Making a House a Home: All about the Attitude

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As my blog title states, I’m striving to turn our House into a Home. For me this means, it’s not just a dwelling, a roof over our heads and beds to sleep in (though I have recently taken up residency on the couch, darn pregnancy pains).  A home is a place full of love, laughter, family and friends. A place anyone can feel welcome in as soon as they cross the front doorstep.  To help with this in our front room we have this quote painted on the wall.

Last week as I pulled into the driveway after picking Princess V up from school, she declares “I hate this house. It’s a big mess. We need a bigger house.”  Thank goodness I was already parked, because I was floored by this 5 year old’s statement. I LOVE our house. I DON’T want a bigger house (this one’s plenty big to clean as is!). Why would she say something like that?  After talking it over with Mark we decided it came down to attitude. Was I displaying an attitude of love for our home? Was I showing our home love and teaching the Princesses how to love our home?  I’m guessing not. Actually, I’m not guessing. I wasn’t. Being 8months pregnant and emotionally and physically drained, I just didn’t have it in me to show as much love and caring to our home as I would like. Instead, I realize I showed more frustration and anger with the constant messes that I just couldn’t keep on top of. No wonders she thought she hated our house, she was associating it with the mess, which is exactly what I was exemplifying to her!

On a recent trip to visit Mark at work, I saw a sign he had hung on one of the doors. I really liked it, and decided I needed to incorporate it into my daily thoughts. 

Attitude - Attitude
So how do I turn this around? How do I change my attitude. The messes still frustrate me, especially as it gets harder and harder to bend over to pick things up. How do I teach my kids that we can love our home, by keeping it clean? 
First, I have to change my attitude. From now on, if there is a mess, instead of becoming frustrated, thinking I’m the only one who cares (come on, you know you’ve thought it before too), I need to kindly ask for help. I need to pull out that little reservoir of energy to put a smile on my face, and get to work. Then once we have the mess clean, I can show the Princesses the type of fun we can have in a clean home. There is so much we could do, but I never do, because of the messes. We could have so much fun, if only we clean up after ourselves, and all pitch in.
Once we have our home clean, I am feeling the need to make each room enjoyable for everyone. There should be some element in each of the rooms that will make it home for us all. Here’s some ideas I’ve put together, and begun to incorporate into our home.
Front Room – I’ve added an art wall. Although our front room is mostly used for visiting with friends. It’s a place I always strive to keep clean and free of toys. But it also seems to be where we spend the most family time. Having an art wall to display the Princesses work has been both fun and enjoyable for all of us.  For some, the front room could be your family room, your game room. Whatever room you spend the most time in. Try to keep it simple, with elements for each member of the family. By doing this it can bring the family closer together while still giving that individuality.
Kitchen – Our kitchen is very small, and is more like a hallway. Really, to get to the rest of the house you have to walk through the kitchen first.  To change the attitude in our kitchen I’m planning on involving the Princesses in cooking each day. Besides getting some more time with them, it will also teach them life skills, and responsibility. For the smaller one, I have our tupperware drawer available for her to play in. The older girls love playing in it too, and they have many pretend parties with tupperware strewn across the floor. Allowing them this space lets them feel apart of the kitchen happenings.
Dining Room – Now that it’s remodeled, we all love our Dining Room more! We went for a Venetian theme with the color and decor. After Princess V’s declaration though, I wanted to make it more child friendly as well. So the play kitchen came out of the toy room, and into the Dining Room. I haven’t seen them play so much with their kitchen in forever! Just today after lunch they sat around it getting “drinks and ice” from the little fridge.  While they did that, I was able to clean up lunch. What a joy this brought into our home, as the 3 girls played nicely together without any fights or tantrums.

Play Room – If you have a place specifically for toys, that is great! After our flood last fall we were able to remodel and make that space. Don’t forget to add elements for the adults in this room. Yes the room is built for the kids, but you want to be able to get down and play with your kids. When we first made the room, there was no seating in it. I realized soon that I needed something down there so I could be with the kids, but still be an adult as well. So down went our little IKEA couch. The problem we have with this room now, is keeping it picked up. It seems like an impossible chore, but it isn’t. My first idea, is to create some game art. My kids love their board games, but don’t know how to play by the rules yet. This causes pieces of different games to be left spread around the room. I saw this brilliant idea on Pinterest, and plan on adding it to our play room. It keep it fun for the kids, and clean for the adults.
Once we have the rooms set up, as the adult I need to set clear rules and boundaries. For some it may be “Food stays in the kitchen”, or “Shoes stay by the door”.  Decide what’s most important to you in your home, and what is possible for your life situation. For us, we mainly keep food in the kitchen, but we often enjoy a fun “picnic” in the front room. It breaks the same old, and keeps the Princesses entertained. I do prefer no food downstairs though. I just haven’t made that a clear rule; one with consequences for being broken. Once you have your rules decided on, if you have kids, talk about consequences and rewards for obeying. We do a Daddy Dollar and Mommy Market system that our kids love! They’ll do just about anything to get a Daddy Dollar, and they know we mean business if one is taken away. At the end of each week they get to shop the Mommy Market.
Now this whole post started because of what Princess V declared. So I’d like to end with another of her declarations, a few days after the first
“Mom, I love this house. I love the seat here, with my blanket and pillow and watching Avatar”. 
Let me give you a little bit of a view into what it was exactly that she loved.
Amazing what a little change in attitude can do.
*This post is part of Blogelina’s 100 Blog Comment Event. 

78 thoughts on “Making a House a Home: All about the Attitude

  1. OMG !!! GENIUS IDEA WITH THE BOARD GAMES!!! we're big on the food stay in the kitchen thing too, especially with drinks. Running a daycare though i've gotten used to having to clean everything constantly!! lol

  2. It's very interesting what life becomes when you choose to take a frustrating situation and make it into something special. I work off of a 5-15 minute cleaning challenge in my household and then on Saturday's we tend to spend a bit more time, but I really try hard to streamline the cleaning because as you mentioned it is the family time that is the most important. Very cute idea with the board games; unexpected storage space meets art!

  3. It's very interesting what life becomes when you choose to take a frustrating situation and make it into something special. I work off of a 5-15 minute cleaning challenge in my household and then on Saturday's we tend to spend a bit more time, but I really try hard to streamline the cleaning because as you mentioned it is the family time that is the most important. Very cute idea with the board games; unexpected storage space meets art!

  4. Cool sign at your husband's job. I have never seen that before. I love the game art on the walls. Oh that reminds me, when my youngest was little before he could grasp the rules of games, we used to let him come up with rules of his own. It was actually pretty fun and I thought rather inventive of him and us to go along with it.

  5. I'm just starting to see my bad attitude reflected in my 4 year old son. It's most often just in his tone. Tough having a little mirror! But so good that God gave us someone to love on who helps and changes us in innumerable ways!

  6. I Love this ideal and my apartment is so small I can see where we would begin to feel that way but after reading your post I can see how I can change some things in all of the rooms even though there is only 4 rooms in total as I can make sure they are friendly for both adults and children alike so I will be implementing some of your ideals soon.

  7. I think it's so true that it's easier to enjoy and like a house when it's tidy and you can see the space you have ! I'm not a very tidy person and just a few weeks ago reached breaking point with my messy house. I set myself a challenge to keep my surfaces clear and clean for 21 days – going on the theory that it takes 21 days to form a habit. I kept them clean and my house and head is much clearer now. Our kids are benefitting too -and it's made it easier for them to clear their things up too!

    Good luck getting your house sorted and organised too!

  8. The board game art is such a cute idea. I have tons of games that my son has outgrown. I agree that attitude really is everything in life. A good one can make such a huge difference, even on a bad day.

  9. Oh, I felt that stomp on my toes. I've never really thought about how my children feel towards our home but I certainly do not always facilitate an environment where they would get those warm, fuzzies… especially when I am ranting about having to clean up the same mess for the fifth time that day. {blush}

  10. I definitely need to work out our home decor a little more- good job adding nice cozy touches to your house. We actually have the same play kitchen and it's in our dining room, too! My daughter is also 5, and it seems like such an impressionable age- the lessons I teach her now she might very well carry with her her whole life (which means I better get my act together with housecleaning so that I set a good example!).
    -Viva recently posted Homemade Pizza Dough

  11. It's so easy to get wrapped up in our own misery that we forget how it affects those around us. This is a great post. I'm so happy to have found your blog. I look forward to reading more! And by the way, the game boards on the wall are an awesome idea!

  12. I love how you realized that your daughter's attitude was a direct result of yours. Most parents don't *ever* understand that. Now excuse me while I go clean house so we have room to play. 🙂

  13. I totally agree with Amanda. My daughter is already fifteen and I've had so many occasions to clearly see how kids actually imitate what they see happening around them — and, first of all, their parents' attitude and behaviors.
    Best wishes to a wonderful mom and her lovely daughters 🙂

  14. Love your blog and your post, I took a job at a cleaning service and it made me think a lot different. Can't stand clutter or something dirty so, I clean everyday. Love the work that you've like the game boards great idea.

  15. I really love our home we have now. We would like a different one with more land and less neighbors but you are right having the right attitude is what we all need to have. Bloom where you are planted sort of attitude. Thanks for reminding me.

  16. I LOVE the framed game boards!! I totally agree about loving your home. I have no desire to move, but I have challenged myself to clean, PURGE and organize my house from top to bottom in 40 days (lent). I was to the point where I coul dnot walk or FIND anything! I needed a complete reorganization!

  17. Going through a flood must have been very difficult, but I am glad in the end you were able to remodel and make happy spaces for everyone. I really like the game boards in the frames, that is a neat idea!

  18. It is true that kids definitely pick up on our attitudes toward things. I would love to say that I could strive to love my kitchen- but to be honest, I have tried that before and I fail miserably. We too have a small kitchen- it is a galley style and everyone has to walk through it to get to the rest of the house. It always becomes the center when I am cooking and to be honest, there isn't enough room for 1 most days. Add in 3 kids, a hubby and two dogs underfoot and it is chaos.

    But thanks for the reminder- because I will show the rest of the house some love for my kids sake.

  19. I totally agree with you! When we bought our home, it wasn't "perfect," but it was in a great neighborhood and in good shape, plus we were getting down to the wire in terms of moving, so we went with it. Sometimes I get caught up in thoughts like, "I wish I had a brighter kitchen," or "I hate this ugly bathroom sink." But then I remind myself how lucky we are to have a home and to be surrounded by wonderful neighbors 🙂

  20. That's a lesson I'm just re-learning. Our attitudes impact how/what we do. It's up to us whether we are make a good impact with a positive attitude, or not.

  21. I'm trying SO HARD not to complain about housework in front of the kids. After all, why should they go out of their way to help me with it if it's that awful? You're right–attitude is everything!

  22. I also try to keep food in the kitchen/dining room. My bugs are crumb monsters. I'm not sure what they do but they sure can make crumbs spread throughout the house which you can easily see with my downstairs being hardwood. Ugh lol. Love the board game idea too!

  23. Wish you were close by. I really need ideas in decorating my home. I am not much for the interior decorating and I can stand and look at my empty walls and have no idea what to put on them, but give me a stove and watch out…..Oh well the walls look nice with all that white paint on them any way!!!

  24. Wish you were close by. I really need ideas in decorating my home. I am not much for the interior decorating and I can stand and look at my empty walls and have no idea what to put on them, but give me a stove and watch out…..Oh well the walls look nice with all that white paint on them any way!!!

  25. Thanks for the attitude adjustment. I too have been feeling a bit down about my house, and it all goes back to ME. I'm the one who is in charge of the overall feeling at home, so if there is a problem, it usually goes back to my attitude.

    Glad you were able to reassess the situation and turn it into a place your daughter liked being again.

  26. Attitude can make such a big difference! Am I going to get angry and scold my child for not cooperating while changing his diaper or getting him in his car seat, or am I going to try and make it fun and play while accomplishing a task?

    Great reminder!

  27. Great attitude you have!

    Now they say: keep the sink clean and spend 5 minutes per room per day, and most of the clutter will be cleared.

    Good luck with keeping the house nice.

  28. This was a great post, thank you for sharing it! I am guilty of not loving our home. We have a great home in a wonderful location but I can complain about it being small, messy, disorganized…everything. But I do need that attitude change desperately! I want it to be a place our family builds memories and forms a bond in, not just provide a roof over our heads. This post really inspired me to look at my house as a home and to have that heart as I tackle different projects within it! Thanks again for sharing!

  29. I love that you are working to make your house a home! And hang in there… pregnancy is HARD and so are the first few months after baby comes. We have 5 kids and have had to learn that some messes are okay sometimes, as is giving chores to our kids. Everyone here pitches in (chores depend on age/ability) or I would go crazy!

    Thanks for sharing your blog. I'm looking forward to reading more. I liked your Facebook page so I can keep following!

  30. I'm slowly working on getting my house organized and then I'll work on getting decorated. But it is true about making a house a home that it is important for kids to feel love and comfortable in their own homes. I love the idea of Daddy dollar and mommy mart.

  31. Thank you for this. I am 27 weeks pregnant and just at the end of my rope. My husband and 4 year old seem like they are driving me crazy and I am exhausted all the time. I need to check my attitude for sure!!!!

    Oh, I love that board game in a frame idea. I can find these games at my local Goodwill for so cheap. Thanks!

  32. I feel ya on that one! I was quite frustrated over our last place while being pregnant… funny thing… I'm not pregnant and I feel the same way about my current house- when it's messy anyway! lol. I just pinned the kids board games in a frame… I saw this idea a long time ago and wanted to do it… but how fun for the kids? 🙂

  33. My son came home last week and said that he loved this house. What had changed recently is that I put photos of the kids up on the walls, finally. We just moved in October and I hadn't got around to it yet, I'm so glad that I finally did.

  34. Excellent post about some little things you can do to make the house a home for your kids. I am in a similar situation (as I'm sure many of us moms are) and I like some of the ideas you have. The one about the art room is a great idea. I have toying with the idea of putting a "gallery" in our formal dining room. I might do that this weekend!

  35. nice i love this post. making a house a home is very important to me. i grew up in MANY houses and none felt like home. MY grandmothers house was always home always cozy clean consistent.

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