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Can one Katy mom find peace amongst the chaos?

Snuggled cozily in bed, I opened my eyes and watched the sun pour through my bedroom window. The day was gorgeous. I stretched my arms high above my head, flexed my feet and let out a great, slow yawn. It was Saturday and I looked forward to a fun-filled day with my darling children. As my mind mulled over the possibilities of the day, I was suddenly pulled from my musings. My great notions suddenly began to dissipate as I heard shrieking from upstairs.

“Mom, Bryan won’t stay out of my rooooom! Make him leave!”
“Mom, Braden pushed meeeee! Ow! Stop it Braden! You’re hurting me!”
“Stop it Bryan! Those are myyyyyy games. You can’t play with them!”

Did my perfect day really have to start like this? I jumped out of bed and lumbered up the stairs. My older two children were now in the center of the action pulling the younger two boys away from each other. It reminded me of a boxing ring. Our own little boxing ring. How dreadful!

“OK guys. What’s going on?” I asked in a sleepy voice.

At once, all four children blurted our their individual version of the story. I sat, nodded and listened as if what they were saying was registering. Then, I responded as I always do.

“We are a family. We do not hurt each other. We do not say unkind things to each other. It is a privilege to play with each other. If we can’t be kind, we can’t be together. I want each of you to spend the next half-an-hour in your rooms. Then, we will start this day over. I will decide what we can do today based on your behavior. Now, scoot! Go to your rooms right now!”

With grumbling and mumbling, each child wandered back into his/her room. The next half an hour was quiet and peaceful. I made my bed, straightened the kitchen and made some pancakes. I still maintained high hopes for a glorious day. As the smell of pancakes found it’s way to the bedrooms, I heard children’s voices.

“Can we come out yet?”
“We’ll be nice.”
“I’m starving. Can we eat yet?”
“Alright children. You may come to the kitchen to eat now.” I responded.

As the children filed into the kitchen, I silently hoped the day would be a good one. We ate in silence for the most part. Pancakes were everyone’s favorite breakfast, so they ate and ate until they were satisfied. But, tummies full and freedom in their hands, they cleared the dishes and apparently began to focus on what the next argument could be.

Within moments, Melissa hollered, “Mom, Bryan spilled my new lotion all over the bathroom floor! Bryan that was the best lotion ever! Why did you do that?” She lamented.

I paused in my kitchen clean-up to again go upstairs to mitigate. For Melissa’s birthday, I had given her a make-up kit with lip gloss, light eye shadow, finger-nail polish and lotion. Sure enough, her new, fragrant lotion was all over the bathroom floor.

“Bryan, why did you spill Melissa’s lotion?” I questioned.
“I didn’t know it would spill when I squeezed it.” He responded innocently.
“You need to clean up the lotion and buy Melissa a new bottle.” I stated matter-of-factly.
“M-o-m! Why do I need to buy a new one?” He complained.

As I began to practice my deep breathing techniques to manage my stress, I attempted to keep my cool. When I lay down on the floor, I think the children noticed that I wasn’t tolerating the bickering very well. Compunction soon spread across each of their faces and they promised to behave better.

The day did turn out to be a good one. No, it was not perfect. We had a few contentious moments, but, we enjoyed each other and when contention reared it’s ugly face, I tried my best to beat it back.

I hope that one day my many ramblings to my children will all sink in and that contention will be completely eliminated. Well, let me be more realistic. I hope that we can at least go for one day without it!

There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained.
Winston Churchill

What do you do to create peace in your home?  Please share!
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