Home.

That is a little word that I can’t stop thinking about lately.


We recently moved into a wonderful house. And I have been working rather slowly at making this house feel like a home. I’ve always been good at moving, being an Army wife can do that to you, but I never felt such an urgency to create a really cozy, “perfect,” house until my littles showed up.

I worry about how things look and feel. In part, that’s because this is the house that will shape my children’s childhoods.

I worry what others will think when they come by and there are toys strewn everywhere. I ask myself if everything flows or functions the best way it can.

I didn’t used to be like this.

Before my kiddos came into my life, no one cared that we had a few empty rooms we used as storage. Now we have no empty rooms because if one room is not a kid’s bedroom, it’s a playroom or something actually useful because my kids explore every inch of our house.

Before, I never really stressed about picking great curtains or the right couches.

But now I think about how I’ll cozy up with my kiddos on this or that couch, or snuggle up next to this or that pillow. I want to make it comfortable and durable.

But in recent months, I realized that I’ve stressed about all the wrong stuff, about having a “perfect,” home. You know the one, it looks Pinterest-perfect, designed by someone that understands throw pillows and seating arrangements. Which is not something that comes easily to me.

All that changed after I was out shopping for the right throw pillows and read a little sign with the phrase, “home is where the heart is.”

That’s it.

Home isn’t where the perfect pillows are. It isn’t where the adorably-decorated bedrooms are. It isn’t where the ideal floral arrangement sits. It isn’t where the toys are perfectly organized or things don’t become messy.

I stood there thinking I am all stressed about making a perfect house I didn’t realize I already have the perfect home in my heart.

My home grew when my kids were born—because they made my heart grow in ways I had not known.

I did not know then that home was going to become more than just walls, windows, and a roof. I didn’t realize that home was that feeling I got when my little one falls blissfully asleep.

My home is knowing all the creaks in the floor and tiptoeing so not wake the little bomb in a pink room. My home is when my son sits in my lap to read his favorite book. It’s the way they both jump on me at the end of the day for a healthy round of tickles and pillow fights. It’s in the moments I’m up all night worrying over their fever not even knowing what day it is till that fever breaks.

What I’m trying to say is that if home really is where the heart is then there’s no reason to stress about making the perfect house.

My family is my home because they have my heart. So, I hope my fellow moms can stop stressing about curtains and flooring, and instead decorate their homes with acts of love.

And if you’re a mom who has that gorgeously-designed home and amazing kiddos I applaud you. Making a house a home is no easy task and often overlooked.

Your throw pillows look amazing.

Join Motherly

Raising a mentally strong kid doesn't mean he won't cry when he's sad or that he won't fail sometimes. Mental strength won't make your child immune to hardship—but it also won't cause him to suppress his emotions.

In fact, it's quite the opposite. Mental strength is what helps kids bounce back from setbacks. It gives them the strength to keep going, even when they're plagued with self-doubt. A strong mental muscle is the key to helping kids reach their greatest potential in life.

But raising a mentally strong kid requires parents to avoid the common yet unhealthy parenting practices that rob kids of mental strength. In my book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do, I identify 13 things to avoid if you want to raise a mentally strong kid equipped to tackle life's toughest challenges:

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play