HAPPINESS IN THE HOME BEGINS WITH ORDER
by Mary Goyens
Mary is happily married and a mom of 8 that now range from almost 28 to 16, 5 boys and 3 girls. She is also a grandmother of two little boys. She spent the better part of her married life as a stay at home mom. She now substitute teaches at a nearby high school. Her youngest daughter is a special needs child. Mary loves to run and has participated in numerous triathlons over the years. Here are some points from a talk Mary gave in May 2006 in Ottawa
You must take your three year old to the doctor's for an important appointment and while you are walking out the door you get a call from the school to pick up your older child. What do you do?
Tomorrow is Sunday and one of your children has a morning hockey game across town and the other has a birthday party to get to. What do you do about going to Church?
Two of your children have important soccer games at the same time and you husband must work late. What do you do?
Company is coming unannounced. The kids are dropped off the bus at 3:30. There is homework to do, a meal to plan and food to buy. What do you do?
You have had a difficult week and now you only have one afternoon to plan a weekend camping trip. You kids are excited and there is dinner to get ready as well. What do you do?
Your spouse is away for the week. Time to relax the menu or not?
The kids get home at 4:00. You have two other little ones, supper, homework, clean-up, reading time, baths and piano practice to be done by 8pm. Is this feasible?
Daily life is full of choices. We often don't have much time to think before we act. How we respond mirrors our values, criteria and priorities in life. Really think through what's most important to you and clarify your priorities. You cannot do everything. You cannot please everyone. Be realistic, resourceful and seek to put order into your life ? in material things, in time management, in relationships, in everything. Focus on what's really important in life. Make sure your day-to-day decisions reflect those values clearly to your family.
Here are an assortment of ideas, not arranged in a particular order, that help me alot to maintain happiness and order in my home. I hope it proves helpful to you.
- Take the time to fix yourself up and put on a bit of makeup in the morning. It will help you feel great!
- Teach your children from an early age to make their beds and tidy up their things.
- Organize their play areas so that everything has a proper place. Declutter as often as you can and encourage your children to part with their things to give them away to a favorite charity.
- Expect everyone to put things back where they belong so that the entire family contributes to make the home an attractive, civilized and efficiently run place to live. The goal is for your children to develop a sense of responsibility for the whole family so that everyone puts things away irrespective of who took them out in the first place.
- Orderliness should never go as far as to smother a spontaneous and loving way of life.
- Teach your children to schedule their activities so that they do whatever has the highest order of priority first.
- Plan ahead before starting anything. Help your children to develop the ability to relate the time available to the task to be done.
- Keep track of important dates by using a calendar or a computer.
- We don't have to worry if we are disorganized, we will educate more effectively in areas where we are attempting to improve.
- Children should develop a sense of stewardship or pride in their home.
- Keep on top of laundry and small household chores so that they don't become too time consuming.
- Make the time for family, friends and exercise.
- Most important, make the time to talk and be with your husband.