Pediatrician and mother Meeker (Boys Should Be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons, 2008, etc.) addresses the stress of modern motherhood.
Instead of recognizing that their supreme value lies in simply being good mothers and fulfilling their children’s needs, women are oppressed by unreasonable social expectations that they satisfy high performance standards for their roles as caregivers, breadwinners and companions. Meeker’s values are based on her Christian faith, and the book is organized around 10 habits that can help shield mothers from the stress of contemporary parenthood. These include understanding one's value as a mother, cherishing friendship, having faith, saying no to competition with other parents, not over-valuing money to the detriment of family life, practicing a simplified lifestyle, setting aside personal time, letting go of fears and making the decision to be hopeful even when we cannot control events. The author effectively uses anecdotes to illustrate and elaborate her points. Some are told humorously, such as her account of initial shock at her mother-in-law's Christmas gift of two cemetery plots next to her own. Others are painful—e.g., one mother's struggle with her daughter's life-threatening anorexia; another’s need to confront her son's rebellious behavior and overcome her own fears of rejection.A compassionate discussion of the joys of parenthood and the “gritty” nature of love, which calls upon parents to protect and guide their children while recognizing that ultimately it is they who must chart their own paths.