Dear Mom,

Rather than just being aware of the atmosphere in your home, a mother plays a vital role in setting it.

Although I believe that both father and mother bring different and important aspects to the parenting of their children and great blessing flows to a family from a Godly father, often the sense of well-being, safety and peace within the home is set by the mother.

Mom, if you are at peace within yourself, your home will resonate with an atmosphere of peace. If on the other hand, you’re grappling with inner turmoil, strife tends to permeate throughout the home.

How does a mother consistently set a peaceful atmosphere in the home?

Look Up.

It’s particularly challenging with young children, but I have found that if I just lie in bed for a few moments (some mornings it’s just one moment) or grab a moment in the loo, take some time when I’m washing the dishes or waiting for the kettle to boil for my first cup of coffee, and surrender my day to God, asking Him to help me, lead me and guide me, I am better able to set a positive, peaceful atmosphere in our home. When I pause at the start of the day, resist the temptation to grab for my phone and scroll through Facebook and Twitter and rather look up to God as my source, peace reigns in my heart and oozes out through our home. Who or what is your source? As a mother, you give of yourself to your children throughout the day and you are giving out of whatever you take in. Time with your Maker, time reading the Bible, time in prayer and worship, time looking through your social media feeds, time listening to and looking at the news, time watching TV, time with good friends, time with gossiping colleagues, time reading a good book, time reading a not-so-good book or magazine. As you empty yourself into the lives of your children, ask yourself what your source is, what’s sustaining you? What’s filling you up and flowing through you, to your children?

Look In.

During a flight, if you experience any turbulence, parents are told to take care of themselves before they see to the safety of their children. The same is true in life. Look after yourself so that you can take better care of your children. In the first few months after giving birth to twins, my life felt frenetic and I failed many times. I found quickly though that when I made my spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health a priority, I was a better mom to our children. I would make sure that they were fed, clean and safe and then I washed, put on some make-up and get dressed. Although I was living on the top floor of an apartment and I didn’t feel like going out most days, I forced myself to get myself and our children outside. It wasn’t easy but getting out into the fresh air and going for a walk with the children helped me get some perspective, gave me some much needed peace and got my heart rate up a bit. What small change or changes can you make to the way you care for yourself so that you can better take care of your children and bring an atmosphere of peace into your home?

Look Out.

Ask for help. Ask your husband to help you with some specific things in the home. Ask family, friends, colleagues or neighbours for help. Reach out for help. We live busy lives but don’t become disheartened if your cry for help initially falls on deaf ears or if you don’t have a supportive husband or family – ask God to send someone to help you. When you try to do it all alone, you will usually end up feeling frazzled and flustered and that’s when we are more likely to create an atmosphere of turmoil and fear in the home. I challenge you then to look out. Who can you reach out to, be a friend to and ask for help from? Reaching out is a risk – you may not get the response you were expecting, but don’t give up. The church is a great place for you to be part of a community that looks out for those who are in need. Find a good church community where you feel welcome and part of a family and foster some good, possibly lifelong friendships that can be a real blessing to you when you need help, or a babysitter.

Setting a peaceful atmosphere in the home is not something that comes naturally or easily, it’s something we as moms have to be intentional about every day. You can make it a habit, starting today.

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