I can honestly say that after 30 years of listening to mothers and children, I have never met a mother who feels appropriately valued and appreciated by her young children. Many children grow into adults who express their appreciation for their mothers but there are many years while children are young when mothers just feel devalued. I understand this because for many years, I had young children.
The truth is, children can’t survive without mothers or mother figures. We are those who bring comfort, security, food, and protection. Many times we need to stand back and be told who we are to our children. We need to see ourselves through our children’s eyes, because only then can we appreciate the work that we do.
And we need help. Mothers need friends, encouragers, and support systems because there is no harder job on earth. Being a mother is physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting at times. It is a job that has a clear beginning but no end. Whether we are with our children or separated, we always carry our children deep in our hearts. We carry their joys, their pains, and their fears. We worry, cry, laugh, and sweat over them.
As you study this principle my hope is that you, as a mother, learn to appreciate yourself more. And if you aren’t a mother, I hope that you see mothers around you in a whole new light.
I’m Meg Meeker, MD. Like you, I’ve known the frustration of arguing with kids, and worrying about whether or not they’ll turn out to be great adults. So whatever you’re feeling today, I’ve been there.
As a pediatrician of over 30 years, I’ve listened to thousands of kids, and watched them grow up. As a mother (of four grown adults, who are now my very best friends) and as a grandmother, I know exactly what it takes to raise great kids. There's a lot of parenting advice out there, and I can say that a whole lot of it is bad. It isn’t based on medical, psychological, or time tested truth. My advice is. And that matters.
The most important thing I’ve learned about my work is this: the best thing I can do to help your kids, is to help you. And I know I can do that.