For me, “going home” took on a different notion after I moved away from Ohio. Now, when I “go back home,” I think of it in terms of my parents’ and grandparents’ houses, but also the small town where I grew up. If I were talking with someone now as an adult about “going back home,” I’d probably just sum it up by saying Ohio. Ohio is a pretty general answer to the question, “where did you grow up?” but it’s the one I give. Now, Maui is my home and my answer for the question, “where are you from?” State and hometown pride deserves some of our attention as it relates to our sense of home.
What could you do at your front entry space to make it more welcoming, for your own family and guests? What do you love about it now? What have you always wanted to do to the space? Write about what it’s like to open your front door and come home. Is it what you want it to look like day in and day out? Are there changes you’d like to make? What about your entry says “welcome home?”
Are you using the green space outside your front door? In your neighbor? In your city? What could you do to encourage you to use them more?
What are you proud of in your yard? The tidiness? The size? The color? The plants? What makes you want to use it? What keeps you from using it? Is your green space or yard a public park? Is there something you could do to take more pride in your home or town’s green spaces?
What are you proud of in your hometown? Is it the businesses? The community? The options? The culture? The events? The schools? The parks? What do you do with your family to support and experience the things that make you proud to live where you live? What could you do more often to show and experience the things that make you proud?
Write about the little things you could do on a daily basis to take more pride in your home and yard. Could you straighten the garden tools? Weed a little every day? Make an effort to put the outside toys away more often? Paint that little piece of trim that’s been driving you crazy? Pick up trash when you see it? Start carrying dog poop bags on your walks? Pick flowers for the kitchen table? Sit on your porch more often? Put food in the bird feeder? Learn the names of the plants in your yard?…what could you do? What do you want to do inside or outside your home that would make you happy and proud to be there?
Does the inside of your home reflect the season you’re in? (I know we talk a lot about “parenting seasons,” but I mean the literal seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter). Do you make changes to the interior to reflect the seasonal shifts? Decorations? Switching out clothes? Putting out more blankets? Changing your menu? Write about how you mark the season shifts or how and if you’d like to note them more.
You’ve asked yourself a lot of questions this month. You’ve taken an honest look at your home and your habits. You’ve been called to action. Making changes is one way to erase mom guilt. You’re taking your role as mom seriously and modeling the positive change you want for your kids. You are their sense of home. You create that. Write about how your sense of home has shifted since the beginning of the month. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for taking on this challenge, making positive changes, and being the model for your children.