I am so happy to be partnering with Oak Meadow today to bring you this post on bringing calmness to your home. Plus, there is a chance for you to WIN below, too!
A calm mom. This is what I strive to be. A calm person for my children. A space of quiet and peace in an otherwise busy and often chaotic world.
The word strive above is very important, because goodness knows sometimes it is just so hard. Long, long ago when I had only my oldest I was calm a lot. I would even say often. But after the birth of my youngest two, so close together and so (SO) busy, being calm became a lot harder.
It is so easy to get swept away in the busy-ness and the craziness of having young children. And it is so easy to get swept back into the space where I am going through the motions, putting out the fires, and secretly longing for bedtime.
But that is not what I want for myself or for my little ones – and so I strive.
One book that has really helped me be a calm mom is The Heart of Learning. One of the things that I love most about this book is how the suggestions are so simple.
Small, simple things I can do each day that will bring calm to my home, and be the calm for my children.
I was reflecting on the transformation that has taken place in our home over the past two years. Of course, my little ones have gotten older which certainly plays a large role – but it is more than that. Our home is still busy, my kids are still busy – but I no longer feel as busy. For the very most part, I truly feel calm.
I know I write about the importance of quiet time a lot in this space – and that realization came to me through The Heart of Learning. I have thought of three other small and simple things I have changed since reading that book that I feel really help with this calm.
I thought I would share them with you too – just in case you are seeking calm and it all feels too overwhelming.
The first thing I changed was going to my children – when it is time for dinner, when we need to head out the door for an activity, when I need to ask a question. Instead of hollering from the bottom of the stairs or the kitchen, I walk to the room they are in. I take a minute to see what they are up to, I listen to anything they eagerly want to say, and then I say that it is time for dinner (or anything). This has dramatically decreased the amount of yelling back and forth, which is far from calming. This has decreased the whining and the “But I am busy!” which is far from calm. It has increased the respect and the connection between us. And – you guessed it – the calm.
The second thing that has really helped me has been to create a to-do list. Now this one sounds a bit counter-intuitive – but hear me out. Being present is a theme that runs throughout The Heart of Learning. I struggled with this, as I, like most, have many things to do in a day. I have found that having a running to-do list on my counter has allowed me to focus more on my children and really be present for them. Before I started this, I would be playing zoo with my youngest and think of an email I was supposed to send. I would then either fixate on that thought and try to wrap up the play so I could send it, or I would try to sneak away for a few minutes to send it. As SOON as my phone or laptop pops up, I feel the calmness disappear. Now, I jot, ‘return email’ on my to-do list and can put it right out of my mind. During rest-time I tackle each of those items one by one, all on my own, in one fourth of the time it would have taken me with my little ones helping.
The third every day thing that I have changed is honoring special moments for myself. Creating a rhythm is another strong theme in The Heart of Learning. While the vast majority of things I do in a day are for my family and my children, I now take care of myself too. Every single day before I get my little ones up from their quiet times, I have a cup of tea. I sit in quiet. I don’t have my phone or computer with me. I drink my cup of tea and it is one of the best moments of my day. It is such a simple thing, but has brought so much peace. I do a few little things like this every single day. Another example -after the kids are in bed, I walk out to the chicken coop all on my own, say goodnight to the ladies (truly – a few by name), shut them in for the night, and walk around our farm a little. A simple special moment to myself that I can count on happening every single day.
It has really become so apparent to me that calmness is possible no matter how busy my little ones are. I have this quote in my family room that says, “PEACE. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
These small every day things bring that calm to my heart, and allow me to be the mom that I really want to be for my kids.
Thank you so much for reading friends, and thank you Oak Meadow for allowing me to share the impact your book has had on my family.
If you are interested in reading, The Heart of Learning, you are in luck. Oak Meadow is generously offering 2 copies of this book to 2 Canadian or American readers! Please leave a comment below if you would like to win! Winner selected Friday July 16th.
Congratulations to our giveaway winners: Caryn and Julie!