Meg Meeker, M.D., a practicing pediatrician and counselor for 25 years, is the author of The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity. I picked up this book because I want to be a Happy Mother and I wanted to know what those 10 habits were. I also wanted to know if I already had any of these habits in my life. I planned to act on anything I learned that could help me be truly happier.
Life is difficult and I find myself being grumpy and demanding when I’m worn out. I normally read non-fiction books, but this book really interested me. It helped when Dr. Meeker related stories from real life mothers to show how they were happy. There are only 10 chapters and each chapter goes in-depth on the different habits we can have as mothers to make us happier.
Here are the ten habits:
- Understand Your Value as a Mother
- Maintain Key Friendships
- Value and Practice Faith
- Say No to Competition
- Create a Healthier Relationship with Money
- Make Time for Solitude
- Give and Get Love in Healthy Ways
- Find Ways to Live Simply
- Let Go of Fear
- Hope Is a Decision-So Make It!
What I liked most about the book was I was able to look inward and see where I am lacking in a few of these habits. I see how developing these habits would increase happiness. I have set several goals for implementing these habits and see a difference already.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
“The legacy you pass on to your children is your character…” – pg. 107
Meg mentions one truth about children is they see, hear, and mimic us at our best and our worst times. When we use one standard for our kids and another for ourselves, our children see it is ok to have double standards. When we have a smile on for strangers and a snarl for our family so will our children. When we give service at home and in the world, they see we love others like Jesus wants us to. When we forgive and forget the offences of others, so will our children. Our character is what they will take with them when they leave our home. This is something I want to remember.
“And if the worst happens, we can handle the pain with the help of family, faith, and friends.” – pg. 182
In habit #9 “Let Go of Fear”, Meg helped me to realize I worry way too much! I am a helicopter mother. I hover and try to control EVERYTHING! I am learning to realize there is less stress when you let go of some control. She points out mothers do have a lot to worry about. Kids, jobs, financial stability, and home life are just a few. She mentions some of us are out of control with fear. The steps Meg mentions to deal with fear are:
- Realize what we truly fear
- Take charge of our fears
- Then face them head on
This is so we know what could happen and be ready for the worst. When we take charge of our fears we know we can become strong with the help of those around us.
“What did she expect for her daughter, I asked one day. “Nothing. I expect nothing,” she told me. “But I hope for everything.” – pg. 208
In habit #10, “Hope is a decision-so make it!” Meg tells about a mother whose daughter fell into the family pool and nearly drowned. The doctors gave her little hope, but this mother put her hope in God. She gave up trying to control the situation and overcame being brought down with despair. She did this by focusing on the light of Christ. I love how hope helped her through this hard time in her family’s life. This mother showed we can choose to be hopeful.
Meg ends with this quote by G.K. Chesterton. I like how it encompasses what a mother can be:
“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” – pg. 209
I recommend this book to mothers everywhere. It is available in print and kindle format at Amazon.com.
Checkout some of our other book recommendations for good reads and ideas for strengthening families.