Happy Tiny Tuesday, lovelies! Any guesses who picked out our outfits for this post? Yep, my girly-girl, Emma Grace. I genuinely think she would wear a tulle skirt every single day of her life if I let her. She hates pants so much so that if it gets cold outside, she opts for leggings under a skirt. I do love it though and cannot take credit for it (although I desperately want to). In face, we made a strategic effort when she was little to put her in pants just as much as dresses. We wanted her to eventually find her own style. And here we are - 100% girl.
Today I want to chat about something that's been very present in my mind and heart - setting the tone for your home. I don't know if I'm noticing my influence on my home more now that my girls are getting older, but I am. I've noticed that when I'm joyful and calm, my girls are too. I've also noticed that when my girls raise their voices at each other, they are doing it in the same manner as I do when I get onto them. It's very eye-opening. Like standing in front of two littler mirrors in fact, and I don't always like what I see. I of course know that no one is perfect and we all mess up. However, I want to make a conscious effort to set a positive tone for my home.
Mommas - we influence our spouse's attitude and our children's attitude way more than we realize I think. I know I've mentioned this before, but a wise mommy once told me that the mom is the thermostat of the home. Boy is that true!
Tips for Setting a Happy Tone in Your Home
- tone of voice - calm & loving v. frustrated & annoyed. Man, this is the hardest one for me for sure. It is so much easier to talk to the girls with a frustrated tone rather than a loving, calm tone. It takes effort on our part to remain calm through the craziness and speak with a loving tone even when they are getting into trouble. They will start to mimic our tone, so this is huge!
- choice of words - words of love or words that tear down. What kind of words are you using? It's easy to use words of love and kindness when things are going well, but how are you speaking when your kids are misbehaving? My struggle is using words that show my disappointment rather than loving words of correction.
- take care of you - exercise, eat right, etc. This is big mommies! My mom told me when I had Emma Grace that the baby can only be okay if the mom is okay. She was so right! You know you best, so you know what you need to be in a good place. For me it's consistent exercise, a healthy eating regimen, and time out of the home with my girlfriends.
- be in the word - I can't express how much this affects my day and my attitude. If I start the day in the word I start off on a way better place. It helps me to go to God more often as well throughout the day.
- "me time" - this goes a bit further than just exercising and eating well. Are you taking time to do something enjoyable for yourself? I'm talking about things like getting a massage, going to the mall alone, grabbing coffee and reading a book by yourself. That sort of thing! Your kids will benefit from your rejuvenated spirit!
- love your hubby - make time to date our spouse. Just as it is important for us to take are of ourselves, so is it important to have a healthy, loving relationship with your spouse. That means going on dates, loving him in the way he receives love, and modeling to your kids how you love your spouse.
- realistic expectations - set realistic expectations for your day. This is a new one for me. So often I find myself making a mental list of all the things I'll get done in the day from chores to games with my girls. Then, when I start to realize I can't get it all done, anxiety and frustration creep up on me and soil my attitude. Try to be realistic in what you can accomplish during your day and make those items with your kids a top priority.
- make time for fun - moms do a lot, like a lot. But, don't forget to make time for fun with your kids. They're only little for a little bit, so take advantage of any and every moment to just laugh and play with them.
- don't compare yourself to other mommies - I wish I could triple bold this one. Comparison is the thief of all joy. Not only that, but once I start down the comparison trail, I start to get down on myself. When I feel like I'm failing, it reflects in my attitude toward my husband and my children.
- give praise & encouragement - small words of affection go a long way. Are you building your husband up? Are you building your kids up? Mommas, you know your home better than anyone else. Start praising your loves for what they are doing well and encourage them when they do do something well.
- be affectionate - touch goes a long way. My love language is touch, so at first glance, I thought I knocked this one out of the park. Then I got to thinking, how often do my girls ask to hug me or for me to hold them and I tell them "not right now, I'm cleaning the dishes" or "in a minute, I'm busy." I wonder how many times I've missed their little requests for physical touch. Hug your littles, play with their hair, kiss them on the cheek, cuddle with them, love them.
- be present - I once heard a challenge (in reference to moms being on their phone a lot) to watch your child for 30 minutes and tally how many times they look at you for affirmation. I did it and wow. I was astounded at the results. It felt like Abby was looking at me for a smile or affirmation every 5-10 seconds. How often are we missing these moments because we're on our phone or doing a chore. News flash to us moms - its not our laundry loads or the latest Facebook status that we'll remember in 10 years, but the moments with our littles. Be present and be joyful.
- model what you want to see - kids are super impressionable, and they are looking to us. They are watching our every single move to see how we react so that they know how to act. Are we quick to anger? Easily provoked? Or are we calm and slow to speak? Kind in our responses and not agitated? Let's model what we want to see in our kids.
photography: fort lion studio