Letters of Compassion: Appreciating Motherhood and Yourself 

{A month long series of personal stories and perspectives from moms}


Every year, as Mother’s Day draws closer, I tend to reflect on what has changed over the years in my journey as mother to two charismatic children.

Now that they are both in grade school and gaining independence, I find I have a bit more time for me. Sometimes this means working more, getting out for a mid-day walk, or just sitting with another cup of coffee while completely losing myself in nothing. Ya, that’s pretty much my bliss.

I learned after the birth of my son, Carter, that I had to find time for myself. My dear friend, a psychologist, firmly planted the seeds that grew into the vision of self-care. At first, I thought it meant time at the spa (getting a much needed pedicure), a date night, or doing. With all we DO, I began to realize that what my mind and body craved was simplicity. I wanted to find something that truly replenished me.

What if you did something for yourself to be a better version of you?

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the routine of life and lose sight of the moment you are living in. I’m totally guilty of this. 

Last night, I was cooking dinner, and I realized my children were happily playing outdoors. The house was quiet except for the fan above me as I sautéed vegetables. So, I stopped for just a moment and appreciated my hands, the abundance of fresh food, and a beautiful kitchen to prepare food that nurtures my family.

Observing areas in my life where I can more deeply connect makes for vibrancy in all I do. I want to find joy in the everyday, whether that is cooking, cleaning, driving the kids to school, or reading to them each night before bed. Appreciating all these things allows me to do and be better.

As I write this, I realize you may be shaking your head or rolling your eyes, because who actually has time to focus on any of this? Trust me, I struggle to find appreciation in each day, except for when it’s obvious. Like the words, “You’re the best mommy ever!” or “Wow, this dinner is SO good! Mom, I want you to add this to our foods we like to eat.” Sure, those encouraging sentiments create heart-bursting love and pride; but what about the times your overwhelmed with frustration, your to-do list is making you dizzy and you don’t want to think about doing another stupid load of laundry?

Your ability to parent and partner is based on keeping your emotional well full. You may believe that you need to do it all, to be everyone and everything in all aspects of your personhood, but you are just that; a person. 

Can we make time to appreciate ourselves? It has to be a priority and as mothers, we often let this slip. 

Once a year, I prioritize family photos. This is my time to celebrate not only motherhood, but myself. I get to see myself in pictures, with my kids, my husband and on my own. I’ve made this apriority because I need it and so does my family.

Years from now, we will look back, just as I do from photos taken 10 years ago and wonder at the changes we have all gone through. The stories that are told and remembered evoke strong emotions. You know how it feels to look at those squishy babies and tell your child how much you loved them, how they first learned to sit, to hold your hand, to walk and tell you the love they had for you without words. 


This is why I document parenthood. It’s a fickle and trying life we lead, but it is so rewarding. 

I believe you should celebrate the everyday: the trip to the grocery store where your child is reaching for everything on the shelf or asking what types of meat are in the butcher section (yes, I just heard this today), the hour spent looking at toys at Target because you needed to get out of the house, sitting on the floor of your local library pouring over books, the neighborhood walk that leads to 1000 questions about dirt, flowers, trees and potholes. Maybe it’s an afternoon cooking and wondering why you let your 5 year old pour all those spices, oils and freshly squeezed lemon juice into something that appears to be a salad dressing. 

When you realize the importance of these moments and take the opportunity to document them, you are gifting yourself emotional fulfillment in the present and for the future. 

Here's to you and all the other women you know and cherish as this month blossoms; bringing new life and stories into the now.

With gratefulness,