My first glimpse of a Peace Corner for a mother was a room that was not much bigger than a closet, but it had a seat and a window, and struck me as the most marvelous place to retreat to. My good friend from college was in her first year of motherhood. Like all diligent mothers, she struggled with these new responsibilities, searching for advice and guidance in these uncharted waters. Her treasure trove of articles, quotes, quips, cartoons, and happy pictures of her and her child together were stuck all over the little bathroom wall and mirror ready to bolster her whenever she got a chance to get to her little hideaway.
How delightful… how necessary for a mom to have a place to de-stress, regroup, and refocus !
How do you keep your motivational treasures handy to be viewed regularly, and not filed away someplace where you can’t remember?
As in this picture, cards can be clipped to a string, articles can be taped to the wall or mirror, and post its can can posted where-ever. I like how these post its are strung together like garland.
What are your favorite quotes that you have, or would put in YOUR Peace Corner?
A predominant one on my mirror is “What you focus on, you get more of.“, which is a Becky Bailey quote about how to approach children. And I have on on the side of my computer screen, a little cartoon of Ziggy at his computer with his parrot saying “You can’t solve all your problems by pointing and clicking“. This reminds me to UNPLUG and go be with my family.
Mother’s Peace Corners can come in many forms (other than a little tiny bathroom):
Some mothers build a special Peace corner for their whole family. They spend time there making objects for the Peace Corner, or simply coloring together, esp. when they are happy. It becomes associated with a peaceful feeling. As the children watch the parent go there to calm down, they see how it can help them, and they often start to do that themselves.
Maybe sometimes it is not so formal, it could just be a Comfy Spot, like the most comfortable chair in the house. In our house, it is a big green rocker recliner, big enough for a big and a small person, and it is filled with love (purchased right before my son’s birth). We enjoy reading together in it, telling family stories, watching movies together… And it is where we meet when we need to sit down and talk things out, sitting side by side. It is also where we cuddle up with a blanket and pillow when we are not well. This picture came from a wonderful set of articles on finding the right chair for reading as a family.
Sometimes, a mom might choose a specific daily de-stressor. A good walk in a beautiful soothing place in the cooler early hours of the day (like after dropping off a child at school) can bring a sense of peace that can last a whole day, or at least help you have better coping abilities when stressors occur. My favorite place to do this is Lake Parker Park, as I love to walk in the wooded area next to the lake and listen to all the wildlife.
Some busy mothers, like me, find peaceful moments by creating a place of peace in our car… a moveable environment is sometimes critical to survival. It is a blessing to arrive early (reducing stress in the first place) and to sit quietly in the car while waiting to pick a child from school or activity, listening to soothing music, quieting a busy mind to fully focus on the child as they reunite. I make sure to stock my “On the Road Peace Pack”, ie. things that help me relax:
- a pillow for my neck so I can lean back for a few minutes,
- soothing music that re-connects my soul (a topic for a totally different post),
- some beeswax modeling clay, for when I feel the uncontrollable urge to mold my children (I LOVE that it is hard until the warmth of the hands softens it and allows it to be shaped. Exposure to air does not deteriorate it in any way.)
- a file folder of motivations and articles I wanted to review (which may or may not happen),
- water in a cooler (not necessarily cold, but at least not boiling hot in the Florida heat),
- and a pre-emptive strike of Tylenol if I feel a headache coming on.
- Recently, I have enjoyed having my smart phone handy to jot down “to dos” that I don’t want to continue to cluttering up my head at the moment, but that I can go back to focus on at a later time. I have been known to take the moment to message friends that I miss so much. But I try to unplug and consider some peaceful and light hearted banter for when my child gets in the car. This helps especially if they have had a bad day and need to feel an aura of peace, and to be greeted with warm thoughts.
Yes, occasionally, I have been awakened by the car behind me when the car line moves, and I haven’t. It’s OK !
OK, well, so mothers may need to have more than one place to seek peace. Creating these spaces, places and times gives us more options to make it work.
PLEASE SHARE: What does YOUR Peace Corner as a Mother look like? Where do you retreat to when you have a few minutes to yourself. What do you keep in your Place of Peace to help calm you down and keep you at your mothering best?