What does “love begins at home” even mean?

Motherhood

August 11, 2020

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Photo by Derek Torsani

Dear Everyday Mamas community, 

Two years ago, we launched this website with one foundational principle in mind: that “love begins at home.” We were drawn to this well-loved mantra of Mother Teresa’s a long time ago — and we still feel that there is no better way to articulate the value of what we do as mothers. 

But what exactly does this mission indicate for Everyday Mamas in 2020? We are excited to both expand upon and particularize this foundational belief as the core tenet of our brand.

Our world is in a complicated place right now. Sometimes it seems that there is vitriol coming from every direction, and that it is impossible to have civil or productive conversations, while racial injustice and a pandemic and violence are taking innocent lives every day. These are big issues that require big world changes—much bigger, it seems, than a parent overwhelmed with the daily work of chasing kids could ever solve. 

But that’s why we want to further expound our belief, “love begins at home.” 

The phrase itself presupposes that love, the king of all virtue, the one force that can truly change the world, grows from a physical location: a home. 

Building that physical space for love to grow includes lots of “the fun stuff,” like designing a dining room that works for game nights as well Thanksgiving dinners, decorating playrooms to be conducive to imagination and fun, and creating kitchen spaces that are welcoming for family and friends. 

Beyond the creativity (and for some, fun) of designing for beauty and function, building love at home also includes the tough stuff — maintaining a home that’s filled with loving relationships when we’re also wrestling with family disagreements, marriage struggles, financial problems, bullies at school, news headlines, and all the other flaws that naturally come to our families because none of us are perfect. 

But our homes are important, because as parents going about our daily lives, we are doing the work that lays the foundation for love to grow. 

Love grows in the homes we build for our families when we live the everyday well. That everyday can feel exhausting, and sometimes it can feel small. It can feel like we’re breaking up fights over toys that just never end, and that the bathroom is dirty two seconds after we clean it, and often, it can feel like nobody will ever notice how much work we’re doing, because certainly there are few awards and accolades for that daily litany of a parent.

But the world is in desperate need of that work that we’re doing.

What we’re doing when we break up that fight and beg for our kids to share, again, or potty train and scrub that bathroom, again, or even when we lose our patience and apologize, or acknowledge our shortcomings and our efforts to improve —is integral in creating a family home, a loving family home, where kids witness values like hard work and forgiveness and sacrificial love, and experience first hand how to bring that out into the world and share it with others. 

We are simultaneously demonstrating and realizing truths about patience, hard work, dignity, unconditional love, mercy, and justice. And through that work and that growth, we do have the power to change the world.

Our world is yearning for love, and for people who lead with love. 

We need people who stand up to injustice, who value life and the inherent dignity of every person.

We need people who listen to understand, who believe in absolute truth but who will listen respectfully to all sides of an argument to find it.

We need people who strive to live out qualities like prudence, temperance, fortitude, charity, kindness, and others we want to focus on as content themes in the coming year, and that will equip us as we navigate both the fun stuff and the tough stuff.

We need people who understand the importance of forgiveness, people who trust in God, who listen to Him and let Him lead the way, and who keep their eyes and hearts focused on the eternal.

And this is why our work and growth as parents is so incredibly important to us here at Everyday Mamas. But it’s no simple undertaking: the honest truth is that there is no one way to become this kind of person, to raise this kind of person, or to create a loving home like this.

The pursuit of building love at home can look very different from family to family, because we all have different talents and strengths and weaknesses and backgrounds, and the creation of a loving home is therefore an ever-evolving, multi-faceted, and distinctly personal undertaking. 

But that’s the beauty of our diverse humanity, and why it’s so important to us to collaborate with you — why we will continually be seeking new writers and new content, and why we will be asking you to invite us into your homes. We want to learn from each other, inspire one another, lean on one another, and build a beautiful community in our united efforts.

Thanks for joining us and for being here as we pursue this incredibly important mission together. With education, conversation, humility, prayer and hard work, we can get there. Here’s to the fun stuff, and the tough stuff, together. 

Love and prayers from your EM team, 

Halley, Monica, and Gabby

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