Today we have a guest post by Chelsea Allen…
What’s the atmosphere of your home like? Is it peaceful? Is it chaos? Loud? Busy? Empty? It’s hardly ever just one of these things. As time and situations change so does the atmosphere of the home. Teenagers make for a busy home.
Young adults can make a home feel empty as they start to move out. Right now for me loud would be the most accurate description of my home. I have 3 little boys ranging from newborn to five years old. With so much energy running around my house it’s hard to find a moments peace, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t strive for it.
I understand what moms with little boys are thinking, peace?! You must be joking! I know, I laugh too. But for our sake, for our boys sake there needs to be some measure of peace in our home, but how? Well, let me share with you some ideas – and I can’t take credit for all of these ideas as my dear Mother-In-Law raised three boys herself and has been a wonderful resource to me.
Acceptance – First you need to accept the fact that for the majority of the day it is just going to be loud if not downright crazy. All that energy pent up in a little body trying to learn to carry out the mandate God has given them – conquer, subdue and rule over the earth. I see it every day as they climb to the top of the wood pile and conquer it, feet spread, one hand on his hip and the other in the air in triumph; as one brother is on top of the other subduing him. Rejoice, Mama, as hard as it is rejoice he is learning to be what God has created him to be.
Knock – When things get too loud and the only way to get any ones attention is to scream over the noise, avoid the impulse to get louder and instead knock on the wall. I have found three quick rap’s on the wall gets everyone to stop and look at me and listen to what I need to say without me ever having to raise my voice. Clapping can also achieve this effect.
Whisper – This great tip came from my mom-in-law. When they get loud, start whispering, they will have to get quiet and still to hear you. It can become quite the game!
Go outside – Let them run off all the energy in the great outdoors. Go to the park. Send them into the back yard if you have one. Our mailbox is two houses down and this Mama can stand in the driveway while they bike, scooter and run to the mailbox 150 times! Even if it’s snowing you can send them out, my boys will play for hours in the back yard in the snow. Just make sure they have proper clothes and bring them in every so often for a break depending on the temperature.
Music – Turn on some peaceful instrumental music. This doesn’t work for my boys as well as it does for my friends with little girls. My 5 year old is just now starting to respond to having peaceful music playing in the background. But, if nothing else, it will sooth your spirit.
TV or radio – We use the TV sparingly in our house so when it comes on it’s a treat and everyone sits very quietly. We allow Daniel Tiger every morning which gives me a little time per day to make phone calls, do paperwork, or anything else that needs quiet. We’ve finally figured out how to load a movie to my iPad which made it possible to get through my twice weekly non-stress tests during pregnancy which could last up to two hours. Even coloring doesn’t work for two hours when mom can’t get off the exam table. Movies can also be a special treat that helps mom out in difficult times of illness or pregnancy. My husband works 24 hour shifts and by the time dinner is over I am more than done for the day but it’s still too early for bedtime. If I’m too tired to read, we’ll watch a movie together and I get special cuddle time with my boys and a nap! My three year old is still too young for the radio as it doesn’t hold his attention yet but my five year old is just starting to enjoy lying in his bed at nap / quiet time and listening to Adventures in Odyssey.
Time– It’s amazing how just spending some time with little boys settles them down. Here are some ideas of things my boys love to do.
• Build – Houses, trains, paper airplanes, anything!
• Read – I always wear out before they do
• Hot chocolate party – Cold days call for hot chocolate and it can become quite the treat and production choosing a special mug, making the hot chocolate, adding marshmallows and then having a nice quiet conversation with them while drinking the hot chocolate
• Bake something – Even little boys love to get in the kitchen and it’s a great opportunity to teach math skills! My husband and adult brother-in-laws still love to get in the kitchen and bake!
• Do a project – Everyone gets excited when I announce it is project time. So clear off the kitchen table and pull out those craft supplies, have some fun and don’t worry about the mess or if it turns out perfect. I’m a demonstrator for Stampin’ Up so I have a large collection of craft supplies and the boys love to use them too. We’ve made cards for friends and family, Christmas ornaments, decorations for the house, etc. Plain old coloring, play-dough and kinetic sand are other things they will sit and do at the kitchen table.
• Play a game – Connect 4, Candy Land, puzzles are all things even little ones can play
Chores – It sounds kind of odd but bringing your children alongside you while you do the household chores can keep the noise and chaos down. It keeps them focused instead of allowing the opportunity for mischief. My three year old folds his own cloth diapers and puts clothes on hangers while big brother puts the clothes I am folding away. It also helps me get the chores done faster so I can move on to something else or do something fun too. It’s amazing how cooperative they are and how quickly we can do things especially when everyone knows we are going to get to do something fun afterwards.
Candles or Christmas lights – The soft, dim light of a candle or white Christmas lights make for a peaceful and quiet atmosphere. My boys routinely ask if I’ll light a candle during dinner. I use white Christmas lights in my decorating throughout the year and turn them on a cloudy day or as soon as evening approaches.
These are some of the things I have found that work for me and my family at this stage. What have you found that keeps a peaceful atmosphere in your home? Please share with me your ideas in the comments. I look forward to seeing what works for you and trying some new things in our home.
Chelsea is wife to Jon, a fireman and Mama to three energetic little boys. After both having been homeschooled, Chelsea and Jon are now embarking on homeschooling their children. Chelsea loves all things crafting or needlework. She also operates a custom longarm quilting business from her home. You can see her work and follow along with all her crafting adventures at Chelsea Michal Designs on Facebook and Instagram.