Start making a difference at home - Mum's the Boss

This is part 17 in a 30-day series of articles entitled The Power of One – Making an Intentional Impact.

How are you currently making a difference, and how can you make your light shine brighter? This has never been more necessary in these times of lockdown and isolation. How can you reach out to others and make a difference?

The first blog is here Why what you do matters

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The Power of One

It’s a month full of ideas to uplift your spirit and get you thinking outside your own head and your isolation. Go on, you know you want them….

If you want to bring happiness to the world, go home and love your family

Mother Teresa

We saw yesterday that there are lots of places where you can make a difference. The easiest place in the world to make a difference to the world is in your own home. What better place to influence the people who mean the most to you in ways that have the most direct impact? Your influence in your own home not only makes an impact, it literally shapes the future.

The seemingly insignificant actions you may take for granted can be some of the most important acts of kindness and love there are.

Consider these small acts you may feel are insignificant but are actually vital:

  • Making meals
  • Sharing conversations at the dinner table
  • Helping with homework
  • Spending time at home with your children
  • Hosting your children’s friends in your home
  • Doing chores with your kids
  • Having a family games night

These things may seem routine – and that’s a good thing – but it’s important to realise that not all families engage in this way on their own. Depending on how you were brought up, these concepts may feel either normal or foreign.

Make A Difference With Your Love Language

Every one of your family members has a love language: a way that they prefer to give and receive love. Gary Chapman is the author of The 5 Love Languages, which highlights his philosophies and an example list of preferences: receiving gifts, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, and physical touch. These expressions of love are directly tied to our esteem and personal satisfaction in the relationships that mean the most to us. 

Determining your own love language makes it possible for you to share how you enjoy being loved, and knowing the language of your loved ones is an excellent way to make a difference in your home.

Here are some fun tips for pouring into your family through their love language:

Receiving gifts – Leave your child’s favourite snack on their pillowcase as a quiet reminder you are thinking of them.

Words of affirmation – At family mealtime, ask your family what they loved about their day and verbally reward them with compliments for their contributions to school, work, and their community.

Quality time – Have a date night with your spouse on a regular basis. Ban electronics and engage in meaningful conversations to use the time to reconnect with each other and rejuvenate your marriage.

Acts of service – Help your child prepare for their busy day by placing their backpack and any sports gear or miscellaneous items next to the front door to allow for an easy and effortless time in the morning.

Physical touch – Sit side-by-side with your spouse during television time or other downtime. Hold hands, or simply rest your hand on their leg. Give hugs and touch your family member on the shoulder when speaking to them.

Just as airlines teach us to put the oxygen mask on our own faces before helping our family, we should put effort into making a difference in our homes before branching out too far and becoming stretched too thin. Celebrate your family and take the time to see the ways you are making a difference for them.