I read this as part of the first chapter in The 10 Habits of Healthy Mothers by. Meg Meeker M.D. and while this book is supposed to be read as sort of a self-help book, the introduction and first chapter alone had me bawling my eyes out. It's so sweet.
"...you are worth more than you imagine. I don't care if you feel like a lousy mom or you are fabulous. Whether you're a workaholic who feels like she never sees her kids or a stay-at-home mom who feels unappreciated, you are woefully misguided in your thinking. Yes, your beliefs about your worth as a woman and mother may be skewed because you live in a world that doesn't like you very much. It tells you to keep up with too many things at once and since you can't you work faster and longer and still feel like a failure in whole or in part. There's the lie in this whole mess--you are not a failure. But you feel like one. I can confidently say this because, as a pediatrician, my job is to watch you and keep your kids healthy. And when I see them, I see kids who love their mom. I see how your kids look at you, hang on to your knees, and hold your hand. I see you are more akin to how they see you--as a woman who is needed, loved and cherished.
I know this because in my 25 years as a pediatrician, I have gotten a peek from behind your kids' eyes. I can see you as they see you. I have heard excitement in their voices after you praised them. I have seen your kids define you as their hero when you were in the other room. I have seen them cry over your hurt, laugh at your jokes, and pull their hair out because of your stubbornness (which, by the way, they appreciate).
I have literally read the value that you hold in your kids' lives, all over their faces and through their body language. When you walk into a room, your son changes immediately. He relaxes because you are there and life feels safe again. If you recently scolded him, he scours your face to see if you are still mad, because he needs to know how you feel. You matter. Your mood changes his world a bit. If you are upset with him, he wants to make up (he may not show it, but he does) because you are the center of his small world. He needs you to like him again. You. No one else. Because once you are happy with him, he can go about his business and life will feel good again. He can focus at school, get his homework done, and pay attention during his basketball game. That is the power that you have and that powers comes from the fact that in this one child's life--your child's life--who you are matters as much as life itself. You are loved.
I want you to feel good about who you are as a mother because you should. That's another thing that I have learned about you as I have watched over the years. You need to feel good about the job you are doing because, if you are like most American moms, you are far too critical of the job you're doing. I know this because I can see that being a great mom matters to you. You want to get it right and you assess your performance daily. What you need to know is that you assess your performance far more critically than your kids do--they just want YOU.
Kids don't care if you're thin or plump, they don't care if you make brownies from scratch, from box, or if you buy them. They just want to eat brownies with you. Feeling good about your value to them is important because the better you feel, the better your relationship with them will be and the happier both of you will be. Sounds simple, but understanding our value and then feeling about the mothers that we are (or maybe even saying it out loud) is one of the toughest challenges we mothers face."
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