This is a subject very dear to my heart… and one that has taken me a long time to learn! Growing up, our house was just a place we lived; we moved often; we came home to sleep and change before we left again on some new distraction; there was little rest and no peace. I thought this was just the way life was.
Now, on a single drive home or to school, I’m offered a million choices: I could get lunch; I could go to a movie; I could go shopping; I could go to the mall and do all of the above; I can get all my errands done (all from the convenience of the driver’s seat)…the list goes on and on. I thought, “Why on earth would I go home when I can spend the entire day out and always have something new to do? If I go home, I’ll have to think of something to do!” This was honestly my thought process every day for years!
Then I met my husband’s family. A few months after we got married, I realized what had bothered me so much about our visits with them and why I was so unsettled every time we left. It was because they did stuff at home. They sat around and talked; they played games; they ate meals in their kitchen! It was such a foreign concept to me that a home could be somewhere you wanted to be.
I also realized at the same time that what I want above most anything else is a simple home to be a haven for our family. Too many people overlook how important this can be, and it can have terrible consequences. Luckily, when I discovered this, I was already simplifying our life, paring down our Stuff, and making our home a nicer place to be. (I was even learning how to cook. Eek.) Now, all the things I was doing, all the changes I was making, had a goal: a simple, calm home.
Making a home where your family wants to be is sometimes a struggle. It means all the things that stereotypical “housewives” are mocked for: keeping it clean, decorating it with (a few!) nice things, keeping it organized and calm, cooking homemade meals, etc. But people forget that these are good things! Creating a calm space for your family to feel safe in is why these age-old duties have been around for so long. They are important and should not be overlooked in lieu of constant entertainment away from home and drive-through everything you can imagine!
So, while you simplify and work on the very strenuous task of bringing your family together, realize that your home is where it all begins. It is a place you should choose to be, even when you could be out at a movie or out to lunch. You come home because you want to be there!
(The photos are of our home. I tried to include everything that makes me think of “home.” The top photo includes our books, my computer, my pitcher and bowl, a drawing done by a dear friend at our wedding. The second is our decorative items including some commemorative things from my husband’s time in Albania. The third photo is our kitchen with a painting, my canisters, and our wonderful 50cent recipe box from DI. And the last is our bed and my amazingly cuddly teddy bear.)