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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.

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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).

 

The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers

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.

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4 Comments

  1. Katie,

    I just commented on yesterday’s post about how I had a serious “come to Jesus” moment last week. I too had been feeling like such a huge failure and I realized my priorities were not what they should be. I have been trying to make sure this past week to put my alone time with God into my first priority. If I go to bed and realize I haven’t had that alone time yet, I stay up until I have had at least a few moments with my Lord and Savior. I cannot tell you what a difference it has made! Even though there are some nights that I am getting to bed a little bit later, I feel more refreshed and buffeted (if I can use that term) I am more ready to tackle my day. I am not the tense ball of stress that I have been for the last month (probably longer if truth be told). I will be listening into the broadcast and getting the book!

  2. Katie, I SO agree with you! And, the thing is that we Moms are so task-oriented that we just struggle to allow ourselves to have “me” time unless a professional, such as Dr. Meeker, tells us we have permission to do so! But, if our Lord needed time with the Father, then, why do we struggle acknowledging that we also need that?

  3. Thanks for the advice, I have just purchased it and hope it is just what I need.

  4. I find when I am least happy it is when I am being selfish, thinking I deserve more or better because of what I did or who I am. When I keep me out of the equation and focus on HIM or on the priorities that God has given me I am happy. If wife/mama’s happy others around her find it easier to be happy, too.