12 Gifts From Mom to Mother Yourself


This past weekend was an exceptional one as I traveled to Kansas City to celebrate impending motherhood for my oldest niece.

Her baby shower helped diminish the sadness of four Mother’s Days without my own mother.  While Mom’s spirit is with us as we wait for this precious new life, it’s natural to mourn the passing of our moms who have closed the circle of life.

The best traits of motherhood

Much has been written in the last few days honoring mothers and their contributions to our lives.  I believe we can keep those sentiments alive and well throughout the year by holding them close to our hearts.

It begins with acknowledging that each of us–guys and gals–hold within us the best characteristics of motherhood.  These are traits we can use to mother ourselves.

Think back to when you were a kid.  Did your mother praise you, encourage you and tell you that you could be or do anything you wanted?  Mine did.

My mom stood right behind my decision to go to journalism school and when I graduated on her 45th birthday (The anniversary of that momentous event is actually in two days, on the 14th.  I’ve been out of school for 31 years and Mom would have been 76.).

She told me I’d given her the best birthday present ever.

In her later years, especially after I went to work for a national non-profit, Mom took great pride in telling people I flew all over the country to help keep kids off drugs.

Speaking “Mom-isms” to yourself

The idea came to me over the weekend that I can use those same mothering gifts with myself.  Why not?

When I’m quiet and concentrate, I can nearly hear the sound of my mother’s voice giving me advice or talking me through a challenge.  Why not channel her voice and make it my own, say the things to myself that she would say to me?

Here are the 12 Mom-isms that best summarize my mother’s advice to me:

Encourage yourself to always give your best and be your best.

Passion and creativity will take you a long way in life.

Accept yourself just as you are today.

Some days you have to light your own fire under your dreams and ideas because no one else is lighting it for you. And that’s just the way it is.

You give birth to a new you every day.  Take care of you in every possible way.

Swaddle yourself with loving thoughts and nurturing ways.

Never judge yourself too harshly and forgive unceasingly.

Add zest to your life with laughter and playful silliness.

Push and prod yourself, expect the best.

Love with abandon.

Open your arms wide to receive the gifts of each and every day.

Always know that you are blessed beyond belief.

I’ll cherish her words of hope and encouragement and love forever.  And I’ll honor her every day by keeping her words alive.

What words from your mother can you use to mother yourself today?  Please share below.

Photo of jeltovski

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  1. Hey, Beth!
    This is one sweet piece. I lost my mom several years ago, and she was my A#1 fan. Always so selfless – to a fault. Out of your 12 Mom-isms, my mom was most likely to say, “Open your arms wide to receive the gifts of each and every day.” She was like that. What better way to honor the positive feelings and thoughts of our moms than to incorporate them into our daily lives – self-generated. Mom-isms – a wonderful idea, and ty for bringing it our way. You’re an excellent writer, by the way…

    • Beth says:

      You’ve got me blushing, Bill. Thank you for the compliment. So glad your mom brought you into this world and was your A#1 fan. As a result, you’re a gift to all of us.

      Ever so grateful . . .

  2. Love this post, Beth! This one jumped out at me, “Some days you have to light your own fire under your dreams and ideas because no one else is lighting it for you. And that’s just the way it is.” Our moms are unfortunately not around forever to prod us onward. We do, at some point, have to use the gifts we’ve been give and do it ourselves. These are all beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Beth says:

      Poop! You’re reminding me that I have to do a lot of the hard work myself now that I’m a grown-up! At least I’m in the good company of my readers and my friends–thanks for being both, Cathy!

  3. Herby Bell says:


    Especially loving this post after your disclosure to me that our dear Moms were born on the same May 14 day…How many days did our Mom’s b’days land on Mothers Day?…

    Unreal to read your loving tribute with a cry and a shout out joy at each and every sentence’s end. Our Moms were two peas in a pod w/r to their generous and wise ways.

    Gotta say my ‘ol lady did lend this most appreciated dialectic to her son, “Herby, comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” Go Mama, Go Mom, Go Mama, Go Mom…

    The gift of birth, the gift of life and now these eternal treasures to pay forward.

    And another gift from your big, beautiful heart, Beth. Thank you!

    • Beth says:

      Love the incredibly wise gift from your mother, Herby, “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” Guess you and I make a living out of doing that now, don’t we? And what a pleasure it is, especially knowing we’re making both our May-birthday mamas proud.

      Since I happen to believe that Heaven is a place where “everybody knows your name” (like the Cheers bar!), our moms probably hang out occasionally and lovingly send zingers our way. I hope that makes you smile like it does me.

      Thank you for your own wisdom and all the golden nuggets you bestow on all of us. Truly blessed!

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