Feeling underappreciated goes with the territory of parenting. As a mom, how many times have you wished for more acknowledgement for all you do—from your children, your mate or society? And how many times have you been disappointed when you didn’t see or feel that acknowledgement and encouragement coming back to you?

It might be a very long time until your daughter looks at you and says, “You know what? You’re a really good mom.” Or even until she offers a simple “thank you.” If you are waiting for that moment of acknowledgement, you are not alone. It’s understandable to wish for more acknowledgement but it’s not always realistic to get it.

I believe what’s more important is the fact that moms forget—or don’t give themselves permission—to appreciate themselves. In this rapidly changing world, more is demanded and expected of mothers than any other time in history. Making it even more difficult is that fact that for many of us, our children are less connected to us than ever—they’re more connected to their mobile devices. But the expectations on us remain. As moms, we often internalize these demands and become very hard on ourselves as a result. Not only do we feel we can’t keep up; we feel as though we don’t measure up as parents. We feel that we simply aren’t enough.

Self-Acknowledgement: The Root of Empowerment for Parents

As Mother’s Day approaches, it’s a good time to stop for a few minutes to acknowledge and honor all that you do as a parent and for your family. Rather than waiting for an expression of gratitude that may never come, express your own. I believe this knowledge and appreciation of “self” is one of the most important sources of empowerment for parents. When you can stand on your own as a fully confident and calm self, you can be a leader to your children. And, despite what they might tell you, that’s what they really need and want you to be.

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Words of Calm, Encouragement and Empowerment to Keep, Share and Pin

You feel most effective when you are parenting from your best thinking rather than from your anxieties. It can be hard to do that in the moment. When you’re stressed and managing six different priorities with three sassy-to-defiant children, it’s hard to find that source of calm self-acknowledgement that reaffirms your value and all that you do right each and every day.

That’s where mantras come in handy. Mantras are little helpful sayings or affirming thoughts that we can pull out of our back pockets to remind us of our parenting guidelines when our emotional state overrides our best thinking.

I created these Mantras for Moms for you on this Mother’s Day, with a little design help from the EP Staff. You can use them as wallpaper for your cell phone or tablet, or as motivational graphics to put on your mirror or bulletin board. You can also use them to start an empowerment board on Pinterest (which is something I highly recommend. It can be your go-to place for encouragement).

Click here for More EP Mantras for Moms

Who knows what Mother’s Day will bring? Maybe you’ll get flowers and a card or a nice meal from your kids. Or maybe you’ll find yourself in a squabble with your daughter or getting another round of the silent treatment that leaves you feeling sad and wanting more from your relationship.

It is my hope that if you’re not “feeling the love” on this day or any other day, that you will find empowerment here. That you will allow yourself the time and space to reflect on these mantras when you need them and just pause for a bit to honor the hundreds of things you do each day to raise a child and a family—to help create productive, independent young people. The acknowledgement you give yourself is the most important of all. All of us at EP are here to support you in that. Today and every day.

Related Content:
Challenging Parenting Issues: 5 of the Hardest Things Parents Face
Gut Check: Shame and Anger: The Emotional Handcuffs of Parenting


For more than 25 years, Debbie has offered compassionate and effective therapy and coaching, helping individuals, couples and parents to heal themselves and their relationships. Debbie is the creator of the Calm Parent AM & PM™ program and is also the author of numerous books for young people on interpersonal relations.

Comments (8)
  • lovingmomof4
    Wow. Thanks for the mantras. I have a 4 year old son, a 20 month old who is feisty and still wants to be the baby and 5 month old twins. I get so stressed out and overwhelmed I can't control my anger some days and I yell at myMore children for the smallest things some days. I instantly regret it and I always vow to myself I'll do better, but sometimes I'll scream again 2 minutes later. It's so hard being pulled in 4 different directions at all times and trying to keep my household somewhat put together. I always feel terrible about myself because I want to be more in control of my frustrations but it's hard. I always feel like I'm letting them down when I'm overwhelmed. Those little sayings suit my situation perfectly.
  • arlene
    thankyou for your free support for parents.  Emotions can really escalate with our kids for some reason, and you are so right about the kid knowing what your weak spot is to gain control of the situation.  Walking away can help but what if you the mom, struggle with OCDMore effects, and thoughts just keep swirling around you and torment you?  Have always felt less of a mom because of it. ( my kids are 21 and 18!!)
    • DeniseR_ParentalSupport


      For most of us, there are times when we don’t respond as well as we

      would like or when things don’t work out as we expect. We all make mistakes and

      many of us have felt http://www.empoweringparents.com/blog/effective-parenting/chasing-the-myth/ as a parent. The most any of us can do is to aim to be a : one who provides for her children and tries her best to keep

      them safe. One who raises her kids the best she can, even if she makes mistakes

      along the way. I have no doubt you are doing the best you can with the tools

      you have and the fact that you are here with us on Empowering Parents, reaching

      out for help, shows how committed you are to being the best parent you can be.

      The mantras that Debbie shares in the above article can be really helpful for

      the situation you describe. When you are disengaging and walking away from a

      power struggle or argument, use one (or several) of these mantras to keep

      yourself calm while you take space and take care of yourself. I’m glad you took

      the time to write in and share your story. I hope you will continue to check in

      to let us know how things are going for you and your family. Take care.

      • arlene

        DeniseR_ParentalSupport thankyou for your kind words of support. It means so much.   It has been wonderful to feel empowered..knowing you understand parenting yourself.

        Thanks again!- arlene

  • Mom in MN
    How does a mom of two teenage boys 15 and 17 deal with the older boy's anger toward his mom ( me) due to the divorce.. His father was a cheating narcissist ) from years of counseling determined) now oldest boy hates mom.. Loves his dad and new girlfriend whoMore have all the fancy things ( house cars etc) mom lives in the country .. I'm an RN makes decent money.. Mom can do no right , he doesn't like my house , won't invite me to parent nites , leaving for the army right after graduation.. We had an ok relationship for a bit .. When he was mad at his dad he would come to me but just for a short period of time .. Younger boy lived with mom for first three years after divorce now living with dad.. I'm hurt and sad hate to see him leave for the army bitter .. But he won't tell me what's bothering him.. I've tried talking to him ..he just says "IDC ( I don't care) .. It doesn't matter" .. Feeling so sad and don't want younger son to turn out the same way that he is at dad's now .. He moved to dads cause was getting in trouble .. Dad is a deputy sheriff ..
    • DeniseR_ParentalSupport

      Mom in MN

      It can be so painful when the child you have loved and taken

      care of for so long becomes angry and bitter towards you. The situation you

      describe is, unfortunately, not an uncommon one in two household families.

      Sometimes kids feel like they have to choose sides and, sometimes, it’s the

      parent with the fewest rules or who is able to buy the most that ends up

      “winning.” Truthfully, no one really wins in these situations and the trauma

      can have lasting effects on everyone involved. At this point, it’s probably

      going to be most beneficial to focus on you and what you need to do in order to

      heal and move forward. After all, you’re not going to be able to exert much

      control over the choices your son makes while living with his dad. What you can

      control is how you respond to those choices. It may be beneficial to find a

      support group in your area for divorced and/or estranged parents. Having

      someone to talk to, who understands the pain you are experiencing, can be

      worthwhile. The 211 Helpline would be able to give you information on support

      groups and other resources in your area. You can reach the Helpline at

      1-800-273-6222. You can also find them online at http://www.211.org/.

      Keep in mind, the relationship you have with your son now doesn’t necessarily

      indicate what your relationship will be like in the future.  You can keep

      the lines of communication open by texting, calling, or e-mailing your sons.

      For more information on what other steps you can take, you may find this

      article helpful: Estranged from Your Adult Child? 5 Things You Can Do. Good luck to you and your

      family as you move forward from this painful situation. I hope you will

      continue to check back to let us know how things are going for you. Take care.

    • Mom RN
      Mom in MN  Hi Mom in MN...I'm also a Mom RN with a son who worships his father, and treats me like dirt. I think it must be something in the male gene. I also think they don't understand the complexity of marriage and relationships. Can you write your olderMore son a long letter about your feelings that he can read on his time? I'm sure he knows how much you love him, but he's in the age where he's tough stuff and easily persuaded by fancy things.  I think the most important thing is to keep your relationship with them going. Even if it's thru text or email. Hang in there. I'll keep you in my prayers.
      • Mom in MN
        Thank you .. Yes I plan on writing a letter again and will keep texting and emailing when he leaves for the army .. Hopefully he will mature in the Army.. And I will always leave my door open if he needs it ..Mn mom
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