Two things to make a house a home.

My cat and plants.

Who knew? I didn’t realize how much a pet completed our family. Pets are great for children. Growing up with animals makes well-rounded children, I believe. They learn responsibility, how to share their space and parents attention. They also learn to love something other than a human. Didn’t see that in a parenting book? Because it’s a life lesson.

Plants. Every house needs some green. This plant in the photo was actually a sympathy gift I received after I lost my mother. My green friend sent it in lieu of cut flowers. It’s sentimental and been with us for over a year.

I like to yearn for these items rather than stainless steel appliances, Pottery Barn pillows and other items we later regret buying.

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Zen moment- It’s all about sleep.

The heading says it all doesn’t it? It’s all about sleep. 

Not convinced? See if my story is something you can relate to. 

This summer, I have been known to roll out of bed about 7:20 a.m.! That’s 7:20 folks! Let me remind you, I have to get my kids ready for school, drop them off and get to work. My work day typically starts at 8 a.m., if I want to leave around 4:30 p.m.

After several weeks with this wake up time, I started to notice something with my family on those mornings. My husband and I were more likely to snap at each other, the kids would fight us more with simple tasks, I was more likely to loose my patience with the kids and heck- sometimes, one of my kids may have skipped breakfast. Who knows! I was too busy rushing around. 

But this morning- it all changed. Slowly, I started inching back my bedtime and as a result, inched back my wake up time. Soon enough my husband started to follow suite. We all woke up earlier, first my husband got up with my early-rising daughter. He told me the morning was wonderful. He sipped on coffee while listening to her two-year-old rambling. My heart melted. 

How many of us can say we shared a tender moment with our child before 8 a.m.? It reminded me of late night and early morning nursing with my infants. So, so sweet. 

All four of us had more patience with one another. The kids ate breakfast, got ready and hopped in the car with two calm parents. 

Sure, their moods played a part. But what was most important is that my husband and I weren’t frantic and involuntarily impressing that vibe onto our children. Moods are contagious, especially between parents and their child. Whatever you are feeling, your child will start to feel it too. It works both ways too. 

Like I mentioned this isn’t something we changed overnight. It took time. Since we both saw the wonderful effect it made- I know we will both be more dedicated to Zen-like mornings.