**This article was originally published in 2012, and we wanted to bring it back!
The anatomy of my dream home: mudroom with lockers; playroom; theater room; in-house drinking fountain; large family room off the gourmet French country kitchen with granite counter tops; center island and office nook; extra large laundry room with built in cabinetry; Jack-and-Jill bedrooms; tons of storage; walk-in closets; central vac; secluded backyard with in-ground trampoline, play structure, built-in barbecue and — oh, yes — a pool.
There’s also a professional decorator who helps me choose my personal style and shop for all the little lovelies that will adorn my walls and custom-made furniture. Is it really too much to ask? Just your standard dream home, right? And once I get into that dream home of mine, being the mom I always planned to be will be SO much easier.
As a little girl, I didn’t have such big ideas about my “dream home,” but I certainly got lost in the details: a sunny porch; pretty dishes; colorful linens; and a soft, pastel nursery complete with rocking chair, frilly curtains, plush pillows and beautifully framed pictures of me and my baby, dressed in matching white gowns trimmed in eyelet lace.
Now I’m just being ridiculous.
But don’t you think it IS ridiculous what we have come to expect? And that as mothers we convince ourselves we will be happier, more patient, more organized, more fun if we just had this or that part of our dream home? It’s no wonder, because these are the images of motherhood we have been fed our entire lives, from laundry detergent commercials to home decorating magazines.
But what happens when our girlish dreams don’t come true, and we find ourselves living in a parent’s basement, a drab rental apartment, a small starter home in an unsavory neighborhood, or worse — foreclosing on our dream home!
For many mothers, especially in today’s economic climate, that is reality. (For a great article about this, click here.) But is it possible to be an amazing mother and have a satisfying family life full of love, fun, growth and development even when living in a less than photogenic home? At The Power of Moms, our emphatic answer is YES!
While it is unreasonable to suggest that our physical environment doesn’t influence our moods, energy level and ambitions, it is equally unreasonable to suggest that the attainment of our dream home will magically turn us into better mothers or make our families any happier than they are today.
The reality is, some people will live in a dream home during their lifetime, while others — MOST others — will never, ever have the earthly pleasure of living in anything even remotely close to their dream home.
But you know what? There’s another reality. One that swallows up the disappointment of that one, and it’s this: A dream house is not necessarily a home at all.
Ask any child you know. Ask them what they love about their home, and let their lists surprise you. Heck, ask yourself for that matter! Growing up, what were your happiest home memories made of? Square footage? Matching appliances? Designer couches? The latest and greatest electronic gadget?
If we could all stop and take a collective deep breath together, we would agree that true dream homes are made from sharing secrets and meals, playing catch and pretend, carrying out seasonal traditions, and savoring daily rituals. A dream home smells like dinner on the stovetop, feels like the comfort of a bedtime story, and sounds like mom and dad talking softly as you drift off to sleep.
What does this have to do with The Power of Acceptance? I’ll tell you what. If the stereotypical dream home is totally out of your reach, learning to accept that could be much more liberating than you realize. If the cliché “A house doesn’t make a home” is true, then it is equally true that a house does not make a mother. Mothers make homes, and you can make your house a dream home no matter what your circumstances!
QUESTION: What are your fondest memories of home from your own childhood?
CHALLENGE: Identify the various ways you are creating a “dream home” for your children–minus the travertine tile.