Dear Ashley,

The cat peed on the floor again. The dog has a vet appointment and the dog at the vet is VERY stressful. There are 3 conference calls on the calendar, all 3 I’m not prepared for. My recently retired mother has called me twice before 8:00am with thoughts. My child wants toast. Not that toast, the other toast. Not with butter. But she wants butter now. And the jelly is wrong so now there are tears.

I can feel the hotness under my collar. I’m going to snap. How can I NOT snap? I don’t want to yell. Breathe breathe. The cup I gave my child is the wrong one and more tears and there’s the end of my patience.

I want my well of patience to be deeper for all of the above. How?


Dear Sweet Mama,

First I want to express so much gratitude to you for reaching out and for expressing what is so real for so many moms. I love your humor as you share your morning and I also see and can physically feel the constriction underneath all of this doing. This morning is so relatable and SO hard.  A morning like this is exactly how I came to conscious parenting in the first place. I have been here too, telling myself to be calm and not knowing how to actually do it. It is not until we do this inner investigation inquiring where our reactions are coming inside us that we can truly embody that calm. We can tell ourselves to be calm and we can stuff down those feelings for only so long until there is a wish for different toast and then those feelings explode right out of us. This is so understandable.

I love your beautiful intention of being a well of patience. I love the reminders to yourself to breathe. I see you striving. I see you handling so much. I see how your child’s preferences make you think are not being good enough. Please stop and know in this moment that you are good enough. You are just right. Please stop and take a deep breath and acknowledge yourself for all that you are doing. You are stacked mama. And that not right toast that is without and with butter is the tipping point adding to a belief that is already there, the belief that you are not capable of doing all the things you think you SHOULD or must be capable of.

Can you hear that critical voice saying to you that you should be able to handle all of these things and more and still stay calm? Does this voice feel familiar to you? Whose voice does this sound like love? How old is this voice? Oh, it would be so much easier if our kids could just make things easier for us. We desperately need and want someone to make it easier for us for once in our lives. Of course we want this. We are stretched thin and exhausted and we don’t have as much help as we need. But… I know you know this, it is not our kid’s responsibility to make things easier on us. That is a whole lot of responsibility for a small child.

So what choice do we have but to make it easier on ourselves? There is no one else to do it.

Could you try this my love? Could you put your hand on your heart? Could you close your beautiful eyes? Can you say to yourself these words softly, lovingly? “Hi sweetie, I see how hard you are trying. I see how much you want to please and get it right for everyone around you. Wow, I see how hard all of this is. This is really hard. I’m not going to make it harder on you anymore. I’m with you. It’s ok if you don’t pick the right cup. You can’t actually pick the right cup.. I love you no matter what cup you pick.  I love you even if you are not prepared for those calls. I’m learning a new voice, a kinder voice towards you. I may not always get it right but I am going to love you anyway.

Sit with this mama. You are on your way to living out that intention of yours.