4 Easy Steps To A Happier Home

With the coming of a new year, moms love to make resolutions that involve becoming the perfect parent. 

You are going to stop yelling, you are going to cook more from scratch, and you are finally going to take the kids to the museum (even if you are worried your son is going to climb the displays).

These pursuits are great, but truth be told they are not what create a happy home, and in the end that is what kids benefit the most from. 

Maybe your home is chaotic now and you don’t see an easy fix to transition into peace, or maybe you have a good routine going but you want to add these elements to your home to give the kids a little more. 

Either way, these four easy steps to a happier home will improve you and your children’s quality of life as a family.

Talk about the positive

Although we love our children immensely, it is all too easy to get caught up in discussing with your mom friends (and spouse) all the things that went wrong that day. 

Your toddler decided to practice drawing their shapes on the wall, and you had to address back-talking again with your older son. 

These moments are challenging, but they are also a normal part of development.

Focus on how your toddler learned to put away the blocks himself that day, or how your older son took the trash out without asking (undoubtedly his way of apologizing when conversation is hard). 

Make sure to not just bring up these positives at your weekly play dates, but to talk about them openly to your children so they know you see the good they are trying to accomplish

You will find that a switch from trying to win the biggest tantrum of the week award with your friends, to bragging about the kind way your daughter tried to cheer up the baby will change the whole energy of the home. 

Never play tit for tat

Kate Schweitzer, writing for Popsugar Family, said, “One of my most egregious offenses as a parent? My mental scorecard.”

We all do it. You get upset with your spouse when they don’t want to take the kids to music practice. Why? Because you did it last time. 

Or you start getting passive aggressive with Jack’s mom from play group because she has somehow managed to get out of bringing snacks for the last two months. 

Keeping a mental scorecard for everything in life can be toxic. Tasks will never be divvied up perfectly fair, because life is unpredictable and sometimes spontaneous.

Just do the best you can with no judgement for what everybody else is doing, and be able to ask for help when you need it. 

Don’t get caught up in the schedule

Families these days have plans six months out, and a schedule so packed it can barely be kept up with.

We can get lost in the sports games, play dates, fitness classes, and doctors visits; forgetting to enjoy our little ones.

Some things need to be planned ahead, like summer vacation, and for those things a calendar is a great resource.

Schweitzer has a great idea to keep things manageable:

For us, we’ve learned that looking five days ahead is our sweet spot. So, we got a whiteboard affixed to our fridge that has a rundown of dinner plans for that workweek along with any important reminders, like doctor appointments. Even though I tend to like long-term planning, I’m committing to living in the week ahead.”

You will find that as you take away the stress of a hectic calendar, you will have the headspace to enjoy the present moment. 

Take turns with responsibilities

Parents like to either do a task with the kids together, or each take a responsibility at the same time and meet back up when it’s accomplished. 

For example, dad meets the family at basketball practice and then you all go home together so dad can watch the kids while mom makes dinner. 

No one got a break in this scenario!

Occasionally it is fun to overlap some of the schedule so the whole family is together, but if you take turns taking the kids to practice or going to the grocery store with the kids then one parent can have an hour of a real break to catch up on laundry or their favorite show. 

Giving each parent a chance to breathe, and a break from having to be fully responsible for another human life will keep you both refreshed and happy; a contagious feeling for the whole family. 

It’s not always about how much you can fit in a week or how many home-cooked meals you manage to make that month, but the quality time you spend with your family.