Book Review : The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers; Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity by Meg Meeker, M.D.
Meg Meeker tackles the universal mystery of what makes us happy as human beings and specifically as mothers. She uses her years of professional experience, as well as the many friendships she has developed over her years of mothering, to gain a greater understanding of how to obtain happiness. Each factor of happiness is described as a habit and then offers steps to make the habit stick. Many of the suggestions are things we already know, but have not always specifically defined in the way we may be living. It is always refreshing to read books full of common sense and Meeker always finds the practical and explains it in a new way. If happiness seems elusive the 10 habits are certainly a good start to finding a joy from within. Many of Meeker’s personal stories are included, as well as other women’s stories, that bring a greater humanity to this tender subject rather than another to do list for an overwhelmed mom.
The habits explored are:
1- Understand Your Value as a Mother
2- Maintain Key Friendships
3- Value and Practice Faith
4- Say No to Competition
5- Create a Healthier Relationship with Money
6- Make Time for Solitude
7- Give and Get Love in Healthy Ways
8- Find Ways to Live Simply
9- Let Go of Fear
10- Hope Is a Decision – So Make It!
From my point of view, some of the most valuable ideas offered in The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers for mothers include knowing your value, understanding your greater purpose, letting go of competition and fear and living in hope.
One of the biggest values or habits left out is a mother’s relationship with her husband, the father of her (and his) children. Though many women are divorced, a good husband/father offers great happiness and should not be overlooked as a key component in a mother’s happiness. My very best friend is my husband, and I wouldn’t sacrifice this relationship for any girlfriend. The chapters on friendship and giving and getting love should surely include the wonderful men who stick with us through our mothering.
Meeker also states that faith does not come naturally to her, and I respect that she has made a commitment to practicing more faith. I have a strong religious background and faith has always been a part of who I am, and so I felt that the chapter discussing God and faith was a little simplistic. I am hesitant to overly criticize this point because it may be the perfect springboard for someone else that has not had a background filled with faith.
I found this book to be thought provoking and enjoyed it greatly though not as much as Strong Father, Strong Daughters and Boys Should Be Boys, also by Dr. Meeker. I love how the book ends with the habit of hope. Hope makes all things possible!
4 out of 5 stars