Yesterday, Jenae shared with us about the times she has felt like a failure as a mom. Judging by the response, that message resonated with a lot of moms (I know it resonated with me!). And maybe it’s the ‘red car’ effect (you buy a red car and start seeing red cars everywhere you turn), but I randomly came across five different posts by moms around the web yesterday with a similar theme. And I’ve been hearing it from friends for months. In some way, most of us feel like failures at some aspect of mothering.
This made me stop and think, ‘what is going on in our lives (as moms and as a culture) that many of us feel so overwhelmed by life?’ What is it we’re doing (or not doing) that is causing us to feel that way? Are we putting too much pressure on ourselves? Are we holding ourselves responsible for more than we should?
Please understand I am NOT advocating that we stop doing (or neglect) our very important, even essential, jobs as moms in order to focus on ourselves and our happiness. There are many things we can and need to do well. But whose ideal are we trying to live up to with these expectations of the “perfect mom” we seem to collectively have? And are we getting so caught up in what we’re not doing right that we aren’t seeing the reality of our lives? Are we so busy ‘doing’ and ‘feeling guilty about what we’re not doing’ that we can’t hear the voice of the One who called us to be Mothers in the first place?
I may not be talking to you. You may have a solid and consistent quiet time… you may already be totally in touch with your role as a mom and how God wants you to live and love that out. But maybe you’re like me… and that time doesn’t just happen automatically for you. Sometimes it feels like my to do list is 20 feet long and I will never get to the end of it. Sometimes I trade the important (spending time with God, SIMPLY loving and serving my husband and my children) for the urgent (But EVERYTHING on my to do list is urgent!!!!)
I read a book recently called The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers that has caused me to question some of MY habits. The author of that book, Dr. Meg Meeker, is a guest this week on FamilyLife Today (You can listen to the whole series The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers online.) And Tracey was able to sit down with her and talk about several habits described in her book. They chatted about Habit #6 “Making Time for Solitude” … slowing down life a bit so you can actually BE CALM.
By the way, the book is about a lot more than just ‘being happy.’ Being happy’ isn’t the goal (or at least it shouldn’t be).
Mothers are expected to do it all: raise superstar kids, look great, make good salaries, keep an immaculate house, be the perfect wife. In this rallying cry for change, Meg Meeker, M.D., uses her twenty-five years’ experience as a practicing pediatrician and counselor to show why mothers suffer from the rising pressure to excel and the toll it takes on their emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health. Dr. Meeker’s book reveals the 10 most positive and impactful habits of healthy, happy mothers.
Katie is the mom of two children and thoroughly enjoys eliciting giggles and grins from them. As a brain tumor survivor who found herself raising her two children alone, she learned first hand the power of on-line relationships and has a heart for sharing help and hope with others. Katie has been a mom for 9+ years and has been remarried for 2 years.