A happier home in 365 days? It seems like a long time, right? But our days are crammed with crafts and cooking, playdates and preschool, housework and hugs, and another year flies by.
Consider all the changes that occur in the first year of a newborn’s life. Their first smile, rolling over by themselves, sitting up on their own, transitioning from a bottle to baby food to solids. Each milestone is momentous, something we moms are excited sharing with all those who fawn over our babies, something we document in baby books and on social media.
One year can change a lot. As we celebrate our One-Year Blogging Birthday today, reflect on the past year, and look to the future, let me ask you…
What changes would you like to see in your home, in your parenting, with your spouse, or personally over the next year?
I polled our blogging friends and readers for tips to help you in each of these areas as we strive for 365 Days to a Happier Home. Here’s what you had to say:
Simplify. We make ourselves too busy and our brains are scattered in a number of different directions, making us lose focus on what is really important. Simplify life so you can become more intentional in the majors of your life. – Jodi from Meaningful Mama
At dinner, have each person say one thing they’re good at and another they are thankful for. – Bonnie from Lady Blogger
Remember that everyone has different ways of getting things done, in chores, art, learning, and life in general. There isn’t just one right answer. – Anne from Left Brain Craft Brain
Take time every week to have a family time. Schedule it into the calendar so that everyone expects it and no one schedules on top of your special time. Then do something, anything together. Play board games, go on a walk, take a drive, watch a movie, read a book. What you do is not as important as the time that you spend with each other. – Kim from Life Over C’s
We schedule “nothing” weekends. No schedule. No appointments. No sports. No rushing around. Just chilling at the house. – Michelle V.
Hugs are awesome…learned that a little late in life but love hugs! – Cheryl C.
Start each day with payer and quiet time if at all possible….it puts things in perspective and gives you focus for the day. – Terry C.
Create an environment that encourages true intimacy. Show affection daily; accept each other – as you are; and communicate openly about everything. This is my secret to a happy marriage. — Michelle from The Happiness Blogger
Learn your spouse’s love language and what makes them feel loved. They may thrive on a different expression of love than you. Respect this difference and learn how to love them as they need to be loved. — Alisha from Makeovers & Motherhood
Pick your battles. Is everything important? Will it matter 10 minutes from now, in 1 week or even one year? – Cheryl C.
Take time to remember the beginnings… I always remind my husband about little things from when we first got together. Some funny, some sad. But it’s nice to remember how our family got started. – Tonya W.
Mom and Dad have a required date night each week. It might only be dinner or a little shopping, but there are no kids present! – Melissa B.
Kiss your spouse every day. And hold hands. If you aren’t usually the initiator sexually, try to do that more. It’s nice to feel wanted. – LaMesha S.
If yelling is a problem at your house, create dedicated “no shouting” days to help kids and parents remember to speak kindly to one another. – Brenda from Schooling a Monkey
Routine Cards. I give my daughters routine cards with different tasks listed on each one to keep them on track in the morning. — Janine from True Aim Education
Every Child is Different, they all learn different, treat each one as a separate person. — Laurie from Inspiring 2 N.H. Kids
For potty training, another parent once told me their family’s secret to success: “Give your child a prune as his or her poopoo prize!” They even come in individually wrapped packages like a piece of candy. Don’t assume your child will dislike them, give it a try! Worked like a charm for my daughter and she still eats them “regularly”…buh dum bum ching! — Laura from Lalymom
Try to hug each child 17 times daily. Even on days that you “fail”, getting some hugs in is a success! — Holly from Kids Activities Blog
Never compare your children to one another or any other child. Doing this will help eliminate your child feeling incompetent or not worthy. — Jodi from A Mom Having Fun
A good friend once told me that starting when their baby was born they had daddy do bath time to make sure he always had special bonding time with baby that included skin to skin contact. – Laura from Lalymom
Read to your kids every day. It’s great for their educational development, but it also ensures a time to step back and just focus on being together and enjoying each other (along with instilling a love for reading!). – Tina from Mamas Like Me
Hands-On with Kids
For messy art or craft activities, place a dollar store shower curtain on the floor to minimize clean-up time. — Georgina from Craftulate
Sensory bins build social skills and language skills. Play together and talk together. Multiple children will come together over a simple sensory bin. – Sarah from Little Bins for Little Hands
Remember that your kids will wipe up. The mess can be cleaned up. You aren’t just doing crafts and making pictures… you’re making memories. Let your children create and their imaginations come to life through their projects. — Alisha from Makeovers & Motherhood
Family Meals. One of the best ways to get your kids to eat healthily is to see you enjoying healthy food. — Orlena from Snotty Noses
Have a menu board in the kitchen. It keeps everyone from asking “What’s for dinner?” and it’s a constant reminder for anything that needs to be prepped during the day. – Tina from Mamas Like Me
Freezer cook. Make some meals in advance and freeze them. Even browning up hamburger/turkey and freezing it can take time off of meal prep. These frozen items are great for busy days. Plus, they are healthy and non-processed. — Alisha from Makeovers & Motherhood
To eliminate fights over healthy food with kids at the dinner table, get them involved in the cooking. It can be as simple as them helping create the menu or even placing napkins at the table. – Jessica from Jessica Wyman Wellness
Make healhty eating easier by prepping all your veggies at once and storing in clear containers. If you see it, you eat it. – Jessica from Jessica Wyman Wellness
No technology at the dinner table. If you can’t interact socially with the people you live with, how can you socialize with anyone else? – Lisa A.
Rotisserie Chicken tip: After you de – bone the chicken, stick the bones in a large pot with water filled 4 inches from the top. If you want to get totally all “Julia Child”, then add some skin for luxury. Chop fresh celery, carrot, just about any other veggies, herbs and seasonings. Simmer 20-40 mins for the most luscious semi homemade/natural chicken stock. This literally will cost you a few pennies for the h2o and veggies. In return you will get a humongous pot of stock. You can easily put the stock through a fine mesh colander, discard cooked bones and vegetable mix & pour into Mason jars, (leave a few inches at the top for expansion) label and freeze. I love the chickens at Costco they are antibiotic free, super big and only 5 bucks! – Gabrielle J.
Let your kids pick and help make dinner once a week. – Jennifer M.
We have a list of questions we ask at the dinner table like what everyone’s favorite part of the day was, worst part etc. That gets everyone talking and since my oldest one has social disorders it makes life easier for him. – Jennifer M.
Do chores with your kids and demonstrate a positive attitude. As you work together, your home will have a happier spirit. Plus, your kids will learn how to work! — Rebecca from Line Upon Line Learning
Do a load of laundry a day if you can. Keeps it from getting overwhelming. – Holly from Style from the Sticks
Kids are never too young to have chores and help around the house. Even a toddler can help pick up their toys. Chores are great for teaching kids responsibility and how to be a part of a family. – Tina from Mamas Like Me
and now, let’s give one of you an awesome start toward 365 days to a happier home with this $175 CASH giveaway!
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