News Detail

Liliana Lengua talks about self-compassion for Mother’s Day, in this UWNews article

For Mother’s Day, the gift of compassion: UW psychology professor on celebrating parenthood during a pandemic

Kim Eckart

Mother’s Day is often associated with iconic (if idealistic) images: fancy restaurant buffets, breakfast in bed, hand-drawn cards and colorful bouquets.

Not on this list, of course, is the social isolation of a pandemic, which can make Sunday’s annual celebration of Mom — in person, on the phone or over video chat — feel a little less…celebratory.

Schools are closed across the country. Millions of people live under stay-at-home orders. Moms everywhere are playing the role of teacher, manager, entertainer and loving parent, on top of any other job they may be doing from home or outside of it.

So what does it feel like to be a mother on this Mother’s Day? And how can we make the day seem special when life feels so uncertain and stressful?

University of Washington psychology professor Liliana Lengua offers some perspective.

“Everyone, parents and children, is experiencing sadness and grief over lost experiences, lifestyles, activities and social interactions,” said Lengua, who specializes in mindful parenting education as director of the UW Center for Child and Family Well-Being. “Mothers (and parents) can be kind to themselves, give themselves a pat on the back for all that they are doing and use Mother’s Day to celebrate that we’ve made it this far. Sincerely, be proud of everything you’ve accomplished, even the little things, because these are challenging times.”

Read the entire article here.