A few months ago I read Catherine Newman’s house tour on Cup of Jo. It is a popular article for good reason – the story and pictures are inspiring.
The featured home looks welcoming without a hint of pretension. This is a space that clearly brings the homeowners great joy. A couch in the kitchen! A whole wall full of pictures of pears! A dining room complete with floor-to-ceiling shelves for board games! Vibrant pops of colour on the walls! Piles of laundry on the chair that practically scream: real people live here!
It’s a tour that leaves the reader (well, this reader at least) wanting to break through the screen and sit down in the cozy kitchen to share a cup of tea (while sitting on that kitchen couch, perhaps?).
But I have to admit, by the end of the article, I was feeling…bad? Maybe that’s not the right emotion, but I couldn’t/can’t put my finger on it exactly. In reflecting on my gut reaction – articulated or not – I can isolate a few specifics that made me think long and hard.
First, when Newman talks about her couch she says: We have a houseful of teenagers all the time, and kids will spill stuff and say, ‘…I’m so sorry!’ But we truly don’t care, and I’m very happy about that.
It made me feel overly rigid because I do care (moderately, at least) if people spill things on my couch. I mean – it’s fine. I’ll deal with the mess, I’m sure it was an accident…but I’d really rather someone didn’t spill things on my couch.
But the thing that hit me the hardest, oddly enough, was her coffee table. Here’s the description:
When the kids were tiny, we covered the coffee table with white paper. It was fun for them to draw on the table, and their friends would come over and draw, too. It became a 20-year habit. Now, at Thanksgiving, someone will doodle a perfect thing or a portrait, and I’m like, okay, I’m cutting that out and keeping it! We score games on it, I take notes during phone calls, I figure out recipes on it.
That felt so fun and whimsical and I swear when I read that line I decided then and there my children’s lives are ruined because WE DON’T HAVE A COFFEE TABLE COVERED IN PAPER for them to doodle on.
But guess what.
We don’t even own a coffee table.
And do you know why? Because when we bought our house one of the primary features we loved was the open loop that tracks around the upstairs. We have one long hallway that all the bedrooms open up into which feeds into our living room/dining room which feeds into the kitchen and then back to the hallway.
We debated getting a coffee table but opted to prioritize leaving that space open so the kids could – literally – run circles around us.
In fact, just a few days after we moved in, a friend suggested a different configuration for our couch (which would have been cozier, admittedly)…but we didn’t even entertain the idea because it would have prevented the kids from running around “The Loop”.
We’ve played countless games of chase (this is how Levi split open his chin) and hide-and-seek tag; the kids have cartwheeled through the living room and regularly sprawl out on the open floor to play charades or chess and leave messes of an assortment of doodads and doohickies.
So we don’t have a coffee table…but the kids do occasionally doodle on the kitchen whiteboard and little pads of paper that end up everywhere (though, obviously, not on top of a coffee table).
We also don’t have a couch where I encourage people to hop around with drinks in their hand, but we bought a less comfortable couch for our family room specifically because the colour and material would minimize the appearance of stains. (This one was a bitter pill to swallow; there was an incredible clear-out sale on a very nice couch, but it had light fabric and so we opted to pay more – yes that hurt! – for a less comfortable, less visually appealing, very utilitarian option but I distinctly remember saying to John: The kids HAVE to be able to play and live life on this couch! And it truly doesn’t show a single stain despite a variety of sources – including Dorito-covered fingerprints from movie nights and, sadly, one case of vomit several years ago).
When I read the article, I wanted to be “that Mom”- the one with the doodling paper over her coffee table for two decades. But I’m not. I’m me. A lady without a coffee table.
Your turn. Did you read Catherine Newman’s house tour? If so, what was your favourite feature? Mine was definitely the coffee table art, even if it did leave me feeling temporarily conflicted! If you tend toward the Type-A/planner/Upholder personality, do you ever feel guilty or unsettled when you see someone who can embrace a different level of spontaneity and devil-may-care attitude?
Header photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
46 thoughts on “It’s A Lovely Idea, But I Don’t Even Own A Coffee Table”
I had not read that article (until now). I appreciate the look of an actual lived in house and I can understand your feeling by the end of it. For mindless watching or sometimes just background I will turn on HGTV. I like House Hunters and seeing snippets of other places. It gets tiring, all the ripping out and making everything new. We can’t afford that and sometimes I just need to turn it off. In the article, I appreciate that they haven’t made everything shiny new either. It has an instagram feel where it is all the great memories and maybe that’s part of the feeling. We are missing out by not having a house full of spilling, game playing, and doodling fun. But is that really fun for you? My introverted and mess adverse self would not be enjoying that.
We also don’t have a coffee table and have loops in the last two houses that the kids run around. Literally that is what we did on really bad weather days when in lock down. Took turns running “laps” in the small loop we have now and did hide and seek, etc.
I tried doing a let’s make memories Friday game night, that everyone grumbled about, someone would get hurt feelings and end up mad or crying and I gave up. I will stop rambling as I sort through my thoughts.
For a brief time we had access to free cable and House Hunters (especially international) was my FAVOURITE show.
No – spilling, game-playing, and doodling (at least regularly) are not fun for me. What a great question – is this fun for ME? I am also an introvert and mess-averse. I wonder if some of that also comes down to the fact I am low energy? Messes just mean more work. That said, we do a lot of outside adventuring that is often very messy (hikes, climbing trees…).
I love that you have a loop, too. It’s a lot of fun. Last September I ran every day of the month as part of a monthly challenge, and a few times I did my short running stint around the looping track of our upstairs. I felt ridiculous, but it worked!
Sometimes copying what is fun for someone else is so UNFUN. For example, doing a games night every week is very unappealing to me. I’m fine with games in moderation, but it’s not my “thing” on a regular basis. This makes me feel boring or like I’m missing out since it seems to work so well for someone else, but then there are lots of other things we do in our family culture that someone else might find unappealing! It’s tough to not compare to others, though…
That’s a great point Elisabeth that your family does a lot of adventures that are fun. It is remembering that it can all look very different and is all ok. After I came back and read others, I felt like my comment was not so kind, but I really think that the author was being authentic to what they enjoy. It isn’t for me and it’s the idea of others seeing what my family does is boring. And it would be to some families but that’s ok.
Oh, I think your comment is 100% relatable, Shelly!
We’re all unique and our family cultures/design aesthetic/lifestyle flow will naturally follow that trend. It takes all kinds, it just sometimes takes a reminder that there is no one “right” way of doing things. And a reminder to be confident in what works for us as a family – I don’t need to cast a wide net and change what I’m doing if I was content before I saw another way.
To be clear, I’m not pulling all these thoughts from just this single article – it’s more of a comprehensive view of my mental gymnastics of sorting through this type of thing.
I have not read that article, but I am so familiar with this kind of reaction! Sometimes another parent will share a strategy or tactic or game that is part of their family life, and I will feel a cold horror wash over me, like, “I am doing this wrong.” And then I feel, very vividly in my gut, that it is Too Late and I have failed my daughter.
But… it’s just not true. Like you point out with The Loop, there are so many great things we do! And some of those things are BORING, like reading books together in bed or pushing the stroller around the neighborhood, or whatever! And yet those are special moments too.
Being a parent is SO HARD. And yet we make it harder on ourselves by comparing our parenting to others, which is DUMB. (I do this all the time — I hope you know I am not calling you dumb, Elisabeth! ) WHY?! Why do we do this to ourselves?! My brain treats it almost like parenting is a contest, and the parents with the most creativity points win, and everyone else loses. THAT IS NOT TRUE, BRAIN.
I just nodded along to everything you said in this comment, Suzanne. You get me… <3
I'm slowly gaining more confidence in my role as a mother and we're clearly establishing our own family culture, but my reaction to this article shows that I can still really second-guess myself.
I guess the ultimate ideal for me is to be able to weed through things like this and identify what I think would work for us and what wouldn't. I also have to stop and think about "what do I envy" about this situation. Is it the fact that they've created a welcoming space people like to visit? If so - I do this in our house, just in a different way. I like to cook food for others and we host company. My kids have lots of playdates at our house. We just don't have a coffee table for said company to doodle at, is all.
You ask why we do this to ourselves? Maybe because there is sensory/information overload in the modern era (which I contribute to, I guess, since I also talk about my own strategies/tactics/games)?! It is unprecedented in history to have this much access to information about other's lives and it can be overwhelming/paralyzing.
I feel like in so many areas I'm able to filter it out more easily. Take fashion. I don't care about clothes very much and never envy someone with a huge walk-in closet. I can see something like that and appreciate the aesthetic, but it doesn't make me jealous or insecure. But parenting is a different story; maybe because I feel more pressure to not screw up (actual human lives are in my hands/influence - we're raising the next generation and that comes with a lot of pressure). And because I care. I love my kids. Full stop. I want the best for them and sometimes I wonder if the way I do things will provide that. Again, on one level I know things are great for my kids, but that darn brain starts churning...
I haven’t seen that house tour, but now I want to! I have to say that I’ve always leaned toward comfort and fun. I want to have a house where people can relax and not have to worry about spilling things. When the kids were younger I would let them spread out their projects all over the place and rearrange the furniture to make it better for their games… and oh yes, we built a huge cage for the guinea pigs that takes up half the TV room. (Now that I think back, we didn’t have a coffee table either for a long time.) The funny thing is… as my kids got older, they started asking me why our house isn’t as “nice” as their friend’s. So, you really can’t win!!! I’m sure your house is perfect for your family. Our house was perfect for ours… but now I’m still trying to transition from “fun house with small children” to “nice house where adults live.” It’s hard!
It is such a lovely house tour! I think you’ll enjoy reading the article.
I try to let the kids mostly have the run of their own rooms, but I have to admit in shared spaces, I tend to keep things as uncluttered as possible. We might set up for a craft at the table, but I dismantle it at the end of the afternoon…which makes me feel “unfun” because I thrive on order. Ultimately, though, my kids need me to thrive and so I have to balance wanting to be whimsical and fun, while honouring that my personality just can’t handle that for long (I think this is one reason renovations were so, so hard on me – constant upheaval, mess, people in my space etc).
I try so hard not to compare myself to other people. For instance, other people regularly leave their house for further than the four square blocks they walk their dogs. Other people eat in restaurants. Other people watch television.
Because I do thinks that work for me. I like to cook and so it makes sense to eat at home. I like to read instead of watching television. I will never tire of walking my dog around the block and don’t feel like I need more.
So. I get the instinct to compare, but you do what works for you and your family. Be happy for the people with the stained couches and coffee table with scribbles if it works for them, but also be happy with what works for you. (All of this is SO MUCH EASIER to say than do, of course. But you’re doing great things for your family and the decisions you make are decisions for THEM and not for others.)
Thanks, NGS. I really appreciate your comments (I also prefer books to TV – there is just no comparison in my mind!).
I think that certain areas of my life it is easier to have this balanced approach of “this works for me” and I’m content to observe someone else doing it differently without questioning my own tactics. But parenting – yikes. I guess it just feels like much higher stakes? Or, like I write in another comment reply, because I feel less confident in this area than others.
For example: fashion and cooking. When I see someone who is really, really into fashion and loves it, it doesn’t make me feel less-than. Or if someone is a gourmet cook, I’m still fine to make one of a handful of go-to recipes again. But parenting…there I start to question myself…
Catherine Newman is one of my favourite writers, and she is one of the reasons I started a blog back in 2008. I love her writing so much; it is just so beautiful and touching. For that reason, I also loved her house tour. I absolutely love peeking in on people’s homes.
We are all different! And that is something that I truly love. I love seeing my friends’ homes and seeing what they have done with them and how their homes reflect themselves. The coffee table thing is very fun but there are a lot of ways to make life fun, right?
I loved this tour, too. It just made me feel uptight…but we ARE all different. And your last line hit the nail on the head:
The coffee table thing is very fun but there are a lot of ways to make life fun, right?
You’re right. Mic drop, Nicole <3
I did see the house tour (and I love peeking into other people’s house) and sometimes I wish my home could look the same and sometimes I can admire a home and say, but that would never work for me. (I specifically loved her pink bathroom, but I would never want that in my house LOL)
One of the things that I am envious about other people’s homes is that some seem to be really honed in on a specific style/look and I wish I had a clear picture of what my dream home would look like. Our home currently seems so “pieced together” (furniture and accessories-wise) but I don’t really know how change something without overthinking it. (I did buy new bath mats and a new shower curtain recently after much contemplation LOL).
I love that you specifically thought about how your house/layout would work for your kids and that you wanted it to be their space, too.
Great point – the pink bathroom would NOT suit me at all (as in living with it day-in and day-out).
Yay for a new shower curtain/bath mat. Speaking of which – ours is 13 years old and it is time to replace it! I saw Stephany’s new dark shower curtain and LOVED it. I’ve only considered light colours…but considering a dark one might be in order…
I read Catherine Newman’s house tour and was totally charmed by her and her home. The part I LOVED was the box games piled up, ready to be grabbed at a moment’s notice. We keep some games out in our dining room, just in case we want to play– but not that many. So fun
It was charming!
So I did skim that article when it came out but my thought was “that is so not our style.” It felt a little bit, um, cluttered for me? Like allll the pictures on the wall. That is not our aesthetic at all! It looked like the home of an artist and that is sooo not who we are.
But I know what you mean when you talk about aspirational mom feelings. I have those, too, but they weren’t prompted by that. I do not feel at all tempted to be so go with the flow/devil may care/etc. But I know that is NOT how I am built and trying to act like that would result in more stress than I could tolerate!! But I feel guilty about different things – like I feel like I should enjoy my time on the weekends with my toddler more than I do. I think of women who choose to stay home and love it and wonder what gene I am missing!
Dude, I DREADED my single-parent Saturdays when my kids were a big younger. I would rather do chores or go to work. It gets better when they’re about 4, though 🙂
I need to hear this so thank you!! Yes 4 is great! That’s the age of our older son and he’s pretty delightful! I think we got really lucky with him and he was an easier than average toddler. Our younger son is almost 2 and he loses his mind over things. He just can’t communicate what he wants so has total and complete meltdowns. Last night I asked my husband if he thought this was normal and he said, ‘well they talk about how he is such a delight at school so I think he’s fine and he just loses it at home for us.’ I think he’s probably right but ay yi yi, the weekends can feel reeeeeaaaaalllly long.
Ohh…when you mention the communication thing.
Levi was a very late talker (we went to speech/hearing etc). There was nothing wrong, he just started talking SO much later than Abby. He was such a grumpy toddler. He also walked late. When both those things clicked – walking and talking – he was a different child. I think he was just endlessly frustrated at not being able to communicate properly.
Also…we used to hear similar comments about people not believing us about X child doing such-and-such and I DO think kids tend to store up their challenging behaviours for home/parents. To some extent, I think it feels safe to release those pent up emotions. Also, it’s a lot of stimulation to be out at daycare all day. I remember at one point deciding we HAD to delay supper for 30 minutes after a child came home from preschool because they just weren’t ready to transition to eating right away. They needed time to come down from that stimulating environment and ease back in to home life. I was going to suggest a bath before supper…but that might be a bit counterproductive if he’s anything like my messy toddler eaters. Haha. This too shall pass, but I can SO relate.
I love that you’re so confident in your style.
I have to say, the same rings true for me. I wouldn’t want to live in that space and it is very much not “me” – it wasn’t about her design decisions that hung me up…it was on her laid-back approach to her home. So even though I wouldn’t want to live in that space, I almost wonder: “would I be a better mom/more fun if I created a space like that?” Does that make sense?
Also, time with a toddler can be amazing, but it can also be the most exhausting/tedious/horrible thing to endure. I remember crying sometimes because I was just so exhausted. It wasn’t even “hard” per se, but it just wore my brain down to a pulp. It gets easier. I never told people I loved being a SAHM. My kids did go to preschool part-time but, in essence, I was a SAHM. It was so hard. I was incredibly jealous of people who left for work M-F. There are pros and cons to all choices and my choice was in part because I wanted to establish certain things at home for my kids + the fact that we were starting a small business and couldn’t afford full-time care – but it was hard. Enjoying MOMENTS of the weekend with your toddler is really the best you can hope for, I think, at least in my experience. And it DOES get better as Sarah says. Parenting is always hard but, for my personality at least, the toddler stages (up to elementary school) were a unique kind of hard.
Will sounds similar to Levi. Both of my kids were late walkers but Will is definitely a later talker than Paul and when he gets frustrated, he seems to ‘lose his words.’ But it is a major exercise in patience at times! He is a very messy eater, though, so bath before dinner wouldn’t work but we do let them play downstairs for 30 minutes before we eat dinner to get some of the squirrelly behavior out.
I really cannot imagine being a SAHM! I think it is a way harder job than my super challenging corporate job! We are very happy when Monday rolls around. But I do enjoy parts of my weekends with the boys. Like our time at the zoo on Sunday was absolutely wonderful! I am just dreading the long winter when we’ll be cooped up inside more so I need to have a plan for how to tired the kids out and not be stuck inside!
The days are long…but the years are short. Truer words have never been spoken to a parent.
I straddled the line of SAHM because my kids DID go to preschool and I did have a husband who always worked from home. But the end result of being home all day every day was the same. It was a lot. Would I do it differently if I had to do it over again? Probably not, but I’d definitely make some tweaks for my overall sanity…
I loved the house tour! Really what stood out the most is her personality and how she designed the house for how the family uses it. It sounds like you are doing the exact same thing, but it just looks different. I do want a kitchen couch, though.
Same goal, different approach. You’re right.
And the kitchen couch sounds like such a good idea! We have a small kitchen so this wouldn’t work, but my dream kitchen would definitely include an island and some comfortable seating.
I remember reading that post when it first came out, and what struck me the most was the picture of the shoes all in a jumble, and that feeling very familiar to me. We don’t have a coffee table either – we have a bench that we pull into the middle of the room when we need something to serve a coffee table function. The only time i wish we had a coffee table is when we play board games because when I was growing up, we played board games around a coffee table, sitting on the floor.
The idea of a perpetual doodle is very charming… though our walls have children’s doodles on it and unless I paint over the walls, I guess that will be our version of a paper-covered coffee table. Somehow children’s graffiti doesn’t seem as charming when it’s the dining room walls…
I love the poster by the shoes and the story she gave behind that…
Yes, we’ve had a few of those “graffiti” moments in our home, too. Thankfully that stage happened when we were in an apartment and they mostly came off the walls, but I also knew it would get a fresh paint job when we left.
I’ve never heard of a house tour. I think if I lived next door to her, I would send my kid to play with her kid so they could have access to all of that, the drawing and the games and so on, but it wouldn’t have to be MY HOUSE. I like my house a bit more settled I think. Though my house is a pile of clutter, because it is a VERY SMALL house, and I work from home and have my office in our bedroom, and my daughter is always cold so we have blankets next to the sofa. Etc. But I like the idea that my house COULD be a grown up house. When our daughter was little, we did have some toys in the living room, but they were in a specific place and needed to be put away in the evening. I never wanted my living room to look like a play room, which is what she has. I think her play room house has brought her a lot of joy and it is lovely, but it is not for me. One thing I do not like about my house (aside from how small it is and that my office is in my bedroom and our carpets are old and dingy and our kitchen and bathroom cabinets are old and dingy and my closet is too full of clothes and when I try to get rid of some of them it just reminds me that they used to fit and now they don’t and perhaps they never will again and we live in a shady spot with drought and stupid eucalyptus trees that drain the soil and I can’t grow anything in my back yard) is that there is no cohesiveness to our house. My husband and I have opposite taste in pretty much everything, so on the rare instance that we find a piece of furniture or art that we both like, we buy it right away. But the house feels like one big compromise, one thing for him, one for me, and not at all like either of us would want sometimes. That sounds like I hate my house. I really don’t, I’ve lived in it for 24 years, it has served us well, the bedrooms are large and we are in a good school district, which was important when our daughter was young. I do see flaws sometimes (every day) though. I need to invest a bunch of money in new carpet and cabinets and paint, at the very least, but then I’d have zero savings. So we muddle along.
I used to tell people something similar about my kids and painting. Painting was an activity that happened at preschool and NOT at home. They got to do it there and loved it, but also – the setup was in place.
We also always put kids things away in the main living space. It was a lot harder when we were in a small apartment, but even there we had bins that we’d fill up with toys at the end of the day so they could get put away. Clutter really impacts how I can function in my day-to-day life. Since I’ve worked at home for a decade, too, it’s hard to avoid the impacts when you’re home all day! I wonder if it would bother me as much if I was gone 9-5?
Also, can I just say your “rant” was both hilarious and so relatable (right down to those stupic eucalyptus trees; brilliant writing here and I’m sure we can ALL relate to the general principle of this, though I’ve never even seen a eucalyptus tree).
I’m very fortunate that my husband and I have very similar design aesthetics. Not 100% overlap, but 75-80%? I take this for granted, but can appreciate this is enormously helpful for keeping the peace and making decisions!
Home renos are so expensive. A lot of what we’ve done HAD to be done (things like a rotting carport) and ripping up old carpet to…jackhammer up our basement floor to fix plumbing issues…but regardless of how/why – I have no desire to do any more renovations for the rest of my life!
I did not read the house tour until you pointed the post out. I mostly skimmed the article but looked at the pictures. I really liked their home – because that’s how it looked like, homie. I loved all the colors on the walls and the pear gallery. But I also understand why you left your loop! A loop is a great house feature I think. Ours does not have one but our previous rental had and I swear there were run tracks on the carpet made by our kids chasing each other in circles.
It looks so welcoming, but as various people have said, it’s also definitely NOT my style. It gave my aspirational pangs, but we’ve created our own style and space that suits us and the kids seem to be muddling their way through life okay without a coffee table to doodle on!
Exactly, you do you. I see plenty of rooms online where I think “this looks so beautiful” but I also kno, it would not be me. You have a white board and even if you would get doodle on table – maybe it would just not get used as much as in her house? What feels good in a house means different things to different people and you have to feel good in your surroundings, right?
Great point – who’s to say my kids would even care about a coffee table for doodling? Or maybe it would lose it’s appeal after a few days – not 2 decades. Also, I know it would drive me crazy. It’s aspirational in one sense…but then also, so not “me.”
I really appreciate the wisdom in both your post and the comments. I love hearing what people favor in making their home “home-y.” I’m currently in a state of transition living in an apartment with most of my stuff in storage. I’m looking forward to settling in someplace and I’m definitely going to re-read this post to get inspiration on home-making approaches.
Transitional spaces can be unsettled – to be honest, I’m only now (5 years after moving in) feeling at home in our space. It was just constant upheaval with things going wrong or renovations needing to happen.
It’s incredible how much of an impact our home environment can have on our wellbeing, too!
I usually dont read those kind of articles to be honest. Sometimes when I need some inspiration to certain problem I do. But not for entertainment reasons.
For me the coffee table is a symbol. And you have your own version the coffee table with the loop.
It engages the entire family and friends. So the effect is more less the same, isn’t it?
How insightful. The coffee table IS a symbol, and we have other (different) things that serve the same purpose.
i think house decor/arrangement is so personal. it has to work for your family, not others. sometimes when I read those hour tours, I feel the resentment that my home is not that pretty but then I asked myself, am I willing to sacrifice time/money dedicated in my hobbies to decorate my home to that standards? well.. not really. i like my home to be clean, tidy, cozy, inviting, not necessarily for a photo op. As long as we all feel happy at home, that’s what matters. So even now that I’m kind of redecorating our home, I am always prioritizing functionality and coziness over prettiness.
You’ve hit on a key point – after the initial reaction (like with me and this particular house tour) of feeling like I’m not fun/whimsical enough, we can realize that I don’t really want a house like that. It works for her. I guess the point is to be able to celebrate “you do you” – and that can be hard in such a saturated environment of seeing all the different ways people live/how they decorate their houses etc.
If we feel happy at home – which I do – that is what we’re all looking for. We just take different routes to get to that point…
We got rid of the coffee table in our living room, so the kids and the dog had room to play, so we’re a bit like you.
I love the idea of being a family that plays board games but we’ve only really got into them over the summer holidays.
I grew up playing a lot of games and have friends that LOVE them (and will stay up until 2 am playing games). This is not me!
Elisabeth, you know by now that I am not a parent. 🙂 However, I think that many of us experience these feelings of “not measuring up” or… “doing things wrong” in different areas of our lives. Work, parenting, relationships, fashion (as you said), etc. For you, it’s parenting. And I think it’s harder for the person experiencing the feeling of doing (whatever) wrong (you, in this case) to see that they’re actually doing just fine. It’s easy for the rest of us to read your blog, and your love for your kids, and how you have built a life that feeds your soul, and also raise amazing little people, and think, “of course she’s doing it right!”.
But I do think you’re doing it right…and the proof is in your amazing kids, and the fact that you have a life that fulfills YOU. If you were living someone else’s life, it’d be like trying to wear their clothes. It wouldn’t fit. And you’d be, well, probably miserable. 🙂 So I hope you – eventually – come to see this for yourself. <3
I suppose there is no “right” way, either? So many people parent/eat/work/have marriages that look so different. What works for one, won’t work for another. And so sometimes it’s hard to not think: What if I did X, instead. Would people in my life be happier or healthier or feel more loved?
But you’re right – my kids do have a wonderful life, and I try to be intentional with decisions that will move our family toward our core values. For the most part…we do a lot of things that work well FOR OUR FAMILY. And that’s the goal of it all, isn’t it? To establish a home that feels safe and secure and supports people.
YES – the goal of it all really is to make a home where those who are the heart of that home feel safe and secure and (I would argue) loved. The thing I remember from my childhood is that all of my friends and I were in the exactly-right (exceptionally functional, admittedly) families for US. I envied some of my friends and how their parents “did things”. But looking back? I would not have thrived in those families. Those families would have been wonderful (and one would have raised me had anything happened to my own parents), but they wouldn’t have been my exactly-right-for-me family. 🙂 <3
You're building the exactly right for YOUR kids family.
I love this! “Exactly-right-for-me family” has such a nice ring to it <3