We all have a unique idea of what the feeling of home feels like to us. Indeed, there’s a huge difference between walking into a “home” that feels like a home, rather than a mere “house” that simply feels like somewhere you live.
Home is much more than the house you live in, it’s a sense of being somewhere you belong, and feel safe in. The recipe for creating a stable sense of home for you and your family is different for everyone, yet there is a fundamental recipe that can ensure you cover the basics in terms of the building blocks required to create the stability of “home”.
It’s understood that home is different for everyone, as an example, for some people a home is not a home without a dog bouncing up to you each time you walk through the door. See, it often doesn’t matter how your house looks, as it’s not the size or affluence of your property that creates a feeling of home… it’s the energy and feeling contained with in – most of which comes from your family.
For some people this energy is enhanced by taking care of smaller details such as having freshly cut flowers in the living room or cozy soft furnishings and warm lighting… yet, no number of cozy cushions will compensate for a home that isn’t being managed well and taken care of behind the scenes.
This article therefore looks at five ways to ensure a stable sense of home for you and your family by taking care of some of the less glamorous but more fundamental aspects of home life.
See, home is a place of stability and comfort, like a fortress, and this sense of safety is particularly important to people with autism – as one thing they crave is a sense of certainty – and a safe place they know they can retreat to when they feel overwhelmed and like things are just getting too much.
Whilst your home should be your castle, it should also be your sanctuary, and often a home is associated with the people within it much more than the bricks and mortar that hold the property up. Home is a sense of knowing that you will be looked after and provided for – where there’s a sense of guardianship.
For instance, this can be as simple as cooking healthy and nutritious meals each day, to consistently being tucked up in bed, to having parents read up on How to Prevent and Treat Baby Sunburn in the hot weather we’re having. It all comes down to a sense of feeling safe, taken care of, and provided for – that’s what home really is.
A lot of people naively feel they can buy a big fancy house and the feeling of “home” will automatically come with the purchase, but this feeling is something that must be generated, as it cannot be purchased.
In that vein, here are five ways you can ensure you create a stable feeling of home for your family.
STAY ON TOP OF THE BILLS
Keeping up with household bills can be stressful if money is tight. You want your home to feel like a sanctuary free from stress, and therefore, you don’t want to be in a situation where each time you go the mailbox, you dread seeing a bill. Furthermore, the last thing you want if you are dealing with autism is the fear of bailiffs attending your property.
The sense of staying on top of your bills is important because it creates a feeling of stability and certainty, which is particularly important to those dealing with autism. Unfortunately, when we let these matters cascade out of control by burying our head in the sand the sense of home our family craves goes out the window, it gets knocked off kilter, and we retreat into a state of survival mode.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Your plumbing, heating and cooling systems are vital components of creating a feeling of home. You obviously want to be comfortable in your home and these matters are essential to ensuring your comfort. Similarly if you have a pet, you’ll want to keep up with regular flea treatment as a flea infestation certainly takes away from the comfort we associate with having a home.
If you come home each day to an overgrown garden it can create a feeling of chaos and a state of things being out of control. Even though these matters are relatively small, they can have a significant effect on your mood and certainly detract from your feeling of home.
A garden that is “well kept” will help keep you calm and provide the feeling of serenity and order; whether you have a beautiful mature garden or a tiny backyard, keeping it in shape is an important factor of feeling at home within the physical aspects of your home, that aren’t limited to the house itself but extend to the front and back garden.
Regarding neighbors, if you can try your best to get on with your neighbors it can pay dividends in terms of creating a feeling of “home” because the sense of home extends well beyond the boundaries of your property and into the community in which you live. The last thing you want is a state of animosity between you and your neighbors, but sometimes, we do live next to challenging people and therefore there’s only so much we can do.
CLEAN & TIDY
Keeping your home clean and tidy sounds like a no brainer, but often this can snowball out of control and quickly turn into a chaotic mess if you don’t keep on top of it. People with autism are much more affected by their environment than most, and as you probably know, a tidy home leads to a tidy mind – meaning when we live in a clean, uncluttered and harmonious space, we feel more harmonious and at peace within ourselves.
Disclosure – I have teenagers who constantly need something and a husband who thinks items like race cars and boats are toys. So, throughout the blog you will find affiliate links that enable me to buy a bottle or two or three of wine to keep my sanity intact.