Happy Friday, y’all!
I am excited to share my review of The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers by Meg Meeker today. My husband gave me this book for Christmas after he read Meeker’s Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. This was a book I needed at this time in my life and one I will return to again and again.
This book falls into the genre that I like to call self care. The books in the self care genre are motivational, practical, and inspiring. They motivate me to be better while also validating who I am and what I already do well. Some of my favorite books in this genre are by Brené Brown (check out my reviews of Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection). Those books continue to affect me daily in meaningful ways.
This is a book that can be life changing for mothers at any stage of motherhood.
- I recommend listening to this book rather than reading it. These types of books can be slow reading and hard to get into in a physical book (at least for me). I flew through the last two thirds of this book by listening to it in the car, as I made dinner, etc. This helped me connect the stories, habits, and practical advice in the book.
- This isn’t a book that you can read once and then just internalize everything for the rest of your life. It’s a book I will certainly be returning to as I remember the practical applications for making these habits stick, want to refresh on what it means to live simply or just to get a boost of positive affirmation.
According to Goodreads: “Mothers are expected to do it all. . . . In this rallying cry for change, Dr. Meeker incorporates clinical data and her own experience raising four children to show why mothers suffer from the rising pressure to excel and the toll it takes on their emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health. Too many mothers are increasingly lonely, anxious, depressed, and unhappy with themselves, refusing to let themselves off the hook. Here, Dr. Meeker has identified the 10 most positive habits of mothers who are healthy, happy, and fulfilled. The key is to embrace a new perspective and create real joy and purpose by utilizing core habits. . . . Mothers, it’s time to view the unconditional trust that you see in your children’s eyes when they take your hand or find your face in a crowd as a mirror of your own wonder and worth.”
I love the ways I love the way Meeker makes all mothers feel loved and connected. At the heart of this book there is simply love. It’s about helping mothers see their value and potential. It’s about helping us see the good we do and appreciate our role. I absolutely love that and need that. I kept thinking “Ah, really? Me too!” It was great to feel like part of a great group of women doing an important work. Meeker talks candidly about her own mothering experiences which adds to her credibility and she balances her arguments with examples from mothers in many different phases of life from new moms to moms of teenagers or grown children, working moms and stay at home moms, single moms, mothers of many children and of a few children. Throughout the book, she proves that all mothers are loved and needed.
I loved the way Meeker breaks this book up into 10 habits with practical ways to make the habits stick. I like lists and having a concrete list of ways to be happier (even if they are more complex than simple) really resonates with me. Each chapter begins with a description of what the title of that chapter means and then she offers insights from her own life and the lives of a few of her friends/acquaintances that illustrate that habit. She ends each chapter with “ideas to make the habit stick” which give more concrete ideas for developing the habits like making lists, taking 15 minutes a day for solitude, repeating a phrase to ourselves, praying, reaching out to friends, and more. I will definitely be returning to those practical tips.
The habits themselves are simple but powerful. She starts with a chapter about understanding our value as mothers because that is where everything starts. Then she shares meaningful ways to develop faith, develop strengthening friendships, spend time in solitude, give and get love in healthy ways, and have a positive relationship with money. I appreciated every chapter but here are a few thoughts on my favorites:
- Let Go of Fear: This chapter spoke to me the most. I carry a lot of fear. I worry about a lot of things especially with my kids. This chapter was a beautiful way to identify fear and live a happy life regardless of fear. It’s not about getting rid of fear but about leaning into it and moving forward in spite of it.
- Say No to Competition: This chapter surprised me because it is so true. I didn’t realize I did this until I read this chapter and saw how much I compare myself and my kids to others. This is a hard habit to develop (I’m certainly just beginning to learn how to do this) but I can already see how much this can affect my life.
- Hope is a Decision–So Make It! This chapter presented itself in a new way that really struck me. I know that hope is a good thing and that it makes life happier. But I hadn’t really thought about it as a choice. We can simply choose hope or not. It can be that simple. I tend to do the opposite–sometimes I see the bad and the potential for failure or pain in the future. Instead, I am now seeking to develop this habit and to choose hope.
I finished this book feeling empowered, understood, and motivated to be the best mother for my children. Thank you, Meg Meeker!
What are your favorite self care books?
Have you read any of Meg Meeker’s books? Which is your favorite?