I started The Peaceful Nest because I have a desire to create a peaceful atmosphere for my family and for myself. Do you know the saying “If momma ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy?” It is meant to be a funny quip at mothers but oh how true it can be! I believe the mother sets the tone for her household. What a huge responsibility we have then as wives and mothers. It may not seem fair but God created women to be nurturers. Therefore, the responsibility of peace in our homes and families often land square on our shoulders. We cannot create a peaceful home life for our husbands and children if we are not peaceful ourselves. How do we do it then? In today’s society, when so many pressures are coming at moms to be better, do better, do it all. It is enough to make a woman lose her mind. How do we become a more peaceful mom? I have compiled a list of twelve ways to do just that! These are in no way the ONLY ways to bring peace into your home as a mom, but I have found in my own life, these tips have helped me come to a place where I am not only peaceful but helping those around me become more peaceful as well!
- Allow your children to try to work disagreements out together first.
This. I am so guilty of jumping right in at the first sign of animosity. “Mommy, S took that from me!” “Mommy, B is not playing fairly.” The minute I step in, it seems the bickering gets worse OR they play nicely for all of 30 seconds and then break out into another feud. Playing ref can wear on a mom. Then one day I was thinking to myself, I don’t remember my mom stepping in every time my brothers’ and I argued. Sure sometimes, if the argument began to get out of hand she would step in, but other than that, we worked it out on our own, or we didn’t and ended up playing by ourselves for a while. One thing remained the same though, we ALWAYS made up in the end. So what changed? Why do we as moms feel the need to step in and avert every single spat? I have a theory. It has to do with the fact that we want everyone to get along combined with helicopter parenting. You see, when I was arguing with my brothers’, I do not remember my mom being around. I’m sure she was in the next room, but she did not run in the minute she heard us arguing. She was not playing with us. She was probably making dinner or unwinding from a long day at wok. So, she let us try to work it out. That is the difference. We need to give our children tools to be able to work out discord with other people, without someone else always stepping in. Where better to practice this than at home with their siblings? The very ones who will most likely always have their backs and love them regardless of an argument? If we are always stepping in at the first sign of a disagreement with their siblings, then how are our children going to be able to cope when a friend disagrees with them or if they have conflict with a peer? How about when they grow up and become adults, how will they cope when a co-worker or boss or friend disagrees with them? I believe we have gotten a glimpse of what adulthood looks like when parents step in to often. Let us do ourselves a favor as moms, and allow our children to try to work disagreements out together first. If they are unable to work it out, then evaluate to see if you need to step in. The truth is not everyone is going to get along all the time and not everyone is going to agree with us. The sooner our children learn this, the sooner they will be able to develop tools to deal with more complicated situations than “my sister won’t let me play with my favorite toy that SHE had first.”
2. Limit screen time for your children and yourself!
I do not know about your children, but when my children have to much screen time, they become fussy, cranky and disagreeable. So do I! Screens divide our attention from one another. If you limit the screens in your house, you may find more peace showing up!
3. Allow your children free time.
Free time or free play. Do children even know what that is these days? As a mom we are often pressured to entertain our children. Sit for hours on end and make sure they are receiving entertainment along with stimulation, education, etc. It can be downright exhausting for a mother to keep up. But what would happen if we take a step back. Let the children enjoy a couple hours of completely uninterrupted playtime. Playtime where they used their imagination and learned how to play alone or with other children. I’ll be completely honest; I hate playing with my children. I will play games and I love making crafts. But playing? I would much prefer for them to learn how to beat boredom themselves without having to be entertained by me or electronics 24/7. How do children get to that point though? We have to offer them plenty of free play time. Set aside an hour or two a day where you say “okay kids, you go play by yourself or with one another, mommy is going to go do [insert your activity of choice here!].” If your children are not used to entertaining themselves, this may take a while, but don’t worry, kids catch on quickly! Before you know it they will be using those imaginations and you will be feeling more peaceful!
4. Do not over schedule your family.
“Ah, don’t you hate the “what activity is your child in right now” question? I know I do. We have decided to take the summer off of extracurricular activities, since we are in the midst of an adoption. However, even then I limit activities to one at a time. Otherwise we just become to burnt out and our children feel to over-scheduled. This is not good for you as a mom or your children! Yes, it is good for children to be involved, but there is such a thing as too involved. Pay attention to your child’s signs. Are they feeling overwhelmed? Are they putting too much pressure on themselves? These can be signs that your child needs to cool it down with the extras and just have breathing room.
5. Lower your expectations
Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves and our children to act a certain way. Do not be loud in the restaurant. Sit completely still. Act like an adult. If you find yourself feeling frustrated that your child is not behaving the way you expect constantly, there may be a chance you need to reevaluate your expectations. Please do not get me wrong. There are certain behaviors that should be expected by different age groups, in different situations. There are activities I know my five-year-old can handle that my two-year-old cannot. Do not put your child in a situation you know would be too overwhelming for them, and then become frustrated when they behave differently than you want. Some situations are unavoidable. If you know there is a function coming up that requires a certain expectation from your child, such as a funeral or a wedding, take the time to prepare them first, then hope for the best. If all else fails, duck out early or hire a babysitter. Always remember though, you have several years on your child. They are not going to act like an adult, they will act like a child. But they will gain experiences that prepare them for situations. So do not be too hard on them and lower your expectations.
6. Allow your children to get dirty/paint/play with glitter etc.
I think this is one so many of us moms struggle with. We hate cleaning up the messy materials. If your child is anything like mine, then their creativity thrives on the messiest projects. So do it anyway, maybe not all the time, but sometimes. Create a designated spot for your child’s art activities. Then get the rags and mop out and clean up. What harm could it really do anyway? They will be happier, learn to play on their own/entertain themselves, and trust me you will feel more peaceful! (even if you do not think you will 😉 )
7. Do not sweat the small stuff
This one goes hand in hand with number five. There are some things that are simply not important. Spilled milk anyone? If we choose to be calm about the insignificant going ons in our life, the ones that do not matter, we will find ourselves becoming calmer when bigger circumstances happen around us.
8. Do not allow other people’s opinions to define you as a mother.
You are you. You are the perfect mother to your children. You know them best. Chances are you understand your children better than anyone else. So own it. Own who you are as a mom. Own your parenting decisions. You owe no one else an explanation. You can choose to listen to opinions if you would like, but always take them with a grain of salt. Because that is all they really are anyway, other people’s opinions. And really, who cares what other people think?
9. Have quiet time.
I LOVE quiet time in my house! There is a specific chunk of time my children lay down for naps/ quiet time. My oldest no longer takes naps but she will play quietly in her room. They get that alone time to unwind and I get a small chunk of time to recharge as well. I am able to stay more peaceful because of this break too.
10. Try to keep a routine
Routines are important. Children thrive on routines. If a child is unsure what is going to happen next in their day to day, they are more likely to act out and be moody. However, if a child has a consistent routine, where they know what to expect for the most part, they tend to be calmer. Which in tune helps mommy be calmer and more peaceful. Children need to know when to expect the basics. When are my meals? When do I nap? When do I go to bed? What comes before what? What comes after this activity? Having a specific routine set, so your child knows their meals and rest time is coming soon, will help your day go more smoothly.
11.Do not be so hard on yourself.
You’re only human and you are doing the best you can! Do not be so hard on yourself! Give yourself grace. The more grace you give yourself, the more peace you will bring into your life.
12. Practice patience!
Patience is a virtue, like I always tell my kids! Practice, practice, practice! Every day is a new day to start again.
I hope you found something useful and are able to use some of these tools to bring more peace into your life and home today!
Until next time xoxo,