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An open letter to my mom.

KateNorthrupMomBabyPhotoI was inspired to write this by Nisha Moodley and Linda Siversten who both posted beautiful tributes  to their mothers and to Mother’s Day at large this week.

(That’s my mom and me on the left.)

My mom recently told me about working with her lawyer regarding a course she was teaching called Lightening the Mother Load: Healing Strategies for Daughters. He was trying to grasp what it was about and she started with:

“Well, think about your wife and her mother”

He stopped her right there with: “Say no more!”

The mother-daughter relationship is so ripe with opportunity for loving the gifts of the feminine unabashedly, for honoring the Great Mother and Mother Earth, and for the celebration of being a woman.

Is it a complicated relationship? Ummm, yeah.

Is it hard? Yep, a lot of the time it is.

Does it have the potential to be one of the most healing relationships in your life? You betcha.

You know what they say:

If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother.

The relationships or situations in our lives that are the most challenging are often the most fertile with opportunities for big love.

Our moms wouldn’t drive us so bonkers if we didn’t love them so fiercely. You were formed in your mother’s body. There’s no closer relationship on earth. You are, quite literally, her.

There are a lot of things that are easy to be grateful for about my mom (like how she always told Annie and I we could trust how we felt no matter what. This is the single biggest contributing factor to my being a sane, happy adult.) I’ve written her a private letter of gratitude that I’m giving her today that focuses on all the obviously amazing ways that she rocks as a mom.

But what about the gifts we’ve been given by our mother’s that, when we were given them, weren’t so obviously fabulous?

What if this Mother’s Day (that’s today) you decided to love your mom with vigor, unabashedly, as a way of not only celebrating her, but also as a way of shining some love on the parts of you that you have previously found unlovable?

I’ll start. Here’s a public letter to my mom to thank her for all the things she is or that I am that at some point in my life I have had a hard time loving.

It is not until we learn to love the hard to love parts that we really get what true love is.


KateNorthrupHobbitFeetThank you for the Hobbit Feet. I posted a picture of mine on Instagram yesterday and it sparked the most adorable conversation with someone else who’s whole family has them too. Even though I was embarrassed to wear flip flops as a teenager because I didn’t want people to see them, I get it now how awesome it is to be grounded like us. Thank you for that tap-root to Mother Earth. Thank you for my first chakra the size of Texas. Thank you for my wide, grounded, very much on the earth feet.

Thank you for laughing as loud as you want, no matter where you are or who is trying to shush you. I used to be mortified at the theater when the people in the row in front would turn around and glare at you to try and quiet you down. But now when I hear that same enthusiastic laugh come out of my mouth and people give me funny looks, I get it. I’m so grateful you never quieted down. Neither will I.

Thank you for not being like the other mothers. I so desperately wanted for us to be normal when I was a kid. And the truth is, it just wasn’t going to happen. Thank you for hanging out on the fringe, for doing ceremonies around the lunar calendar, for suggesting Imprint Removals and Divine Love Healings to clear up physical symptoms, and for believing in angels. Thank you for not wearing the matching Laura Ashley dresses with me and Annie even though we really wanted you too. Thank you for not caring what other people think. Thank you for being wacky and wonderful always.

Thank you for sticking up for me. I wanted to climb under a table and die when I found out you marched into my first grade class to set the teacher straight about telling the class we could only go to the bathroom at certain, pre-approved times. But it also engrained in me that I had a woman who would be there for me (and my bladder’s needs) no matter what. I knew I was safe. Thank you for letting me quit Junior Great Books. Thank you for letting me quit soccer and swimming and piano. Thank you for not letting anyone get in the way of me trusting myself and my body. 


Thank you for the very big shoes you’ve given Annie and me to fill. There are some days when I think it would beeasier if I didn’t have such a lofty legacy. Then I would be more comfortable with mediocrity. And life would be easier in certain ways, but oh so boring in others. Thank you for playing full out, saying things that others are too afraid to, and for being a pioneer. Thank you for setting the bar high in your career, and more importantly, in your life. I’ve seen you give up good for great many times. I shall continue to go for great in your honor (and in mine.)

You have been, and continue to be, the most perfect mother for me. Thank you for being all of you and for letting me be all of me.



It is not until we learn to love the hard to love parts that we really get what true love is. (Tweet it.)

What have you inherited from your mom that you used to not be happy about? How has it been a gift in the end?



  • Charity

    Beautiful! God bless you and your mom! I love it and forwarded to my own mom and sister! Thank you:)

  • I have hobbit feet! I thought I was the only one. Besides my mother and sister. Anyway, that was beautiful and funny. You’ve inspired me to write version for my mom!

  • Love love this, Kate. In the name of mother-healing(for us all) I will share:

    My Mom is pretty fierce-like ex-marine fierce. Total Leo fire. I used to be mortified when she would tell it like it was or express her boundaries in a firm way.

    Now I am so grateful because I have Zero problem standing my ground or speaking my mind. So much so, I don’t even have to be ‘fierce’ about it, it just clear. This is me, no apologies.

    This has been a huge gift in my life and work though I don’t think I ever connected the dots.

    Thanks for posing such a beautiful question. Calling my mom now!!

    much love,

  • Caroline

    Really really lovely..thank you

  • Kate! OMG… what a great letter to your mom. It meant so much to me to see that my own mama love letter had such an impact. And you know… it’s amazing how much our mothers are alike. Your letter reminded me of a few things I didn’t include in mine (how could I forget them???)… Mom’s LOUD, raucous, knee-slapping laugh, for one (which of course I have and now totally appreciate), and how wonderfully wacky and on the fringe Mom was. Thank you so much for the reminder of some of the best parts of Mom. Of course your mom would have them too… which is probably why I knew we were birds of a feather the first time I saw your mug on my computer! ha! xo

  • So beautiful, Kate. I love this. Thank you.

  • Moon

    I couldn’t help but tear up when I read this, as I was reminded of how deep my own mother bond and love goes! Already wrote one letter to my mom on mothers way, but may have to add a round #2 now!

  • Leila lei

    Wow, so so lovely! Love the love and beautiful energy/emotion in your letter! xoxoxoxo

  • Dorothy

    Thank you, for this beautiful post. Sounds like a fabulous childhood, to me…Lucky you!

  • Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this vulnerable and thoughtful tribute to your mother–both of you are brilliant! I also have Hobbit feet and I get em from my Mama!

  • Thank you for sharing this lovely letter, Kate! from another ‘hobbit feet’ gal :)

  • Karen Shumka

    Ah the ripple effect of a women owning her power and speaking her truth affecting the most important people first – thanks for sharing this Kate – it is such an inspiration for those of us who are all about lofty legacies while empowering our babies. I am so your fan:)

  • Erna Sigurdardottir

    A letter full of LOVE..Thank you.

    My mother is 84 and nearly blind and I thank her for holding my hand,now it is my turn to hold her hand ;)

  • Kate, Thanks for sharing this letter… it demonstrates your heartfelt gratitude, deep love, and respect for your Mom; it has encouraged me to look at my unique connection with my mother too.
    Self acceptance seems to be key, and loving WHAT IS rather than some illusion of a relationship like a mass produced Hallmark card.
    I live in the UK and my Mom is based in Boulder Colorado. I was able to Skype with her and do a face to face tribute… What a blessing for both of us.
    Thanks again, be well, and keep putting those fabulous Hobbitesque feet of yours forward!

  • Lucille

    Mums mantra as soon as we were old enough to ‘get it’ was ‘above all things you need to do something that contributes to the world we all live in’. I am so grateful for that – it was hard wired into me. The funny thing now is I am doing exactly that but she doesn’t entirely ‘approve’ of my platform!! I am proud to spread the good word and opportunity of USANA Health Sciences….the longer I do it the more she is opening to understanding – fun y how the roles swap throughout our lives from teacher to learner! For that and so much more about her – I am so grateful! Great blog Kate and thanks for opening your heart….and taking awesome pics of your adorable feet ;-)

  • Alexis Fedot

    My mom used to lector in church on Sundays. There was very little passion in the sermons, as all the priests tried to keep their words tempered, and less full of life than the man sleeping in the pew next to me. The other women who lectored would follow suit, reading passages from the bible with little to no enthusiasm. But when my mom would stand behind the pulpit, her voice would boom into the microphone as she read her passage with passion and enthusiasm, her inflection causing every sleeping person to sit up and listen. I used to feel so embarrassed, as she was so loud. Why couldn’t she quiet that down? Afterwards when we would have doughnuts and coffee in the church basement, people would compliment her and thank her for reading so clearly. I still didn’t get it. But as I look back I’m so grateful to have a mom who is such a naturally strong and passionate communicator, who cares about what she says and who she is talking to and always wants to convey a message of love. For this I am blessed to have modeled for me in my life.

  • Carol

    My nose! I hated it when I was a kid. Yesterday I spent the day gardening at the home of my daughter who is 31 weeks pregnant. I looked at her and she has the same nose and she is absolutely gorgeous and so very beautiful. I’m crying as I wrote this. Thank you Kate and Dr Northrup, you both have contributed to my life in ways you will never know.

  • Julie

    Just beautiful and oh so inspiring. I have loved your mother for years, thanking her each day in my heart for her pioneering books and paths she has paved for us women. Each day I recommend a friend to her site or books. I love what you put out in the world Kate and your open heart and wit and strength and zeal. You rock and what a dynamic family and model you all are for us. Thank you for keeping it real and lovely and strong and beautiful.
    Thanks for all your posts and living the life that is yours for the taking. This helps us all immensely. Cheers!

  • Tina

    I have tears in my eyes, this is so powerful and inspiring love message. It touches every inch of my body and heart. I love your Mom so much because through her work I am starting to see what kind of grandious potential every women in this world has. Thank God for your Mother’s work, thank you for sharing this heart melting message.
    God bless all of you and all women who came before you,


  • So great Kate!! The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree :)

  • Chris

    Sobbed while laughing out loud as I read this! Thank you for sharing your heart. I have a 12 year old daughter that I am sharing this with. Thank you!

  • What an awesome note. I’m on my way to make one for my mama :)

  • This is a great post Kate! As a mother of two, I see so much of my mum in my parenting, and it makes me proud. I often reflect on how the things that used to drive me crazy about her are the things I am now grateful for. I loved your letter to your mom! So often we don’t take the time to say thank you to the people that make a difference in our lives, especially our mothers.

  • Wow, that is one beautiful love poem Kate…

  • You are your mother’s daughter. Both of you are beautiful and I love that you both ‘laugh out loud’. Every time I hear that happy laugh, my heart sings. Never ever stop!

  • My mom used to mow the lawn in a mini skirt in a very conservative, republican neighborhood where only men did that on weekends. and told us bathing suits were not good for swimming in because they slowed you down! :) she’s german and germans like to be naked. as an american kid i thought it was kinda weird – but as a woman i’m thrilled i had this kind of mama.

    I loved reading your letter to your mom because i was thinking, ‘of course she was a wild thing!’ I love your mom- her public persona- and see her as strategically floating between worlds, yet her public persona is pretty conservative in my eyes. So, i love the obvious insight to her being far more ‘fringe’ than we ever see in public. it only makes sense.

  • you musta bawled your eyes out when you wrote this. xoxo

  • Rachel

    Beautiful post Kate! And thank u for sharing your hobbit feet photo. I have them too. My brother in law calls me Bilbo :-)

  • BEAUTIFUL Kate!! Reading this broke my heart open even wider to the gratitude I have for my mom:-) Thank you!

  • So much inspiration, Gracias for make me rethink on how lucky I am with my Mom.

  • This made me tear up!

    Love this letter, and it reminds me so much of me and my mom!

    Especially this part, “Thank you for hanging out on the fringe, for doing ceremonies around the lunar calendar, for suggesting Imprint Removals and Divine Love Healings to clear up physical symptoms, and for believing in angels.”

    Thank you for all that you do in the world, Kate! What a lucky mom to have such an amazing daughter :-)

  • Ingrid

    That was beautiful, Kate. And so are your feet. I was ashamed of my toes and my fingers for many years. I used to them. Now, many years later I truly love them, and people often make appreciative comments about them. So interesting.

    As for my mum. I don’t know much about her. She died when I was eleven. And her absence has of course something that has been with me ever since. And in that sense so has her presence. I’ve had her on a pedestal, I’ve hated her for abandoning me, I’ve yelled at her a therapy. And I ended up loving her, seeing her humanness, and now when I think about her I’m filled with compassion.

    Thanks for the invitation to ponder and share.

  • I love you like crazy, Kate. Thank you so much for sharing this ode. xo

  • Today is the 3rd and final installment of my Live On Line Event: Lightening the Mother Load: Healing Strategies for Daughters. And this is the VERY first time I have read over the responses to Kate’s open letter to me ( above.) I got the message on Mother’s Day via a private card which I loved. And now I am FINALLY drinking in ALL of YOU. And ALL of your Mamas. It feels like the perfect preparation for tonight– which is about “daughtering”. Kate, my darling, you have inspired me and moved me so deeply here. And all of you who have responded have filled my heart with love and gratitude. I deeply and humbly thank you all.

    • Kate

      Thank you Mom! What a beautiful response to read. Thank you for coming on over and feeling the love that there is here for you and for mom’s everywhere. I love you!

  • This was truly beautiful!

  • Thank you for this. I had to stick my comment in here because what your Mom did to your first grade teacher about the bathroom I TOTALLY just did with my son’s second grade teacher!!
    He was mortified but I think on some level empowered. I’m glad I’m not the first mom to have that conversation with a teacher:)

    Lucky to have such a powerful Mama bear. Beautiful.

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