness, resentment, and general unhappiness settle on our hearts.
This is why I encourage all of us to be honest, open, and logical with our expectations; doing some heart-searching to really ponder what we expect and desire out of life, and how we can work as a family to achieve those goals. It's no good to go around being unhappy all the time in your life because of unmet needs. So let's figure out what your needs are and work towards getting them fulfilled!
For me, I need more time outside the home than most homemakers. I enjoy being on the go, visiting friends and family, shopping, and even just biking or walking through town or in nature. I like to be social and busy, and it's great because my eldest son is exactly like me. I realized that this was a need of mine, so my husband supports me in getting out of the house a lot and encourages me to set my play dates, take the kids to the beach, and do whatever I need to do. In turn, I feel more fulfilled, and everyone wins.
Having a joyful and excited heart is part of a peaceful home, and it's crucial to avoid resentment and bitterness. Sometimes we can talk ourselves out of such feelings, but other times, resentment is merely a symptom of an unmet need. So take back control of this area of your life by figuring out what you really WANT and NEED.
What are your dreams and expectations for your family? Try to be realistic too. If you want more material things out of life, be aware that that may entail your husband working more, which would require sacrifice. Everything comes with a bit of sacrifice, but I think if you are aware of this and willing to compromise, you can achieve your dreams.
I learned about the concept of "grit" in university from some required reading in one of my classes. The concept was that the people who are the most successful in life are not always the ones with the highest IQ or grades or even the ones from the best backgrounds or social status.
The people who become the most successful are the ones who retain a certain amount of GRIT.
Grit is the ability to pull through harsh circumstances and tough events, putting your nose to the grindstone and pushing and working through in order to overcome obstacles. It's the determination to overcome obstacles no matter the circumstances which leads to success, happiness, and eventual reward.
I've applied this concept to my life a lot, deciding to not stop when things got tough, and I think it's important to apply this concept to homemakers. Just because we are at home does not mean life does not get tough! Sometimes financial times are hard. Sometimes we barely see our husbands because they need to work more. Postpartum requires grit. The first year of having a baby requires grit. Pushing through to build a social life and a routine at home requires grit.
I think it's important to focus on overcoming the obstacles we face at home and even mentally or emotionally so that we can lead our homes into peace. If you feel you are working hard and pushing through tough times, you can conquer the stress in your life rather than have it conquer you. This will draw out a natural amount of peace because you believe you can get through ANYTHING.
Apologize often and keep your side of the street clean.
I think a lot of people struggle to apologize unless they are guaranteed they will receive an apology in return. But that's just not how things work, and I find it's better to have mental peace and clarity by keeping your side of the street clean and apologizing where you need to.
This includes children, making sure you have a healthy and open dynamic where you are not lording your authority as a parent over them. I think it is CRUCIAL to model repentance and heartfelt apologies to our children, showing them that they are seen, valued, and respected in their homes. Likewise, with our spouses, it's important to make sure you are doing everything in your power to keep the peace.
Working to maintain peace with your spouse often means letting small slights go. It means forgiving generously and offering many opportunities for reconciliation. It means not harboring bitterness or unforgiveness and enthusiastically working together as a team to resolve conflict. I actually believe a truly healthy and peaceful home requires a base level of conflict, but it's important to keep your emotions in check and your heart forgiving as you navigate these things.
Design your space with intention and care.
A peaceful home comes from more than your own mind or relationship dynamics: it also comes from the physical space you inhabit. Having a place you can return home to that is outfitted with your favorite furniture and items is such a blessing. Especially for homemakers, you spend most of your time at home, so enjoying your space and feeling positive about it can be really uplifting.
I get extremely agitated by imbalanced decor, and I have a lot of fun bringing balance and harmony to a space in a way that feels true to my taste and creativity. I've noticed that as I've grown and lived in my home, I feel more and more at peace with the space as I care for it. My husband appreciates my efforts too, and it feels like a joy and a pleasure to work on our nest together.
Taking care of your things, staying organized, and having fun with your decor is key. Right now as I write this, I'm sitting in my newly rearranged living room, and I cannot describe how peaceful I feel right now. Everything feels like it's in the correct place, and I really enjoy being in here. I think soon I will focus on reorganizing the boy's dressers and making sure their clothes are in order.
Providing physical cleanliness and environmental peace is a gift to our families that cannot be overstated. Many people carry mental and emotional trauma from growing up in cluttered, chaotic, or even hoarder situations, so consider if your home is getting out of control.
Your "home" is not just your family dynamic when you're physically at home. Home life occurs out and about, at events, and on vacation. Foster positive relationships, respect, and FUN as a family by chasing good memories and laughter together. This ultimately brings peace and reduces building tension. Everybody needs a little laughter I think if things are so far gone that you cannot even share a laugh together, you might as well be living with your enemies.
This might seem obvious, but I think it's important to consider scheduling in time for FUN. Family fun, personal fun, and marital fun. Book that vacation! Have that popcorn movie night. Go out with girlfriends and plan a play date.
Not everything has to be hard work and intensity. Even small moments of getting on a comedy algorithm on your Instagram to laugh at some videos or watch some stand-up comedy can be really uplifting. I listen to a comedy podcast EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Scripture rightfully illustrates the concept of celebration as well, urging Christians to celebrate often and wholeheartedly, sharing in community with one another. Do your best to go to community celebrations like weddings, graduation parties, and birthdays. Bring a gift, dance, and try to have FUN. Life is about making memories, so don't be afraid to get in touch with your inner child a bit and go out there and have FUN.
Stop seeking complete control.
Control over your kids, control over your husband, and control over your entire life is EXHAUSTING and impossible. I know I said earlier to be gritty and to work hard, but this does not mean I am encouraging us to all become overly controlling and critical with our families. That is the opposite of peace in my opinion.
Control-seeking behavior can become a cyclical pattern where you feel uncomfortable with certain aspects of your life, so you seek to control them through decisions or actions. The stress and pressure of being in charge of every tiny outcome may influence your mood to the point where you feel even more stressed, feeding back into the desire to control even more, over and over.
I see this a lot in the birth and health space, which is natural and completely understandable. Birth is such a vulnerable time, as is motherhood, and it's normal and typical for us to desire some level of control. However, putting too much emphasis on our control over things can lead us away from peace.
A certain amount of an "it is what it is" kind of attitude can be really beneficial, especially when running a household.
Homes naturally have issues like structural repairs, renovations, or other things outside your control. Our bodies don't always behave, and sometimes we may need medical assistance we hadn't planned on. Children don't always act the way we want, and spouses certainly aren't under our control.
Having a more light-hearted attitude where you leave room for things to not go according to plan is the best approach. This is what got me through birth trauma and helped me choose an elective C-Section. It's what's helped me accept tragedy and grief and loss, just remembering that I don't have control in life and not everything
And the beautiful thing about releasing myself from the responsibility of control? It frees me of the burden of things going wrong. I no longer feel responsible all the time when things go wrong or not according to plan. Sure, I prepare and do my best, but I have also released myself from the pressure to be perfect.
Have a heart of gratitude.
I remember when I was regularly waking up at 5:45 am with my eldest son when he was a baby. I was pregnant at the time, and my strongest pregnancy symptom is exhaustion. I needed one or two naps a day and nine hours of sleep at night-- it was wacky. But it was also a trial. My son was also extremely difficult to entertain as a baby, needing constant interaction and playtime, and I found myself cycling through baby activities from dawn until dusk, day after day, brought to exhaustion.
On one of these mornings, I remember walking down the street as I did with him often, holding him in my arms so he could reach out at passing tree branches as the sun was rising in the summer sky.
And the silly part? I had the biggest scowl on my face. I was TIRED. And I was MAD. I didn't want to be awake! I didn't want to be dealing with this situation! But then I paused, feeling the warm sun on my face, hearing the birds chirping, and seeing my happy baby chatting and cooing at the nature all around us.
It was like a slap of cold water to the face.
I realized how BLESSED I was. How much I had to be GRATEFUL for! There are people living in war zones for crying out loud! And I'm mad I'm up too early? LAME. LOL.
So from that moment on, I approached motherhood differently. I focused on gratitude every single day, no matter how difficult I felt the situation was, and slowly, the gratitude chipped away at my bitterness and resentment and it created a peaceful heart within me, and by extension, a peaceful home.
I know it's difficult to always walk around feeling grateful, and sometimes there's not much to be grateful for, but there's a reason I always recommend this advice, and it's because it's POWERFUL. Having a gratitude-filled heart is almost like putting on a bulletproof vest: bad things can happen, but they won't take you down--they won't steal your joy or tank your peace. You'll carve through them like a ship through treacherous water.
That is all I have for today my darlings! I hope we can all seek peace and work toward happy life-giving households where everyone feels respected, blessed, and welcome.