Sunday, October 10, 2010
The Keeper of the Home
Sunday again and the kids are worn out. It has been a busy week - a fun week but a busy week. Yesterday I decided that we weren't going to leave the house today (except for Peter - he went to work). The kids and I stayed home for an imposed day of rest, cinnamon roll baking, laundry, cleaning and free play. Well, I watched football and cleaned, baked and washed - they built a fort. A completely awesome, fill-up-your-living-room fort which they promptly called "the haunted house" and then added on "the tunnel of doom" (blue sheet). This is one of the things I have learned in my 6 short years of motherhood- when it is time to take a break from schedules and life and spend a day at home in your pajamas.
Something I have been thinking about a lot lately is my role (and Peter's) as the keeper or makers of our home. I became the keeper of our home officially about 5 1/2 years ago but it's only 2 years ago that I really realized it and have embraced that role. Or tried to embrace the role -mostly I have been trying to figure out what it means. As I read more and more articles and blogs on being a stay at home mom and creating a home it seems to me they all related back to the church. It almost seems like the religious right has the market cornered on things like grace and joy and morals and home-making. It is hard to find stuff out there that is not heavily Christian. However, I loved this piece I found on a joyful home and have adapted it for non-religious purposes. Because really, all kids deserve a joyful and healthy home whether or not they are christian.
Adapted from http://www.sortacrunchy.net/sortacrunchy/2010/03/chorus-of-joy-amy.html
Our home will be a joyful place where:
-lessons are learned
-touch is received
-hurts are healed
-growth takes place
-memories are made
-hearts are formed
-meals are taken
As the makers of the home, we (Peter and I) have the power to create joy or bring harm.
In a harmful home:
-lessons are harsh
-touch is to be earned
-hurts are magnified
-growth is stunted
-memories made wish to be forgotten
-hearts are hidden
-meals are unhealthy or unfulfilling
When I read that, of course, I choose joy. A joyful home with all the gentleness and strength that is implied. When we choose joy we find a settledness, a quiet assurance and a safety that is passed on to our children. But when I really think about it, we also do things that create a harmful home. Not paying attention, snapping, being stressed or frustrated, slacking on each of our household responsibilities - all of these things lead us toward the harmful list of items. When that happens, as tonight when my daughter pointed out that I was cranky or my son asked for a hug while I was fixing dinner and I told him no, I try to catch myself and remember what is important? Getting dinner fixed exactly on schedule or stopping for 3 seconds to give Mr. T a hug? Or better yet, realizing that he wants attention and finding something he could to do help me cook.
When I look at the differences between a joyful house and harmful house, we are clearly more on the side of joy and the big difference is we WANT to be there. We are human and will do things are inadvertently harmful but as we are aware of the power our actions have over our home and children, we are slowly moving more and more solidly into having a graceful peaceful home.