When someone thinks of a house with 3 young children under the age of 5, the words that come to their mind probably aren't calm and peaceful. But that is the exact way I would describe my house, my home.
As you already know, I am a major homebody. I am a full time stay at home mom, a homeschooling mom, and well, I just don't get out much. I spend pretty much 24/7 in my house. (Yes, I still need breaks and sometimes take the "long way" home from the store so I can have some time alone.) But I love it. So of course I want it to be a place that I love. I want my home to be as perfect for my family and me as I can make it.
Perfect for my family and me does not mean perfect. It doesn't mean there aren't things I want to change, but I have grown to be content. I am focusing more on creating a desirable environment rather than pretty walls.
And perfect for me is homey, cozy, calm and peaceful, and full of love. We do our best to not be busy or stressed. I love a peaceful environment, for years I struggled with panic attacks so I tend to run away from things that are stressful and full of angst. Now I work hard to create the kind of environment my family thrives in.
Some of the things I do through out my house to help achieve this environment are:
I have lamps. Lots of lamps. I need more lamps. Lamps, Lamps, Lamps. I DO NOT like the overhead light on. My husband calls me a vampire and hasn't quite gotten used to the dark. He thinks you can't cook in the dark, but I have 3 small lights in there that I love to have on. My husband just set up 2 strings of Christmas lights dangling over my back porch. I love, love, love it. It's so beautiful and peaceful. (Some might say tacky - as they are Christmas lights being held up by photography stands, but for us it was free and works perfectly!)
Windows. I open our windows as often as possible. Natural sunlight. Cool breeze.
Candles. I love, love, love candles. They're my new thing. They are so peaceful and they smell good.
Keep an organized, picked up house. My house isn't necessarily CLEAN. There is dust and my windows are so clouded I barely can see through them. BUT it doesn't bother me (usually). I go around at least once a day and make sure all of the toys, papers, shoes, etc are picked up and everything is in it's home. This is a big thing for me. Everything has to have a home so it knows where it belongs. So your kids know where the things belong. It really helped when I purged our house and got rid of so much. It's hard to stay organized with too much stuff. Unless you have lots of closets to hide things in. Which we don't.
I love to do this in the evening and then we get the kids to bed and light a candle and my husband and I enjoy a couple hours on the couch of coffee and reading. (Which he usually falls asleep within 30 minutes. I guess it just proves he's relaxed.)
I don't like a lot of noise and I don't like background noise. (Unless it's a fan.) We almost never have our TV on. If the girls are watching their iPads then the volume is down to a 3. Now don't get me wrong we know how to turn the music up loud and have dance parties. And sometimes we enjoy nice, soft music playing to create that relaxing feel. At night just before bed and when trying to fall asleep we love to listen to Pachelbel's piano music. I let Sissy listen to it a couple nights ago and now she just LOVES it. And asks for the soft music because she will sleep soooo good with it.
One other big thing that I have came to peace with is my decorating. I want furniture that suits my family. I want things that toddlers can play on or by and not have to worry about it breaking. I want functional. My house will never be displayed in a magazine or go viral on Pinterest. But I am more ok with that. My house works for us. I don't apologize anymore when we have people over and things aren't done. It's not the point of hospitality. And yes, we even have a huge treadmill right by the entrance of our front door where I knocked down the half wall. Why? Because that's where it fits and we have had it in the garage for over a year because there was no where for it, but we really want to start using it. So there it is. You walk in and are greeted by it. But that's ok.
Things I want to do better to achieve a peace and calming environment.
Go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. Bed time! This one is big for me. I am such a night owl, but if I stay up to late I am drained the next day and barely have energy to get through the day - which causes stress. So This is one thing I must change! I would like a bed time of 10:30/11. Instead of 12 or 1. And then in turn I could wake up earlier at like 7 instead of 8:30. That would give me an hour to wake up and start my day before the kids wake up. Plus, I would get to see my hubby in the morning before work which I love!
Laundry. Piles of laundry. Baskets of laundry. For weeks. That is not a peaceful thing to look at. I dread it and put it off daily. I was always good at washing/drying. But the folding and putting away thing... Well, that's another story. But I have been working on changing that and happy to announce that I haven't had a pile of laundry for over a month! Just this past weekend I washed, dried, folded and put away 10 loads!! I like to do a couple loads every couple days and that really helps keep it in check.
Making our bed. I love when our bed is made. It just makes me feel more awake. It's too tempting to have an unmade bed. I just want to crawl back into it everytime I see it. I think all growing up I got in trouble daily for not making my bed. And well, I still don't make it. So this is something quick and easy that I can start doing to create the atmosphere I want.
Having things done before my husband gets home from work. I want to have school done, the dishes and laundry done, my to-do list checked off and thrown away, and ready to greet my husband at the door with a kiss... and with 3 little ones close behind ready to tackle him, begging him to play right away.
We are loving life in our house. We are creating memories and artwork and messes. We are sneaking in as much cuddle time as we can with our little ones before they aren't so little anymore. We are building lifelong relationships.
Home... it really is where the heart is.
What mood do you like for your house? Fun? Spunky? Energized? What do you do to achieve those things?
Calm and peaceful are what I like for my house, but that doesn't mean it's for everyone!
Whatever works best for your family, do that! And rock it!