Today I want to talk about mornings. I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, mornings can be extremely stressful and difficult and filled with a lot of emotion. Most of those emotions being negative! Lots of yelling. Lots of running around. Lots of rushing to get out of the door on time. So much hurrying that there is seldom enough time for love and compassion towards one another. With all of this chaos that we partake in on a daily basis, why then am I so surprised that my now 11 year old, 9 year old, and 6 year old daughters are constantly bickering. Barking orders or commands at one another instead of using there words to kindly and gently request things of one another? How can I expect anything else of them when I have been modeling for so many years exactly the kind of behavior they are now exhibiting towards each other.
As I am now seeing my behavior mirrored back at me on the face of my children, I am realizing that it is time to break the chaos cycle and reclaim my home as a sanctuary of peace and kindness and above all else, Love!
Is it too late? Have my children already learned a habit that they will deal with for the rest of their lives? No. Absolutely not. In fact, it’s the perfect opportunity to demonstrate to my kids that, number 1, nobody is perfect. We are fluid souls that change and grow constantly through out our life time. We are not eternally subjected to any label. At any given time, we can decide that we are going to be better versions of ourselves. In fact, I challenge them to constantly be in a state of mind of realizing their behavior and trying to be better today then they were yesterday. To constantly be improving themselves. To strive to always be more. To be consciously aware of their words and their actions. To understand that they are vessels that carry thoughts and ideas, that become words, that become actions, that ultimately influence not only the direction of their lives but the lives of those around them. Something I didn’t truly understand until just recently. They also get to witness change in action. For me, it isn’t only about becoming who I want to be, it’s about showing my children that I practice what I preach. If I truly believe that when I tell them, “you can be anything you want to be in life!” Then I have to show them that I believe that statement. It is not enough for them to hear me say these things. I have to be a living, breathing example to them. I want them to see my fight and my struggle and know that because I overcame my mountains, they can too, because they have the same strength inside of them.
So how will I do it? What is my strategy to break the mold I was made from and set change into motion? First and foremost, my approach will be from a place of humility and honesty. I always try to be as honest and real with my kids as I can. When I’m in the wrong, I say I’m wrong and I apologize. I point out how I could have made better choices and I make my failures, their lessons. I never try to front that I have it all figured out, because I don’t and if anyone knows that, it’s them.
- Be honest with your loved ones about how you feel about your behavior. Let them know that you haven’t been your best self and that is going to change. Ask them to help you in your journey to be the best version of your self possible. Have an honest conversation about how you see yourselves. Traits that you love and things you wish you did better. Give them an opportunity to evaluate their behavior and give you examples of things they could do to be their best selves. Don’t pretend you are perfect because nobody is perfect and an idea of needing to be perfect will cause more harm than good.
- Plan ahead! In order to eliminate chaos in my home, I have had to eliminate the root cause of this chaos. For me, in my home, starting our mornings the night before makes things almost effortless the next day. Showers before bed, outfits laid out, homework checked and put away in backpacks that are placed next to the door ready to grab on the way out, lunches made after dinner. These are all things I do to ensure that our mornings are not chaotic. So instead of yelling at them to hurry up, I can talk to them about what their hopes and plans for the day are. I can check in with them and be present in their lives. I give them an opportunity to talk to me about things that they might not have had the chance to before. Maybe they are having a disagreement with one of their best friends. Maybe they are worried about an upcoming assignment or test. Freeing up my mornings to be available to show my kids kindness just sets us all off in the right direction.
- Wake up early! Set your alarm and give yourself an extra 20 to 30 minutes before you actually need to get going to just focus on yourself. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup, so take time every morning for you. Stretch, meditate, write, pray. Take time to think about the day ahead of you and take a moment to be grateful that you are alive and well equipped to answer the calling of who you are meant to be. Find something that is yours that gives you joy and lights up your soul. Being a mother is an amazing gift, but it is not all that you are. Spend time remembering who you are and connect with yourself and God on an intimate level. Recharge your soul so that you can give all that you are to the World, starting with your loved ones. A joyful heart is hard to break if you put the power of your happiness in your control. My joy comes from knowing who I am in Christ. That is a joy I am constantly renewing and that no one can ever take away from me.
- Drink Water! It’s good for you and you need it to survive! And it’s the easiest healthy choice you can make. Seriously. Just drink more water. You’re welcome!
- Tell them you love them! It may be something that you think they know, but it never gets old hearing so tell them again anyway. Tell them when they aren’t expecting it. Tell them for no reason. Hug them just because. Tell them you are proud of them. Fill them up with so much love that they are over flowing with it. Remind them every day that they have value because of who they are in Christ, not because of what the World says about them. But because of what God says about them. Hold them close to your heart and breath your love into them. Love them. Love them often.
So these are just 5 things that I am doing to make a difference in my home. I’d love to hear what others are doing to bring peace back into your home. Leave a comment below and have a great week. Remember,
“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do…but how much love we put in that action.”
– Mother Teresa