I have lately enjoyed re-reading Little Women and Good Wives (the sequel) by Louisa May Alcott. I just love this passage, which deals with oldest daughter Meg's adjustment to young motherhood and housekeeping. She has twins and has worn herself to a frazzle:
"She was. . . in that unreasonable frame of mind which the best of mothers occasionally experience when domestic cares oppress them, want of exercise robs them of cheerfulness, and too much devotion to that idol of American women, -the teapot,- makes them feel as if they were all nerve and no muscle."Mmmmhmmm.
Mother advises her:
". . .Do more housework. You need the exercise. . .Go out more; keep cheerful as well as busy,-for you are the sunshine-maker of the family, and if you get dismal there is no fair weather."How true. What a responsibility and a challenge at times for me- being the 'sunshine-maker'. But SO true. I have found over the years that the mother's mood truly does set the tone for the whole house.
"Meg recovered her spirits, and composed her nerves, by plenty of wholesome exercise, a little pleasure, and much confidential conversation with her sensible husband. . .Home grew home-like again, and everyone found the little house a cheerful place, full of happiness, content, and family love."