Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Even if the home *looks* perfect…(part three)

{Remember in December Family Strengthening}

june 001

(Read from the beginning: Part One, Part Two)

My family room was in complete order, yet I was worried my family life was not. (read why)

So, I turned to one of my family members who also happens to be my best friend—my sister Heather.  She is the sweetest person I know. If she was the sugar, then I was the spice.  She makes everything better; I make everything interesting. We are two years apart and we shared everything growing up, even a room until the day she left me and got married to her perfect match.


She is pregnant with her fourth—a girl : )

I really respect and admire her marriage and her mothering, so I asked her:

Could you briefly describe five or so things that you do as a mother that you feel promote peace, harmony and love in your home, and success for your children?

She replied:

I think having well defined laws/rules for the home [is important].  When the kids know exactly what they can and cannot do and the consequences, they are a lot less unruly.  In the past we have even typed out and posted on the fridge what our home rules are.  And it is very important to be consistent and FIRM.  I find that when I let one or two things slide (or if my punishments are too soft), then the kids try and get away with SO MUCH more. 

When [my oldest] was younger and home more often, I had a schedule for him.  It included when he could watch TV, when he could play outside, when he took a nap, when he had snack, etc.  It is easier when you have a schedule typed out and you follow it. 

Here is something that is important, and that I need to be better at:  Being happy.  Happiness helps a lot.  I find that at bedtime (which is a stressful time for me), when I am happy and joking with the kids and speaking kindly, they get their 4 P's  (prayers, pajamas, potty, polish teeth) done faster and that makes me happy.

Also, another thing that can really make a difference:  Having private scripture study.  I think that when I read my scriptures, I have a lot more harmony in my own soul and then it's easier to create peace and harmony in the home.  We also try to be consistent with our family scripture study and family prayer.

I also asked her:

What do you do in your role as a wife that you feel helps strengthen and promotes more love in your marriage relationship?

She replied:

If I'm being honest, I think I prefer being a wife rather than being a mom—but that is because being a mom is a lot harder for me.  [My husband] makes my job as a wife pretty easy.  He is very patient, and undemanding.  Our love for the children is important, but our love for each other comes first in the home.  We want the other to be happy.

You know how when you first met your spouse and you wanted to impress him and make his life happy?  Well, J*** still does that for me.  And I try and do it for him. 

He doesn't care about it as much as I do, but I try and have the house clean when he comes home.  I try and make dinners that he likes.  I buy him little things here and there because he likes them (like his favorite ice cream flavor instead of mine). 

Every morning when we get up we hug and say "hello", and every night we say goodnight to each other before one of us goes to bed.  When we go to bed at the same time (which happens probably only three or four times a week), we say a prayer together (holding hands). 

When he comes home from work, I give him a peck on the lips and ask how his day was. 

If he has a sore shoulder, or if he's not feeling well, I make sure to ask him if I can get him anything or help him in anyway or give him a massage.

I give him random hugs just because.

I let him stay up late, and then sleep in until 11 AM, and leave his socks and other things on the floor, and I leave him alone about his messy car.  I allow him these because it's not worth fighting over. Occasionally, when I'm bothered by something I'll bring it up, but I'll try and do it in a gentle way.  I guess I'm just picking my battles. (Plus, I've learned from experience that no matter what I say, he won't change, and I can live with these things). 

If something isn't right in my heart or mind, I'll come to him to talk about it.  He is a good counselor and he always makes me feel better.

Thanks Heather. Love You! P.S. Call me : )

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nicole ...given said...

alright adorable blog love it!

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"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. "

-Margaret D. Nadauld