My Story

Betsy's PictureHi! I’m Betsy Henry. I’m a mom, wife, aunt, daughter and a teacher. I grew up in the Chicago area with two amazing parents and three wonderful siblings. I was always writing as a child and was told all the time I should be a writer. I knew that the writing would come when it was time.

I was born a positive thinker. However, I found myself getting more negative as my three boys got older. Then the teenage years hit. I was totally unprepared for this! The teenage years are not easy, as anyone with even one teenage child will tell you. I found myself getting angrier, more worried and disappointed with myself for not being a better mother. We had just finished a challenging year with our children; grades had fallen and limits were being tested. I was a frantic, nagging mother worried about my kids in this modern world with text messaging, Facebook and our demanding culture that wants them to be volunteers, super athletes and ivy league students. Yet, at my job as a preschool teacher, I felt more Zen-like, giving out pearls of wisdom to those overly concerned parents of my 3-5 old year old students.

I decided at that point that I had my own life to live and I needed to let my children live their lives. I decided to go back to being a positive and optimistic person. I searched for the lessons in all of our experiences in order understand where we had made mistakes. I couldn’t continue to be the person I’d become. If I let go, maybe we’d all be happier. So, I decided to combine the two; the frantic mother and the Zen-like teacher and become one, a “Zen Mama”. During this time, I was up in the middle of the night constantly worrying. This is when I started writing myself advice from my inner self whom I jokingly called the “Zen Mama”. This became my first book, How To Be A Zen Mama. I self published in 2009 and my whole life changed!

Since then I written two more books, The Zen Mama’s Book of Quotes and Zen Tips with one more on the way. I love our positive community – all of us searching for meaning and to make their life more positive.

Hopefully this website and the books will be a teacher for you. None of us brings a child into this world with a degree in parenting. I have at times been thankful of my teaching degree, having studied and practiced teaching before having children. But I’ve also been at a loss more times than I can think! I’ve worried so much. I’ve been angry. I’ve been disappointed. Emotions like worry, anger and disappointment are habits, and like other bad habits, these can be broken.

Oh, and by the way, you can apply these lessons to other parts of your life: Zen Wife, Zen Daughter, Zen Sister Zen Friend, Zen Co-worker…you get the picture!

19 Responses to My Story

  1. Keiko says:

    “None of us brings a child into this world with a degree in parenting.”

    What a fantastic statement! Really nice About page – I feel like I got such an honest glimpse of who you are and what motivates you on this blog. Here via SITS31DBBB – nice work!


    Betsy Reply:

    Thanks Keiko! I was thinking about changing it but I appreciate your comments!! Thanks! I’ll come check out your site, too.


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  4. Mcj says:

    So tru !! We spend half of our lives worrying about the future and our need to control it !! Loved your blog- inspiring simple and honest.
    We live in Chicagoland area too 🙂


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  6. Mike J says:

    Fantastic blog! you must be proud of what you have achieved so far. I am new to learning about my monkey mind. Thank you for creating this blog. I spend so much time giving, which gives back to me in return but my hunger to give takes me off in many directions. My monkey mind goes crazy, If I could master my mind I know I could give so much more to the world! It’s all very exciting 😀 keep up the good work.


    Betsy Reply:

    So glad you’ve enjoyed visiting this week. I so appreciate your comment and feedback! Glad to have you here as part of our positive community!!


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  10. Hi Betsy,

    Great story and changing from being a worrier to being a Zen Mama is not easy. There is always a situation that would call to be a worrier again and switching back to being positive may be a challenge. When we think of negative it stops us from fully experiencing enthusiasm, joy, and significance in our daily lives. So, positivity it is! Whatever we focus on, we get more of.


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  14. Stacia Demler says:

    Hi, my name is Stacia Demler. My last name used to be Tauscher. About 16 years ago, Reader’s Digest published my quote. “We worry about what a child will be tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.” I never realized how popular the quote had become, until recently. I knew it had been used in a brochure for foster children and as a banner in a school somewhere. Apparently, my quote is all over the internet and people have been searching for me. Some think I don’t exist. Some think I’m from the 17th century. Some think I have written other quotes and/or have ties to other writers of quotes. None of these are true. I’m just an average woman, raising 4 kids and earning a living as a pharmacy technician. I don’t spend much time on the internet, so I wasn’t aware of any of it. You had posted on someone’s blog that you were trying to locate me. I do exist. I’m not from another century. I’m just a mom who loves her children more than life itself. I believe in my quote and I’m honored that so many people like it. Thanks!


  15. shifan says:

    Thank you so much, this article would be helpful for me, and I appreciate your writings!


    Betsy Reply:

    So glad you enjoyed!
    Thanks for stopping by!


  16. Keith Smith says:

    Hello Betsy,

    I have been following your blog for sometime, so I thought it was high time I commented! Your story is a very real and inspiring one. I love these words you shared: “. None of us brings a child into this world with a degree in parenting.”. Truer words were never spoken. I am the father of three daughters, and I can certainly identify with the feelings of concern and worry, especially during the teenage years. My girls are grown now, my youngest now 23 years old. It was about the time my daughters were moving into the teenage years that I too became aware that my urge to control and protect were not having the positive effect I desired. I had to pull back, let go and become one part parent and one part advisor. I think those years were preparation for when my children would be grown and out on their own, for now I am an advisor only. 🙂

    Like you, I have been writing for years, but after my children were grown I began to experience times when they would call me for advice or just to share some exciting thing in their life. This was my confirmation that I did some things right. My second non-fiction book (self-publishers unite!) was largely born out of my desire to leave a legacy for my three girls. I wanted them to have something for which they could always refer to, even after I am long gone.

    I admire your work and the consistency with which you have been at it for these past few years. You have become a wonderful resource for so many. Thank you. 🙂


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