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The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  956 Ratings  ·  189 Reviews
Mothers are expected to do it all: raise superstar kids, look great, make good salaries, keep an immaculate house, be the perfect wife. In this rallying cry for change, Meg Meeker, M.D., uses her twenty-five years’ experience as a practicing pediatrician and counselor to show why mothers suffer from the rising pressure to excel and the toll it takes on their emotional, phy ...more
Paperback, 249 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Ballantine Books (first published February 21st 2011)
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Sep 11, 2011 Cathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is written by a pediatrician, but it's really about how we women can make our own lives better. The author has a warm, friendly voice and her writing includes many anecdotes to illustrate the topics of each of the 10 "Habits."

I think there was a lot of good advice in this book, but I admit that some chapters held my attention more than others. Some of the chapters felt like she was talking directly to me, but others sections felt curiously flat. I guess that it's normal for a self-help
Mary Scott
I do not usually read self-help books, so perhaps I'm just not the intended audience for this sort of book. Also, most of the advice is geared towards working mothers.

I was intrigued when in the introduction I read "the very best we can do at any moment is to realize that, as moms, we are needed now and if we are meant to use other gifts to help others we will be afforded the opportunity when the time comes." The resonated with me as a full-time mother until I realized that the author (has 4 gro
Overall, this is a relatively helpful advice book, written in an engaging conversational style. However, I think the author dropped the ball in a few places, specifically in regard to faith (chapter 3) and our reasons, as mothers, for having children (purely selfish motives). She also makes, in my opinion, too many blanket-statements that stem from her own life and experiences. There are many gems in this book, but unfortunately one has to wade through not a few vague explanations that try - but ...more
May 30, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excerpt of my review, the whole of which can be found at

At first glance, this book seems a lot like the advice you might get in parenting magazines or the What To Expect books. Most of the books and articles I’ve read like this are long on general platitudes and short on practical advice.

Dr. Meeker’s book offers more than platitudes and laundry detergent recipes. She suggests some new attitudes and ways to prioritize that don’t add to my to-do
Apr 01, 2011 Amberli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. The author does such a good job laying out realistic and helpful principles to help mothers be happier in a non-condescending way. the suggestions she makes aren't the generic "take care of yourself" type suggestions often found in these kinds of books. she's down to earth and easy to relate to. she says it as it is and doesn't try to fluff up how tiring and sometimes discouraging mothering can be but also really emphasizes the positives as well. she speaks from experie ...more
Jan 15, 2012 Kelley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite self-help book for mothers by far. I think her suggestions are much more profound and deep than the typical "wear make-up" and "do something for you" suggestions from other authors. Her 10 habits are more about finding personal satisfaction IN motherhood, not IN SPITE of motherhood. MUCH less superficial and more spiritual, emotional, and mental. I must say, however, that although I agreed with each of her 10 habits and liked what she had to say, it started to feel long-winded by the ...more
Jul 05, 2011 Jo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think Dr. Meeker has hit the nail on the head approaching her audience right where they are. This generation is very involved with self and she has done a good job focussing on just that angle. I think her number 7(Give and Get Love in Healthy Ways) should be number 1. One thing that is missing is any reflection on the skills or attitudes that young mothers might be able to pick up from their moms. Dr. Meeker's dedication of this book is to her mom but there is no more attention given to that ...more
Josh Steimle
Maybe the problem is that I'm a dad, not a mom. I found this book to lack structure and organization, and to merely be full of feel-good stories from the author's personal life. 3 hours into it I still had no idea what the 10 habits were. I have never pretended to understand women, but this has made me feel as though perhaps I REALLY don't understand women, unless women are also finding problems with this book. Not that the book is bad, per se, it just didn't deliver for me what I thought it wou ...more
Laura Smith
This book should have been called How to Be a Normal Human Being, but I guess this doctor thought she could sell more copies by adding the words Happy and Mother instead. It was boring, glazed and the reader of the audiobook was god-awful. What really annoyed me the most was that the author talked multiple times about how these habits would help get you through the "tough times" like when your husband cheats on you. Wait, what?
Sep 19, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed a lot of the personal stories in this book and it made me think about things, so I might have given it a little higher rating than it deserves. This book should have been about half the length that it was. A few of the chapters just felt flat and I found myself skimming through them, but some of the others really spoke to me and made me think. It is a great reminder of what is important.
Jun 24, 2011 veganjilly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I liked this book overall. There were a lot of valuable tidbits of advice in here, and though it is written from a very conventional standpoint, I still found a lot of great ideas and lessons that I could identify with. As with all books of this nature, we take what we can use and leave the rest!
Jan 07, 2016 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was informative and well written. I enjoyed it, especially her analogy on bringing other mothers meals. It definitely comes from a faith based perspective but it isn't denominational
Skimmed through it. A couple "ah-hah" moments, but overall nothing special.
Jun 29, 2015 Rhomanji rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just can't finish this. Made it maybe 10-15% of the way in. Awful book.
Mar 16, 2011 Jen rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-at-library
I may have gotten more out of this book had I read it when I first became a mother, but at this point in my life, my reaction to this book was, "Thank you, Captain, Obvious."
Couldn't get through it. The 10 habits she has are great and pointiant, but no new ideas for an LDS mother.
Karen Halterman
Aug 14, 2013 Karen Halterman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is SO GREAT for all mothers to read. Especially stay-at-home moms!
Feb 25, 2017 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I skipped large chunks because the anecdotes got a little old. There were a few ideas that resonated with me, but I wouldn't recommend reading the entire book. There is a tool kit at the end of the books that summarizes the ideas and activities that Meeker recommends. I wish I would have seen that first because I would have just read through that.
Mar 10, 2017 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finding faith, find a friend, get rid of comparing habit, spend time on yourself.
Mar 10, 2017 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: counseling-books
I enjoyed this book more than I thought it would. Practical suggestions, and stories that compliment each. Very well written
Mar 07, 2017 Jamie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were a few gems I took away from this book. Some of the habits came across as sugar coated and I didn't find relatable to me as a mother. Sometimes, actually pretty darn often being a mother is just hard and hearing "have a good attitude and hope" is so unhelpful in these situations.
Apr 19, 2012 Susanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meeker, a physician, doesn’t have the authority to write about theology; rather than strengthening her arguments, it weakens them. On the other hand her 10 Habits make common sense, regardless of which religion the reader belongs to. I've summarized each chapter below:

1. Know Your Value: the work you do has immeasurable value, weather you or your children realize it now.
2. Make Time to Maintain Friendships: although they take maintenance, inner-circle friends can last a lifetime. Your friends wi
I really wish this book was more engaging than it is. I've had it in the house for over a month and have had a hard time staying with it. It has echoes of The Happiness Project but is duller. I don't feel like I'm the target audience for this book, but, as a mother, I suppose I am? It's just piles of blather and non-sequitur anecdotes, accompanied by a lot of first-person extrapolation.

Chapter 1: Understand your value as a mother-- You are important, and you should have a realistic view of yours
Feb 24, 2017 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I would definitely recommend it.
Juliana Haught
Jun 23, 2011 Juliana Haught rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A lot of what is in this book is the sort of thing I think women in general and moms already tell themselves, or have learned in other places, but I liked the simplicity of this book and how everything is pulled together in a clear format. My only discomfort with the book is in the "faith" chapter, where she makes a remark about the Muslim faith being so different Christianity - she doesn't elaborate what she means by that, and I suspect she doesn't know much about any faith outside of her exper ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 11, 2012 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first glance it can be tempting to dismiss this book, as it looks like a 10-step program written by a super-woman who is a pediatrician with four kids and best-selling author of three books. Very much to her credit, Dr. Meeker avoids condescension or a plan for accomplishment. What she is aiming for is less harried, intentional mothering and living, thereby valuing the state of motherhood in itself. She communicates in a kind, nonjudgmental, noncompetitive manner.

All that being said, this boo
Nov 16, 2012 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When my husband saw me reading this book he asked me if reading this type of book actually made me feel worse. It's a great question because it could be that way with "self-help" books, you start to feel guilty you aren't doing something the book suggests. Meeker brought up great points without giving a ton of homework. Most of the habits she suggests have to do with changing our thinking, like having hope and especially not competing (consciously and subconsciously) with other mothers. I suspec ...more
Aug 16, 2014 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I appreciated the 10 habits but by about the fourth habit, I was pretty bored with the identical format of each habit chapter. I had a hard time forcing myself to read all of each chapter. I'm not sure what the solution to that would have been but it did dull my appreciation of the otherwise solid content.

Solid, that it, except for her seeming double standard on body image/perception issues. She quite rightly encourages women to have a gracious and realistic attitudes, towards themselves and the
Best thing I've read on mothering. This book doesn't advocate one style of parenting. It doesn't feed on parental fear. It doesn't tell you that you can be a perfect mother. It does not encourage you to judge your success as a mother on the academic or athletic success of your children. It does not tell you how to discipline your children, or that if you don't do it her way your kids will will be losers and it will be all your fault. It also isn't a super sugary lovey dovey motherhood is always ...more
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Full name: Margaret J. Meeker.
More about Meg Meeker...

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“The tricky part about discovering our giftedness is that it may be in an area that feels unexpected.” 4 likes
“Friends who love us know that motherhood is about transitioning--and adjusting, constantly, to those changes. We must become masters of change because that is what life demands of us.” 3 likes
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