Think of it this way: Motherhood is like pottery. First, the potter throws a lump of clay on the table several times. This rids the clay of the air bubbles trapped inside. If the potter doesn’t do this, the clay will crack when it’s put into the hot kiln later on.
In the same way, when you start off as a mom, you’re like a lump of clay. You’re raw material that needs to be molded.
Remember your purpose as a mom. It’s not to be popular with your children; it’s to nurture them so they’ll be independent, responsible and resilient. As a mom, what matter is how you go through the fury of the fire. With the right mindset, you’ll become a person of greater patience, wisdom and love.
I tucked into The Happy Mom book with much anticipation. The author Doreen Wong is a dedicated mom to three grown kids and grandmother, and has deep experience in and passion for parenting. (I have also met her son Daniel Wong, author of The Happy Student, whom I interviewed some years earlier for this post.)
I thoroughly enjoyed the read. The experience was akin to sitting down and enjoying a cup of coffee with a mentor figure, listening attentively as she downloads her years of parenting wisdom into my life.
In her book, she admits that even after 37 years of motherhood, her goal remains the same: To strengthen the bond with her children.
Wow…I have been a mother for eight years. In another 30 years, I hope to be reminded of what she said. Even in different seasons of parenting, the challenge of motherhood remains constant – to love our children as they are.
Here are 5 of my favourite aspects of The Happy Mom book.
- Doreen asks provocative, hard-hitting questions, like:
- Do you fill your children’s lives with the things that you missed in your own childhood, whether your children want them or not?
- What will your children remember you for?
- Are you driven by self-centred ambitions? Or are you driven by a desire to make a difference in your family and the world?
- She also offers many gems of wisdom. This one spoke to me the most:
“As you journey with your children through life, integrate rather than segment the various aspects of their experience. See each child as a complete whole as you identify their personalities, passions and talents. This will help you ensure that your child gets everything they need in a holistic manner.”
“Don’t be anxious if you’re unclear about the vision you have for your children. There’s no rush to create this vision over the next few days. It will come to you over time. But if you already have such a picture in mind, impart it to your children. Impress upon them their worth and purpose. Believe in them. Know that all things are possible. Don’t lose sight of your vision as you walk beside them and dream with them.”
- She offers plenty of actionable steps that we can apply, such as using positive language in the home, declaring powerful words over our children’s lives, and guiding them to embrace timeless values and principles.
Here are some particularly inspiring snippets:
- In achievement, be yourself – Encourage your children to be the best versions of themselves.
- In behaviour, act the same even when no one’s watching – Teach your children the importance of integrity, authenticity and consistency.
- In education, love learning – Help them to think through the what, how and why of new ideas.
- She reminds me about the importance of trust, specifically about trusting our kids.
“[My mom] gave me confidence because she often showed that she trusted me…I didn’t hide any secrets from her, and she didn’t have to nag me about anything.”
I think trust is one of the things we often forget we can give our children especially in today’s context where the tendency is to hover and micro-manage life for our kids. We need to give them the practice in exercising their judgment, to trust them to make small decisions, gradually and age-appropriately, but steadily.
- She offers helpful dos and don’ts in a chapter-by-chapter summary of the book. Here is an example.
My conclusion: this is a book that will inspire and empower you to find joy in motherhood. It will also equip you with wisdom to help you discern what is really important, and to help you help your children thrive.
Moms, if you want to raise your children to lead purposeful and significant lives, do not miss out on this book. Order your copy now.
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