The Importance of Making Space for Quiet

I always bristle when someone comments my life, or our home must be chaotic. I think they are saying it will be messy, unruly or somehow lacking peace.

I think the intent is amazement and tiny bit dis belief. The idea of putting yourself with 10 kids who are not your own is not a calm image, I get that!

I have worked very hard to create space, create chore expectations, create rhythms that allow for calm. The nights that are explosive with events, energy and need throw off the balance for sure. But overall this house of 12 does make room for the quiet.

It took me a long time to understand I am an extroverted introvert. I love my kids around me, but I desperately need everyone to be quiet and read a book, immediately! My favorite days are when everyone is engaged in a project, a book or coloring but silently sharing space. It does happen!

We use "active breaks" for L. Rather than sitting for a time out, she is a high spirited child! We have her do something genuinely useful but that uses her body, or run the stairs on a timer. It allows for her brain to clear, get some breath and re start calmly.
Less stuff overall helps with creating a sense of calm. Clutter stresses me out, sunshine, open floor space is always soothing. My kids complain we have less toys than other families (it is true) and that their friends have bedrooms that are FUN. We have bedrooms that are usually pretty tidy, quilts, stacks of books and coloring things, some stuffed animals and a bin of toys, that is it. And of course a sibling or three to share your room. We play outside, every day. We use the big kitchen space together for homework, for prayer, for spending time together. We don't encourage endless hours in bedrooms, doesn't seem to lead to calm energy, it leads to angst and anxiety.

Being introverted together, being stubborn about wanting things clean and having less things, insisting on regular chores and individual responsibility creates a peaceful atmosphere. Of course there are nights, like last night, that remind me why we try to take on less! Remind me I need to make peace and down time together a priority even if it means swimming against the tide.

For now I am going to read my devotional, put some laundry on the line and wash my floors. A precious moment with 8 at school and two sleeping is very rare...and peaceful!


  1. Love this!! I like reading your many great parenting ideas - like "active breaks" instead of time outs... thanks for sharing some of the secrets of being a Supermom! :)


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