Last night I shared with you the basics of making your home peaceful for your king. Above all, our families need peace. We usually associate 'good' homemaking with having a sparkling clean "Stepford Wife" style living space. We should ALL know that having a house look like a snap from Better Homes and Gardens while raising a family is not realistic. It's great to be able to keep things tidy and teach our children to do the same; but don't be crazy about it! Our children crave a peaceful space to express their childhood and grow into healthy young adults.
It took me a while to get used to this kind of existence. When I lived by myself, I cleaned up ONCE a WEEK and didn't need to clean again. My how things have changed. It used to annoy the daylights out of me to be constantly cleaning but I saw how that annoyance spread very quickly to every member of my household, including the dog! :) It wasn't until I accepted and learned to APPRECIATE my position as Keeper of the House that I noticed a drastic change in the levels of joy, peace, and cooperation in my home.
I have boys, but I grew up in a house with only girls so I know that teaching our daughters to be good homemakers is of utmost importance. However, we have to allow our little girls to be children as well. The days of our youth pass by so quickly and many times we see adults who are STUCK in their childish ways. A lot of that stagnation is due to being forced, as children, to be/act older than they were, thus creating the need to live out their childhood as grown ups.
Everything in life is a process and there is a set order to how we grow. Observe the level of development your child has reached and deal with them accordingly. For example, my boys LOVE water play. It drives me NUTS to have see my bathroom flooded at bath time....everyday. No matter how many times I say "keep the water in the tub", it never fails that I will be parting the Red Sea to get them out of there. So, do I complain and yell because "they don't listen"? No, I take a deep breath and SMILE because I understand that they are children, toddlers, and they are having fun discovering how water works. Also appreciating that I only get to enjoy them at this stage ONCE and when it's gone I'm gonna wish.... Keep calm and clean it up!
Just as we create heaven for our kings by creating a space where they can express their 'manliness' freely, we do the same for our children by allowing them to be CHILDREN. They only get childhood once, let them enjoy it! As I'm typing, my sons are crawling all over the floor, after JUST getting clean in the tub. Will I stop them from enjoying their playtime because they're 'clean'? Nope! They will play into naptime, looking like dirt divers and get another bath before bedtime. :) (PSA: Speaking of....please PLEASE PLEEEAAASE understand that children do not understand that their $100 Jordans are not 'play shoes'. They don't get how 'valuable' that Polo outfit is and that they shouldn't mess it up. In the words of my grandma "stop making these babies Schizoid trying to impress your friends". I almost exclusively shop clearance and thrift stores for my boys because they grow too fast and they get too dirty for brand new designer clothes. IMO, it should be a crime to make a child 'sit down, and keep still' because mommy or daddy needs the self esteem boost of the world seeing their child looking 'fly'.... To whom it may concern: let them kids play and get over yourself!! Ok, BYE!)
Creating Heaven inside your home is more about flexibility than being a complete clean freak. Now don't get me wrong, we are to be clean. We are a set apart people. So never let children or your man's 'manly' ways become an excuse to let your home go to hell. Understand though that we can do more harm than good by trying to force our families into our box of 'perfect orderliness'. We as women are built that way. Most men and children are not. Be willing to bend a little. Be willing to let your love of cleanliness rub off on your family organically. The best way to teach a child is to let them see you BEING the example...they will do what they see you do. Be the HAPPY homemaker ;) Let them see you HAPPILY cleaning and they will know that its a good thing to be clean and neat. For the little bitty ones, turn cleaning into a game (Remember Barney? "clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere...")...but if they're not interested in the game, let them be, they'll come around.
At the end of the day, it's our responsibility to raise our babies with joy, peace and laughter. Trust me, they'll learn how to pick up along the way. Flow with your family, and don't sweat the small stuff!
Peace, Positivity, and Prosperity!!