Thursday, March 22, 2012

The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers

In her book "The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers", Dr. Meg Meeker details the habits to reclaim passion, purpose, and sanity.  Many women have been pushed to their brinks by the pressure to be beautiful, organized, and useful.  What many don't realize is that they are fine just the way they are.  In fact, the majority of men don't want a super model wife (though they will tell their friends that they do).  So I am listing the 10 habits as discussed in Dr. Meeker's book, with my own experiences and advice attached to each.

1. Understand your value as a Mother: Many women do not know their true value.  They spend so much time obsessing over whether to stay home or work, on their looks or their weight, or on what they will cook for dinner.  Relax.  As long as you keep yourself sane and your kids healthy, everything is as it should be.  One day, when your children are grown up they will thank you.  Whether you work or stay home and raise your children, you are contributing something to the character of another human being.  That child will grow and use you as an example.  Don't worry about your flaws, your kids will not care.

2.  Maintain key friendships:  The biggest lie I have ever heard with regards to motherhood is that mothers have no friends.  It is very important that mothers have friends.  If you don't have any close friendships, seek them out!  There is bound to be a person who is in the same boat as you who can relate to your lifestyle.  Maintaining friendships is important to both parties' sanity.  When you have a close friend, you can let your feelings flow.  Rant your heart out!  That way, you won't be too grumpy to love your kids.

3. Value and practice faith:  Any faith!  Don't follow a faith because it is expected of you.  That sends a dangerous message to your children that faith is an obligation, and not always a good one.  If you are a practitioner of any faith, practice it, live it, love it, pass it on to your children.  I am a Pagan myself, but I am always learning about other faiths, and I have passed on key teachings from every major faith to my children.  All of the faiths share key beliefs and morals in common, so it is not hard to give your children an open-mind when it comes to faith.  But the best example you can give your children is to be true to your faith.  Don't simply say, I am a Christian.  BE a Christian.  Don't say, I am a Muslim (or insert choice faith), BE that person.  LIVE that lifestyle and be an exemplary example of it.

4. Say No to competition:  This is not a race to see which mother has the coolest new toys or which mom bakes the best cupcakes.  Just let it go and be you.  You don't have anything to prove to anyone.

5. Create a healthier relationship with money: Your worth is not determined on how much money you have, but what you spend your money on.  You don't always have to spend your money on the kids, but the kids come first.  However, you should put away a little money every month for yourself.  As long as the kids have shoes, clothes, and anything they need for school, they are content.  So go and buy yourself a candy bar or a new outfit.  Don't stress on something as silly as money.

6. Make time for solitude:  I know from experience that this is easier said than done.  My house is 3 stories, the main floor has the kitchen/dining room, living room, and laundry room, the second floor has the bathroom and two bedrooms, and the third floor is a finished attic.  Despite the seemingly large size of the house, each floor is only about 700 square feet and the walls are so thin, I can hear my kids when I am upstairs in the bathroom and they are downstairs watching TV.  It is very important that you plan some 'you' time.  Take a long hot bubble bath after the kids go to bed.  My kids never go to bed on time despite a strict 8 pm bedtime.  This is where my wonderful husband comes in.  If I am at my wits end and need to get out, he takes over the duty of bedtime and I can escape to the movies, or just a quick run to the grocery store.  If you are a mother, you know that a solo trip to the grocery store is literally a mini-vacation.  

7. Give and get love in healthy ways:  This should be pretty self-explanatory, but a lot of women just don't get it.  Giving love is easy.  Teach your kids how to care about others.  Volunteer your time and services where they are needed.  Getting love is trickier.  Some women feel that they need a man to get love.  This is not always true.  For the love of God, DO NOT stay with a man simply to avoid loneliness.  If he is using you or abusing you, you are not getting love and your kids will be the ultimate sufferers in that situation.

8. Find ways to live simply:  There are many blogs on this topic and plenty of tips online.  I leave it to you to discover those.  I also have a topic on here about Simple Living.  Trust me, it makes a world of difference.

9. Let go of fear!: This is a hard one, even for me.  I can imagine all of the things that can go wrong with my kids.  It adds a whole level of stress that is so hard to shake.

10. Hope is a decision--so make it!:  Hope gives us meaning and purpose. Indulge your imagination, imagine all of the possibilities to future holds and cling to them with all of your heart.

Have a great weekend everyone!

1 comment:

  1. rockin. I know some mothers who would definitely benefit from this list. :-)