Mom's Survival Kit

Terrie Chappell

We’ve all heard that a man’s home is his castle. I heard of one man who called his home a “trauma center.” I thought that sounded horrible, but then he said, “It’s where I go to become well again.” That made more sense. You can call it what you like, but the truth is: our husbands need to come home to a place where they can be refreshed. Here are some actions we have tried to establish in the Chappell house:

PREPARE TO GREET YOUR HUSBAND

You have spent most of the day away from him, so those first few minutes when he gets home are the most crucial! How you welcome your mate seems to set the tone for the rest of the evening.

First, stop what you are doing so you can greet him. Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in what I am working on that I barely give a nod of the head and a quick “Hi” when my husband walks in the door. This is easy to do when you’re busy, but resist the pattern. Give him a smile, a kiss, and a hug.

GET RID OF THE MESS

Don’t let clutter be his first encounter when he walks through the door. Clutter is confusion, and God is not the author of confusion! I know my husband cannot relax until the disorder is put back in place. So, take a few minutes before your husband arrives home to de-clutter.

I try to think of it this way: I want to cover all the senses for my husband. Touch—that’s the hug and kiss. Sight—keeping the house picked up and presentable. Smell—have the house smelling clean and dinner smelling good. Taste—have dinner tasting good! Sound—put on some peaceful music and turn off the tv.

TAME THE TOTS

When our kids were little, I often found myself trying to get dinner ready while simultaneously keeping the kids from tearing up the house—sometimes it was just plain chaos!

Getting dinner done earlier in the day by using a crock-pot or preparing a simple meal worked great for me and freed my time to settle down the children. I also tried to use the moments right before Dad came home as reading time. The kids enjoyed it; it relaxed all of us, and it sure impressed Daddy to see everyone quietly reading a book when he walked through

the door! If I was running late and reading wasn’t an option, I would have the kids play a game—“who could see Daddy coming home first.” They would all line up at the window and watch for Dad. This was a help to me as well, for when they yelled, “Daddy’s home!” it gave me a quick minute to dry my hands and get ready to greet my husband.

PLAY PEACEFUL MUSIC

Music can soothe the soul. We see an example of this truth in the lives of Saul and David. First Samuel 16:23 says, “And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed….” William Gladstone said, “Music is one of the most forceful instruments for governing the mind and spirit of man.” Music is powerful and can really help in setting the spirit of the home.

Watch your words. Allow your husband to walk through the door and catch his breath before you unleash everything that happened to you that day. Don’t just throw the kids at him and say, “Your turn!”

LISTEN LOVINGLY

Listening is a great way to be supportive of your husband. Let’s be honest, we all enjoy talking about ourselves or our ideas. But if you want to make an impact, listen as your hubby speaks about his life, his goals, and his dreams. Keep your eyes focused on him while he is talking. Remember that your listening is affirmation!

Now, did this calm attitude or peaceful atmosphere take place every night at the Chappell home? I don’t think so! But I can honestly say, it is the goal for which we strive.