10 Practical Tips to Build a More Positive Home
In the space of one week, one of my twins was crying round the clock due to chronic constipation, the other twin climbed out of her crib in an attempt to stand on top of a tall bookshelf, and my 4-year-old very suddenly became the most opinionated, picky preschooler known to man. I am a pretty positive, sunshiny person, but I had had enough.
I want my kids to grow up in a positive home. I want to live in a positive home, in a home that reflects God’s love, joy, grace & mercy. Not just at the beginning of the school year or for the month of January, but all year long. When life throws you curve balls, it can be nearly impossible to stay positive, not without some intentional effort and supernatural support.
Here are 10 Practical Tips to Build a More Positive Home
1. Prioritize Your Partner
The number one way to stay positive is to keep your marriage happy and healthy. I don’t think I could have survived much of the insanity of the first two years with a toddler and twins if it hadn’t been for my husband and our bond. Make sure to water and feed your friendship with your spouse and do whatever you can to keep your marriage strong and vibrant. If the kids are getting in the way of your relationship, make sure to read Nicole Kirchner’s wise words about Raising Kids, Protecting Marriages.
2. Speak Specific Words of Praise
Who doesn’t love a compliment? It brightens your day, week, even month! But don’t be vague or stingy with your praise. Shower your loved ones with specific praises throughout the day. Show them you noticed all the good and wonderful things they have done, and all the good and wonderful things they are. Need some ideas? Check out this awesome printable with 25 Ways to Encourage from Picklebums.
3. Savor the Silly
Sing a silly song. Have a dance party. Dress up in some crazy outfit. Laughing at yourself and giving your kids & husband something to laugh at can lighten up your home like nothing else. Take every opportunity to act silly and bring the funny. Pint-sized Treasures has a great list of ways to bring the silly to your everyday activities.
4. Start Single-Tasking
If you’re like me, your to-do list is pretty out of control. It can be really hard not to try to accomplish 20 things at the same time, but that kind of multi-tasking makes for an over-full brain and a crazy mom. Set the to-do list aside, turn your phone off, and be present. Participate in some serious single-tasking. Don’t think about the chores or the errands. Just do one thing at a time for a while. Start small. Stay focused and present for 15 minutes at first, build up to 30 minutes, an hour. See how good single-tasking feels! Check out Bonnie Gray’s encouragement about how good single-tasking is for the soul.
5. Say Sorry
Repentance is soothing and life-giving. It feeds the weary soul and waters the parched heart. Say sorry. Quickly. And often. Apologize all day long if you have to, and mean it. Set aside your pride and be the first to lay down your ego, and watch your home and family overflow with happiness and positivity. Always remember...
6. Don’t Compare
Comparison truly is the thief of joy. Don’t compare your husband to other men. Stop comparing your kids to the kids down the street. Definitely don’t compare your home or finances or car or clothes to others. Absolutely never compare your talents, gifts, looks, or personality to your friends. Comparison never lead to contentment, just bitterness and frustration. Need some practical tips? Sarah shares 3 Ways to Stop the Comparison Game Today.
7. Cultivate Gratitude
Want to battle the bitterness of comparison? Cultivate gratitude. Keep a gratitude journal. Write down all the little things you are thankful for. Have someone keep you accountable. Start a practice of sharing your gratitude list with your husband or kids each night, or texting your girlfriends before you go to bed. Recording and sharing the things you are grateful for will change your heart & mind. Remember, gratitude is a choice.
8. Self-Care or Beware!
How do you care for yourself? Do you make it a priority? It can be nearly impossible to find time to go to the bathroom, let alone get a pedicure, but it’s so important to maintain a positive outlook. Schedule some self-care time each week. Whether is just 30 minutes alone each morning before everyone wakes up or an afternoon out on your own reading a good book at a coffee shop. Is childcare a problem? Swap babysitting with another mom, so you can take turns getting some time for yourself. If you need help figuring out how to make time for you, check out Jessica Turner’s book, The Fringe Hours, and get your YOU time back!
9. Extend Grace
Not only does repentance soothe the soul, but so does forgiveness. Extend unwarranted, unearned grace to your children, husband, and yourself. Don’t hold a grudge. Don’t hold onto your anger. In the words of the wise Elsa of Arendelle, “Let it go!” Giving yourself and your loved ones grace is not just about creating a positive home life, it’s our calling as Christ-followers. To love others as He loved us. Constantly, continually extending unconditional grace and mercy. Throw down those stones of anger and extend grace with open hands.
10. Go to God Daily
Nothing sets a positive tone like being in the presence of the Holy One. Do whatever you can, set aside whatever you have to, in order to spend some time with the Lord every single day. If everyday seems impossible right now, set a more tangible goal. Start with just one day per week if that’s all you can do for now. Check out these 5 Quiet Time Tips for Busy Moms and put one or more into practice. Going to God as often as possible will lift your mind and heart to dwell on goodness and fill you with His joy. If you do nothing else on this list, go to God. He can work miracles in your heart and in your home.
Any other ideas or tips for building a positive home? We’d love to hear them!
Marie Osborne is a wife, mom, coffee drinker, loud laugher, & Jesus follower. When she isn't laughing with her husband, texting with her girlfriends, singing with her preschooler, or chasing after her toddler twins, she's probably writing at her blog while binge watching Netflix.