Leadership Inside Out

Issue 26

Breaking the Labels that Hurt Us All

May 5, 2024

Beyond the binary of Mother’s Day – a personal reflection for all.

If you’re inbox looks anything like mine, it is getting slammed with Mother’s Day ads and promos. I debated adding to noise, but hopefully this reflection sounds like one of the sound bath bells that brings you back to your senses and helps you feel less alone no matter who you are . 💕🧘🏽‍♀️

Society likes to put us in boxes.

We get labeled: With Kids, Child Free, Working mom, SAHM, Single mom, Perfect mom, High power career woman, Hot mess mom, Single never married, Has it all mom, Empty Nester, Grieving mama, Crazy Lady…. and so on

It can make us feel a certain way.

Personally, it makes me feel CRAMPED and lonely.

And then I remember… I can get out of the box, it’s not locked …

And I want to run and knock over all the other boxes so that every woman that feels boxed in on Mother’s Day can feel less lonely.

In the circle, we are all equal. There is no one in front of you and there’s nobody behind you. No one is above you, no one is below you. The circle is sacred because it’s designed to create unity. – Lakota wisdom
Art by @soni_artist

I don’t want anyone to feel alone as we try to navigate the pain and joys of our individual journey.

A single role (or lack thereof) cannot contain the multitude of who you are.

When I base my value and success on the happiness and success of my children, or whether I perfectly balanced my career ambitions/demands with my children; I place far too big a burden on them and myself.

The built up pressure ends up exploding on them, my spouse, and myself.

The notions of “Balance”, “Perfection”, “Having Enough Time”, “Doing it Right” is an illusion that has us spinning in exhaustion, comparing ourselves to people in other “boxes” and it is simply hurting us all.

I can fully experience the joy and feel proud of how I show up for my kids and myself even if it looks different than the next person.

You are allowed to soak in all the joy and pride life brings you.

I have gotten in the habit of giving myself kudos for how I’m learning to support my kids individually and when I fail to be generous and patient, I give myself grace and apologize allowing my kids to see the humanness of their mom. I found they love me just as much, and it helps me like me too.

We actually get to define our own success.

I often remind myself that, “I will not do it all” (I’m a dreamer and there are always more ideas of what I could do), AND I will fully enjoy what I can make happen.

What standards and old notions are you pressuring yourself with?

What do you need to release so that you can move forward with your own way of nurturing, caring, and experiencing joy?

Maybe this season is simply about loving on your own inner child. The little person that simply wanted to play, be seen, and loved before the world told them they had to be perfect to get the gold star, or that they didn’t measure up because they weren’t like so and so.

Whether we have physical children in your care or not, we can ALWAY care for that inner child.

So let’s breakout of the boxes and love on each other.

I refuse to allow binary (either/or) thinking separate and isolate us as women.


Mija, you are never alone as long as the stars light the sky I will be by your side✨
Art and Caption by Soni Lopez-Chaves

Share this with someone who is breaking out of the boxes of isolation and the stupid unreasonable standards this Mother’s Day.

Reflection Questions:

  • Whose measure of success am I using?
  • Is it based on fear, external expectations, or deep alignment to my core values?
  • How can I expand outside of the box society and others may try to put me in?
  • Where I do I need to say, “I am so much more than this!”?

P.S. To the wonderful men in my audience. Thanks for reading and hopefully this expands your insight into the pressure women feel. Please do not diminish the expansiveness of a woman into the single role of bearing children. AND you can always acknowledge and honor the work, commitment, and miracle it is to have children. It’s a BOTH/AND.

“You can’t meditate your way out of a 40-hour workweek with no childcare”

— Dr. Pooja Lakshmin

Recommended Listening:

I was introduced to Dr. Lakshmin’s work through this relatable, insightful, and totally authentic interview on the Parent Data podcast.​

If you have ever felt pressured by others to justify your life decisions (and forced reality) you will feel seen by this episode; Self Care without Candles: Redefining wellness for parents. I highly recommend it.

“Rest is your birthright.”

Check out my recent podcast appearance where I share my thoughts on philanthropy and overgiving.

Con Amor, Sonya​

Your journey is unique. The stress and struggle is not.

Explore how my coaching can provide support and encouragement in your journey today.