At the moment I am all about getting ready to give birth and raise a child. Yet, I believe that the foundation of happy and functioning family life is that neither parent should not forget their needs and wishes as well. Ofcourse first months are more critical, but time makes its corrections and every family creates its own rhythm and method.
In her book “The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers” Meg Meeker, M.D. has made a list of what we should not forget while raising a child in purpose of happily balanced life. The short summary would be:
- Understand your value as a mother. You must value yourself, because this is the key to satisfaction.
- Maintain key friendships. During our life we meet the kind of people that come and go, also the kind that come look for you only when they are the ones in need. While raising a child do not forget the ones that are your true friends – who you can count on and vice versa. Find time for them!
- Create a healthier relationship with money. Not a child would value money more than the time that we spend with them. Keep your focus on your love to your baby, not money.
- Take time for solitude. Being alone does not equal with taking time for yourself. Here the author means literally that every person needs time to spend alone, whether by meditating, praying, relaxing or maybe taking a nap at daytime. People that practise that are tending to be more satisfied and happy.
- Value and practice faith. We can believe in many things: relatives, friends, religion, destiny. It is said that people who have faith have longer life expectancy. The chapter speaks more about faith in God though.
- Let go of fear. There are things and situations that are not under our control. There is no need to stress out of the things that have not happened yet or that we are not sure about.
- Find ways to live simply. Why take extra obligations just because others do? You do not have to do million things to feel that you are needed or important. Life is a gift.
- Give and get love in healthier ways. Try not to create illusions about how your relationship with your children will be. When they are still babies, you feel their pure emotions, but when growing up (specially at the age of teenagers) they do not reflect only love. Hate, anger, dissatisfaction – you might receive all these feelings. Remember that they are just kids and this is normal stage at some point. Just keep loving them unconditionally.
- Be aware of your lifestyle. Learn to live in the moment – you do not need to rush all the time and compete with others. Ability to forgive is a gift to yourself, because this way you carry a lot lighter burden on your shoulders.
- Make the decision to have hope. Hope brings positivity and keeps negativity away. Quoting G. K. Chesterton “Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all”.
At times the book seemed a bit too radical to me and at some point even controversial: do not make rules like keeping a diet – as like keeping a diet make yourself a rule that you have to do this or that.
Just before that book I read Mervi Juusola book about social development of children. I liked Juusola’s suggestion to explain our children why they may and may not do some things – this is how they learn what is right/wrong – but Meg Meeker stated her view that only “Yes” or “No” can be enough, because this gives you authority and your children will obey your commands more easily.
Mervi Juusola’s book was good reading. She has opposite approach from Meg Meeker: every aspect was drawn from positive perspective. Unfortunately I did not make notes while reading that book. Short summary would be that raise your children with love and find time for them. It is crucial that our babies can have our entire attention and care during their first year because this gives them social confidence that home is a safe place, and it is believed that this way they tend to be more calm the following years.
Happy Mothers -> Happy Kids -> Happy Family! ❤