Family Matters

Investigating how women can live more simply, deeply, and honestly so that they can find more in their lives.

Faith in the Small Stuff- Part 2- The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers

I am convinced that more relationships are worthy of trust

When we stop to ponder how much faith we place n loved ones every day, we can feel overwhelmed, even terrified. But we should never live in fear. We need. We all need something from others and we do so because we are needy from birth. The only difference between us and our children is that they are allowed to express their needs because they are still young. But just because we grow older doesn't mean that our needs diminish. They simply morph into other, more complex needs. Once we needed food and comfort during times when we were scared, but now we need more comfort with an added dimension of patience and understanding. The food thing we can do for ourselves. As children we needed to know that our father thought that we were amazing and our mother loved us more than anything in the world. Some of us got that; some of us didn't. But the truth is, we still need to know that someone whom we love and admire thinks we are amazing. Need sits at the center of who we are and it never disappears. And where there is need in us, there must be faith because that need must be filled. Since we can't fill it ourselves, we must turn to someone else for help.
As mothers, we must examine our relationships and tease out the faith that we place in others. If we are to get better at this faith issue, we must be willing to look at the people we are trusting. Are they trustworthy or are they hurting us over and over? If they are trustworthy, can we expand our faith with them? We must appreciate them and care for them. We must be thankful and thank them, and forgive them if small mistakes are made. But if we are putting our faith in loved ones who are harming us, we must stop. Many don't deserve our trust. If friends take advantage repeatedly and we return for more, we must take a break from the friendship. If we trust our kids to do certain things and they break that trust over and over, we know that they aren't trustworthy yet, so we must take charge and stop putting faith in them for things that they cannot yet deliver.
I am convinced that more relationships are worthy of trust and faith than we think. The problem is, we tend to focus on the unhealthier relationships more than the healthy ones. It's the same dynamic that kids feel with their mothers. If kids have a good mother, they sometimes ignore her. Some kids are even rude or mean to their mothers. The reason for this stems from their comfort-kids feel that mothers have to love them. They have to always be there because in their minds, that's what moms do. So they take us for ranted because many of us are the rocks in our homes. We are ever-present. There are more single moms than single dads. Moms stay around. This is the same approach many of us have with our healthy relationships. We take them for granted and even become rude to those we love because we have so much confidence in them. Confidence is terrific, but we must also be more grateful.

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Meg Meeker, MD, a pediatrician, is the author of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know as well as Epidemic: How Teen Sex Is Killing Our Kids.

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