The Happy Homemaker

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Me, the Happy Homemaker (taken by my son)Have you ever noticed how Mom sets the tone in the home? It’s true… if you’re happy, everyone is happy. If you’re grouchy, everyone is grouchy. If you’re being a couch potato, so is everyone else. True – no?

So, what kind of tone do you want in your home and how can you make that happen? I’m going to assume no one really wants a grouchy household so we’ll work on how to make yours a happy house. This is not going to be a post about taking care of yourself. Everyone knows that if you get plenty of rest, have a magically clean house, and a new pair of shoes every month, you’ll be happy. But frankly, how realistic is that? I think the real challenge is in making yourself smile in the face of four hours of sleep, a house disaster, and the same shoes you wore in high school.

The first thing to do is to decide you’re going to be happy. When you wake up after those four hours, plaster a smile on your face and remind yourself to keep it there. You are a strong woman. You may not be able to resist chocolate but I know you can resist grouchiness. Remind yourself you are a Happy Homemaker and make it happen.

Use humor to diffuse a potential grouchy situation. This is a great skill to acquire and to teach your kids. Try it today. The first disagreement you have, lighten it by making a joke. Tell the other person on the opposite side of the disagreement that you’re being a Happy Homemaker today and you’re determined not to get grouchy. Laugh. Take two steps back from the argument and see the humor in being frustrated that your five-year-old wants to wear blue plaid shorts with a red polka-dotted shirt. Take a picture instead of getting into a power struggle.

Take a time out. If you are finding yourself bogged down in grouchiness, take yourself out of the situation, the house, the moment. Get a babysitter! Call a friend! One episode of Barney for your kids will not make their brains mush. If you need a time out, take it. I recommend longer time outs too. There is something about being away from home long enough to miss it that makes you appreciate what you have. If you’re grouchy for more than three days in a row… you need an extended time out. Find one.

What to you do to stay a Happy Homemaker? Do any of the above work for you?

P.S. the picture is me, the Happy Homemaker, taken by my son. ­čÖé

About the author

Laurieann Thorpe


  • Great tips! There is a lot to be said for the power of mind over matter. We all have the power to choose to be happy and it really does make a difference. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of self-reminders, but with time you will find that your gut reactions to situations change. Things that used to upset you, you will automatically laugh at.

    One really simple thing that works well for me is to pause before I speak.

    When something happens that instantly upsets me, I wait before I say anything. I think to myself “Is this really a big deal?” Usually the answer is no and I simply deal with the situation and move on.

    Had I not taken a moment to think before reacting, chances are that it would have turned into an argument or lecture – and nobody wants that!

    I totally agree that if you choose to be happy, as a mom, you have the power to change your entire household.

  • Tracy – That counting to ten thing really works doesn’t it. If I count to ten and I’m still not calm, I make it 100. Oh, how much better we’d all be if we could just all take a moment to think before we speak. Can’t tell you the times silence would have been so much better than sticking my foot in my mouth. ­čÖé

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