"The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days; while she who lets their habits take care of themselves has a weary life of endless friction with the children."
Charlotte Mason was clear. She told us that the choice was ours. We could either ensure smooth and easy days or long and stressful ones. It all depends on the habits we train our children to follow.
Well, I think that is most certainly true. But, I believe it actually must begin with the habits that we as mothers form for ourselves. If we "take pains to endow" ourselves with good habits, we are then strong enough to train our children in the way that they should go.
These are some of the thoughts that began swirling in my mind a few weeks ago. I set out to form some new habits of my own, while simultaneously doing my duty as a mother to train my children in habits of their own.
But, I am wise enough to know that I am human. I cannot expect myself to make a list of ten new habits and start them all at the same time. I cannot expect to form many new habits at one time if I want them to STICK.
So, I set out to make some significant changes in my life. I wanted to:
- Form the habit of spending time with GOD each and every morning.
- Form the habit of SCHOOL each and every day, making education a part of life.
- Form the habit of REGULAR EXERCISE.
- Form the habit of eating better, drinking more water and just plain taking better care of my body.
- Form the habit of SCHEDULE.
- Form the habit of always greeting my husband at the door with a smile and kiss.
- Form the habit of spending some sort of focused time with my children each and every day in addition to school.
- Form the habit of a clean and tidy home, good organization, less clutter, treating my job as a homemaker as a JOB.
- Form the habit of taking time for ME each day. This one is hard for me to even type ~ it sounds so selfish. But, I am wise enough to know that my family needs me and needs me to be happy and healthy in order to take care of them, to love them (you cannot give what you do not have to give) and to provide a warm and inviting life for them.
So, those were some of the things floating around in my brain. As I stated in a previous post, I was wise enough to know where to start ~ with GOD.
They say it takes three weeks to truly form a habit. I can say from experience that this is true. I know that because I have never stuck with anything long enough to form the habit! But, alas I am on a new road. I know it. I can feel it in my core.
Rather than wait a true THREE WEEKS to even begin each new habit, I vowed to FOCUS on just the one habit at a time, while also attempting to begin some of the others. I am happy to report, though, that through God's grace, more than one habit seems to be forming at a time.
I started with GOD. It all starts with GOD.
He was gracious enough to allow HIS light to shine through me, allowing me to see my life and my duties in a new way. Through HIS light, I naturally became a better mother, a better wife, a better person. Through HIS light, some of the habits I wasn't even "working on" have begun.
GOD IS GOOD!
So, as it stands, I have spent time with God each and every morning for one week. My girls and I have practiced our schedule and done our chores with (mostly) joy and a good attitude. I have loved my husband more deeply, been a more patient mother to my children and a better homemaker. My home has been cleaner, my family has been happier, my home has been warmer.
And, that is all in only one week.
God's grace is amazing when we ask HIM for it!
So, week two we have begun habit number two, while continuing to work on the first one. We have begun our new school year. And, as above, it has been glorious. Attitude makes all the difference in the world. MY attitude! And, it certainly helps to be completely PLANNED and ORGANIZED for a change. I have a feeling our ride is taking a turn for the better. And, that makes me one happy homemaker!