My husband and I have been married for going on 12 and a half years and in those years we’ve made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot of lessons the hard way.
In the last few years, I feel like we’ve both become a lot more comfortable in our own skin, we’ve become a lot more settled in our personal family principles and beliefs, and we’ve become a lot less worried about trying to do what works for others and instead just doing what works for us.
As a result, we’ve experienced a lot more joy, peace, and happiness in our home. We won’t win any contests for having everything all together, having the best decorated home, having the most put-together-looking children, or always getting places on time. But we’re good with that.
We’re a work in progress. We’re in this together. And we’re seeking to fully embrace life — right where we are.
As I think back over the lessons we’ve learned along this journey of life, I wanted to share five things that have helped us have a happier home. I think I can almost guarantee that if you implement these in your home, it will result in more joy, peace, and happiness, too.
1. Spend Less Time Doing & More Time Being
It’s so easy to get sucked into the go-go-go, do-do-do mentality that pervades our culture. But is that really what life is all about?
I don’t want to reach the end of my life and have the only thing people know to say about me be something like: “She was always busy. She got a lot done.”
No, I want to live life to the fullest. I want to be available for people. I want to listen. I want to take time to care. I want to invest my life in the people closest to me. I want to have time for what really matters.
I encourage you to cut down on schedule clutter and unnecessary commitments so that you have breathing room in your life to take time for what really matters. Set up good systems so that you don’t have to spend extra time looking for things, moving piles, or doing busy work.
Teach your kids to work together with you so that the house runs more smoothly and you all have more time to be together. Stress less about having things perfect and be okay with imperfect.
Clear out the excess from your life so that you can focus on the few things that really matter. Doing this will guarantee you not only enjoy life more, but that you have a happier, calmer home.
This picture makes me laugh every time I see it! I posted it on Instagram awhile back and said: “Could not figure out why the ‘cream’ I was pouring in my coffee this morning looked so watered down. And then I actually read the box. Yikes… Clearly, not all brain cells are firing this morning. Or, maybe I just discovered a new kind on Bulletproof Coffee. Or not. Yuck.”
2. Always Look for Something to Laugh About
Life is full of hard things. Life is full of potentially frustrating things. And that’s why it’s so important that we learn to laugh quickly, easily, and often.
Find the funny in every situation. Laugh at yourself. Share funny stories with your friends. Don’t take life too seriously.
If you need some upbeat encouragement or things to laugh about, be sure to follow the Money Saving Mom® Facebook Page. I try to post at least a few things on there every day that made me laugh. Here was one from this morning. 🙂
You’ll discover — if you spend any time around me — that I pretty much always have a good story to share. I go through life looking for the humor that others might not see — because we all need to laugh more than we do, myself included.
So I try to notice those funny things and share them with others, instead of focusing on the hard and stressful things of life. I don’t always succeed at this, but this is what I aim for.
My husband and our kids join me in this much of the time, too. And it’s amazing how much happier we all feel when we pepper our daily life with large doses of laughter.
3. Find the Good & Praise It
I read this phrase in a book years and years ago and it has stuck with me and influenced me in so many situations when I wanted to get bogged down and discouraged by the hard and heavy things, when I wanted to feel irritated by others, or when I wanted to be upset that someone had done something all wrong or dropped the ball completely.
Instead, I’ve made it a point to look for the good. Because there is almost always, always something good to be found — whether that’s in your spouse, your kids, your co-worker, your relative, or an acquaintance.
Choose to dwell on what’s good instead of being bothered and irritated by what’s not so good. Praise the good. Show gratitude for the hard work someone is doing or how your spouse helped you in some way or a positive attitude your child exemplified or for how your co-worker took initiative on something… find the good and praise it.
Gratitude can transform your entire outlook on life. In addition, when you verbally express it to others, it can motivate and inspire them to work harder, rise to the top, develop character, and be the best version of themselves they can be.
A home built upon praise, rather than criticism, is always going to be a happier home.
4. Be Generous With the Hugs & Kisses
In our home, we are highly affectionate. I believe that human touch is a powerful force — providing comfort, healing, and nurturing, and communicating love, care, and compassion.
Not all kids are probably this way, but my kids need a lot of snuggles and hugs. It makes them feel secure, loved, and appreciated.
So we do our best to dole out the physical affection — even in those moments when it might not be what we’d want to do. (I’m an introvert and not a complete touch-y, feel-y person, so sometimes I’d really rather have space than snuggles!)
Not only does it promote closeness in our relationships, but we’ve found that our kids are so much more cheerful when their love tanks are filled up. And this results in an all around happier home.
5. Stop Worrying About What Other People Think
Of all the things I’ve shared in this post, this one has been the hardest for me, by far. I’m a perfectionist and people-pleaser by nature. I want people to accept me. But more than that, I want them to like me.
But I can’t live my life and we can’t run our home to please others. Why? Because there are just plain too many different people to please. So if we try to please everyone, we’ll run ourselves ragged and still fall short.
Slowly ever so slowly, I’ve been breaking free from the bondage of people-pleasing. I’ve been focusing on seeking the Lord with my husband for what God wants for our own family. We’ve been making decisions for our family based upon what we believe is best for us — not based upon what we think other people would want us to do or what others would think we should do.
Has everyone been supportive of our decisions? By no means! We’ve gotten plenty of criticism and questioning for choices we’ve made.
But more and more, I’m okay with that. I realize that not everyone will understand why we do what we do. Not everyone is called to have the lifestyle we do or parent the way we do or follow the path that we are on.
We’re all different in different situations with different families and different needs. What is right for one family won’t necessarily be right for another family. And sometimes, those choices won’t make a lot of sense to everyone else, but that’s okay.
What’s most important is that our family is carefully seeking God’s will, carefully and prayerfully making decisions based upon the needs of our family and children, and regularly re-evaluating to make sure those choices and decisions are still the best for our family.
When we let go of worrying about what other people think and instead focus on doing what’s best for our own family, we’re all much happier for it.
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