To a lot of people, especially women, getting married and raising a family is an important life goal. However, after that goal is achieved, life isn’t as simple as a fairy tale, where the couple lives happily ever after. Instead, a mom always needs to have skills in different areas to meet the demands of life. To moms like us, we long to know how to live.
To some people, knowing how to live means to live fashionably and with personal taste. However, I can’t agree more with what Dr. Agnes Ip said — people who truly know how to live see the importance of relationships. Dr. Ip pointed out that to be a mom who knows how to live, one must pay attention to the following four aspects:
1. Living with a Positive Attitude
There is no perfect life nor perfect married family, but one needs to learn to live with a positive attitude; enjoy every moment in the growing process of the family, treasure every family activity, laugh more, and give out positive vibes.
Laughter is contagious and can light up our life. Just like my mom, I like to laugh. However, no matter in China or here in the States, I have come across some Asian kids who were amazed and said, “Oh, this teacher or this lady knows how to laugh.” It made me wonder whether the people around them never laughed, or if Chinese elders are culturally more serious. Anyway, laughing more can not only light up your heart, but also bring more warmth to the people around you.
2. Knowing Yourself and Being a Good Friend to Yourself
Moms sacrifice and pour out all their energy for their children and family members, but they shouldn’t overdo it. Moms should learn to value themselves, express their needs, and be a good friend to themselves.
I like the point that moms should be a good friend to themselves. Moms are often busy on the outside, but inside, they are lonely. It is impractical to fully rely on your spouse or friends to fill that void for you. When moms can enjoy time for themselves, communicate with their inner selves, pick up a hobby, and appreciate their strength and talent, life will be easier. The satisfaction and joy in you can influence your children too.
3. Knowing Your Spouse and Keeping the Spark Alive in Your Relationship
When you are preoccupied with taking care of the children, don’t neglect the needs of your spouse— be intentional to make time for each other. A couple should maintain a positive, direct communication to avoid mistrust and be creative in satisfying and cheering each other up.
It isn’t easy to balance the needs of your children and your spouse with the time you have. I feel like I am not doing very well in this area, but when I reflect on my relationship with my husband, here is what I think I do right— I keep my husband company, make time for only the two of us, respect his interests, give him time to do what he enjoys, and try to be close to and love his side of the family.
4. Living a God-centered Life and Keep Trusting
Children are independent entities. There are lots of things outside the control of parents, so it’s important to trust in the Lord and not to worry. Dr. Ip shared a personal experience that happened recently, where she wanted her daughter to move back from the East Coast, but her daughter didn’t want to. She kept praying, and one day, her daughter had a dream which made her want to stay closer to her family, so she moved back on her own.
Matthew 6:27 says, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Every family is unique and has its own problems. Though one can’t help worrying, it’s not helpful. God is our Rock; a person who knows how to trust God knows how to truly live.
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