10 Habits of Happy Mothers--Habit #1

I'm working my way through this book, along with my friend, Lorrie. Meg Meeker, M.D., wrote this book because of her exposure to moms during her twenty-five years of being a pediatrician, and her desire to help moms to see their value as they are, not as they strive to be.

The first chapter, Habit #1, is "Understand Your Value as a Mother." Here is a summary of the points that struck me:

1.) My children love me incredibly, simply because I am their mother, and they are connected to me deeply through that relationship. Any external things that I do (look good, do good, etc) don't change their love for me. This made me think of how God tells us to be like a child in order to receive the Kingdom of Heaven (Mark 10:15) -- receiving the pure, unconditional love of my children without "earning" it, or feeling like I "deserve" it, is like receiving the love of God; I can't do anything to make God love me more, and the same goes for my kids. I am their mom and they love me. Period.

2.) "No mother can teach a child his or her own value if she doesn't first understand her own value as a mother," (Meeker, page 18). Enough said.

3.) "[We need] to reverse the habit of defining ourselves by what we don't want or what we don't like and begin to embrace what we do want and like," (Meeker, pg 19). This is profound to me--making a prayer list that focuses on what I'd like to become, rather than changing the "bad" things I don't like about me. I see it this way--praying that God will fill my mouth with encouraging and edifying words, rather than praying that I'll keep my mouth shut and stop nagging. Seems like a small difference, but the focus has shifted from negative to positive, which is major for me.

4) The last big thing that struck me was on page 22: "[Our soul] doesn't die. It doesn't eat or diet and it doesn't wear nice clothes. It is within us and . . . it gives us worth . . . for we believe that Christ loved us enough to die for us." This made me think of how Samuel thought Jesse's oldest son would be the one God would have him anoint as the next king, but it was the youngest, David, whom God chose. God rebuked Samuel and told him that man focuses on the external appearance (and performance!) but God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). And God does the same with me--He doesn't judge my mothering by how fit I am, how clean my house is, how great my meals are, or how much I minister outside of my home. God looks at my heart, my motivation, and He sees my desires for my kids.

Dr. Meeker ends the chapter with three ways to make Habit #1 stick:

1. Make a list of things we are good at and that we like about ourselves, to shift our focus away from the negative to the positive.

2. Live to impress no one--be real, regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in.

3. Write down what goes in the box, which is her way of stating that we should list what is eternal and not focus on things that don't matter in the long run.


This first chapter has encouraged me greatly, so I'm looking forward to the rest of the habits. I'm going to spend some time meditating upon what I learned through this chapter, though, because I tend to read a book and think -- Wow! -- and then forget a lot of what I learned.

Comments

  1. good stuff! thanks for sharing. it opened my eyes to some things that didn't stick out to me the first time!

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