Letter to Moms on Mother's Day

Dear fellow mom (or mum!),

It’s Mother’s Day and you’re supposed to be happy. It’s the day to experience your fulfillment at being a mom—to tap into the big picture, storytelling part of your brain and remember: you have this beautiful child/these beautiful children. You’re so lucky they’re here. It’s a deeper kind of fulfillment. 

Yet on this day you may be feeling things other than happiness. 

You may be tired, irritated, worried about one of the vast array of things that can (and do) go wrong. You may be downright exhausted and on the verge of burnout. Or you may simply have a lingering feeling of agitation, like “I should feel totally, 100% happy because everything’s going great, but there’s still restlessness in my heart.” Even if all the circumstances are going great, it can be hard to feel contentment. 

There are many things that can throw us off on Mother’s Day (or any other day), and they all have two aspects to them: the outside circumstances (the whining, the schedule, the mess, etc.) and your own inside circumstances. There are things we can do about the outside circumstances and they can help a lot, like simplifying our environment, schedules, and getting the confidence of a proven system to help with our parenting (hello, Mindful Parenting!)...but none of that will stick without looking at our inside circumstances. 

Dear mom: what is the state of your heart and your mind? Have you given them much attention lately?


It’s possible that your child(ren) have been getting all of your attention. They may be struggling with special needs, attention issues, medical challenges, anxieties, and more. So you put all of your own needs aside (as society has implied you should do) to focus on your child. You love them wholeheartedly and want to do everything you can to help them. In the meantime, you may not be getting enough sleep, enough exercise, time with supportive family or friends, or bits of time to connect with your heart. 

You may have inadvertently fallen into the trap of the self-sacrificing mom: feeling like you should say “yes” to every volunteering request; like you can’t leave your child for an evening or weekend because they’ll miss you; like you can’t create boundaries around bits of your time every day because the family will fall apart without you. 

You add more classes and extracurricular activities into your child’s schedule because everyone else is doing it (and you don't want your child to be left out). You say yes to another event because you can push through and do one more thing, so perhaps you should. 

Throughout all of this hustle, you may start to realize that you’re barking orders at your child(ren) to get them to the next place. Your brain is mostly focused on the schedule or your worries. If you do get a moment of quiet, you feel agitated. You can’t really enjoy it because you’ve trained your bodymind to be constantly doing. 

Most people never reflect on this state—it’s just the normal state of affairs, and you don’t have time for reflection anyway. 

But if you’re reading this, it’s possible that you’re not satisfied with the overwhelm, the busyness, or that unsettled feeling when you do finally stop. 

Or you might realize how it’s affecting your kids—that they are learning from your modeling, that you are often reactive, or that you can’t really be present for them. 

I’ve found myself in this state, and as a highly-sensitive person, I can tell you, I don’t like it and I don’t like how I acted with my children in this state. I was reactive, I was not responsive. I pushed them around from place to place. I constantly felt irritable. In turn, like mirrors, my kids were also reactive: fussy, whiney, and resistant to all of my (unskillful) messages.


Moving out of this state into a peaceful state (more of the time) was a giant driving force of my work. I wanted to feel some ease and calm—and be more present for my children. I turned back to the practice of mindfulness, both for myself and for my children. 

Mindfulness is a kind of energy that we generate when we bring our mind back to our body and get in touch with what is going on in the present moment, within us and around us. We become aware of our breathing and come home to our body, fully present for ourselves and whatever we are doing.

The energy of mindfulness helps us slow down and touch life deeply, whether we’re spending time with our kids, doing chores, or driving the car. We can be mindful while speaking, listening, working, playing and cooking. It helps us to be grounded, open, and present with our children, which is truly what they need more than any activity. It helps us to model healthy emotional regulation, and mindfulness helps us to be able to choose our responses—moving out of autopilot mode to be less reactive.  

Mindfulness is not hard work. It can be very pleasant and relaxing, and we don’t need extra time to do it. We can be creative in finding ways to practice mindfulness, and I know from personal experience and from helping hundreds of families with this, how it can lead to more peace and happiness in everyday life.

If this is resonating with you, I ask you: what do you want? What kind of mom do you want to be? What do you want your life as a mom to feel like? 

You don’t have to choose the status quo of overwhelm. Yes, life will be constantly throwing us curveballs; change is inevitable. But when you focus on what is actually in our locus of control: your own heart & mind, you can become the center of peace in the storm. You can learn and practice to cultivate the energy of the calm, grounded mountain for your family. You can be authentically yourself: just steadier.


Dear mom, you may say, “yes!” to this and then proceed to go the hard road of trying to do this all by yourself with zero guidance or accountability. This is the culture of maternal self-sacrifice speaking! It leads us not to get the help we need and deserve. It’s the unconscious thought that says that “this isn’t important” (even though it could be the most important thing for you and your family), “that this isn’t worth investing even the price of a book in” (you can get it from the library), that your calm and peace is not worthy. I invite you to challenge this. I know from experience that when you get guidance, support, accountability, and community, everything changes. 

I created the Mindful Parenting course and for 7 years, Mindful Parenting has been helping hundreds of families around the world reduce parents’ reactivity and yelling, increase children's cooperation, increase parents’ levels of self-compassion, and so much more. 

Mindful Parenting is a community of hundreds of parents all over the world just like you...parents of teens and parents of babies. Moms of ADHD kids. Single moms. Moms who were totally new to mindfulness and peaceful parenting, and parents who thought they didn't have much to learn. They're parents who are done with the confusion and frustration. Parents who refuse to pass on the harmful generational patterns of the past. Moms who are committed to creating connected, cooperative relationships without using threats and punishments.

If this appeals to you, I’m letting you know that you are worthy of help. You and your family deserve peace. If you’d like to know more about Mindful Parenting, please click here.

It’s time for us to refuse to buy into the toxic culture of self-sacrifice. It’s time to buck the trend and instead build a culture of peace, ease, and groundedness. It’s time to remember that what kids really need is a.) space and time to be a kid, and b.) a calm, confident parent who feels comfortable in her own skin; who knows her worthiness.

Happy Mother’s day, fellow mom (mum!) I honor your path and your journey. It’s far from easy, I know (no matter what your circumstances), and I wish you peace and ease as you travel.