Archive for October, 2011

Happier Mothers = Better Mothers

Author/Pediatrician Dr. Meg Meeker has written another great book.    Some of you may remember that I previously recommended her two earlier books:  Boys Should Be Boys and Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters.

This time she’s written about mothers.  The title captivated me immediately: The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity.  Sounded like a book for Mom to Mom moms to me!

And indeed it is.  Writing from both her own experience as a mom and from 25 years of conversations with moms as a pediatrician, Dr. Meeker recognizes both the deep passion we moms have to be good mothers and the extraordinary pressures we put on ourselves.  She begins by putting her finger right on the problem: The “. . . full-blown obsession we have with getting mothering right . . . is taking many of us down.” (p. xii of the introduction)

Then, gently, but passionately and convincingly, she sets forth her prescription for becoming healthier mothers.  At the risk of being a “spoiler,” I want to share her top ten points, hoping they’ll inspire some of you to read the book and help those of you who can’t imagine having time to read a book just now.

Meg Meeker’s Ten Habits of Happy Mothers:

  1. Understanding your value as a mother
  2. Maintaining key friendships
  3. Valuing and practicing faith
  4. Saying no to competition
  5. Creating a healthier relationship with money
  6. Making time for solitude
  7. Giving and getting love in healthy ways
  8. Finding ways to live simply
  9. Letting go of fear
  10. Making the decision to have hope

As I read, I found myself thinking how deeply Meeker’s wisdom correlates with what we try to do at Mom to Mom—especially her first four and last four habits.  I also kept thinking of our oft-quoted Mom to Mom mantra: “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”  Dr. Meeker clarifies at the outset: “This is not a book about being a better mother because are plenty of books on that.   This is a book for you, and only you, to help you become a happier mother.”  (p. xii of the introduction)  True.  But I can’t help but add: Being a happier mother will make you a better mother, too!

A good read, and a good question:  What makes you a happier mother?

Mommies: Heroes and Best Friends

Mamas are everywhere in my world. They always are. That’s just the way I like it.  But especially this time of year.  I spent a weekend recently with some 1400 mommies at LifeWay’s .Mom conference in Birmingham.  Then I came home to a season of speaking to Mom to Mom groups every few days.  I love it!

One of the things I love most about being with moms is hearing their stories.  You already know this, but let me remind you: moms are heroes.  Their stories stay with me.  Stories of traumatic births, difficult pregnancies, unexpected pregnancies, long periods of infertility, miracle adoptions, foster-mom God-moments.  And stories of life with 8 kids (or more!) as well as magnificent testimonies to single-mom survival—even joy.

One of my favorite moments at the .Mom conference was meeting the recipients of our blog give-away—Lauren and Carrie.  Lauren, I’m sorry we didn’t get a picture.  But I got to spend a few precious moments with Carrie as she shared about her life as a single mom.  Moms as heroes—yes.  God’s grace poured out on these heroes—you bet!

Recently I’ve been reminded of  heroic everyday mom lives in my own family.  One daughter-in-law spends hours each day in the car to get her son to a good school.  Another daughter-in-law recently took on painting a room in the basement after the kids went to bed each night during a weekend with Daddy gone for three days—only to have the tape rip off the paint when the project was done.  Yikes!

Then there’s my sleep-deprived daughter Erika with 6-week-old Judah.   He is adorable (you knew I’d say that!)—and gifted, of course . 🙂   The problem is that his gifts seem to be eating and growing—but not sleeping!  His parents are working on that.  He has a ways to go.  In the meantime, you all know the drill:  Mama’s gift becomes surviving—somehow—amidst the kind of sleep deprivation that would make most terrorists spill their guts!  You remember these days—yes?

Baby days

But then there are other moments: mom-moments that make all the difference.  Moments that keep mom-heroes going even in the toughest places.  Erika had one of those moments recently.  One afternoon, on a very long day, Judah’s big sister, Gabriella, came down from her “rest time,” rushed into the living room, threw her arms around Erika, and said “Mommy, you’re my very best friend!”

You're my very best friend!

Just a reminder for all of you in case your kids haven’t told you lately: not only are you a hero, but you are building precious relationships with these kids even amidst the toughest times.

What keeps you going amidst long days and short nights?  I’d love to hear your stories!

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