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state mother of the year
Farrell Lindley-Kessler, 2024 Idaho Mother of the Year.

Farrell Lindley-Kessler

February 12, 2024



Farrell Lindley-Kessler, MOT, OTR/L, is a nationally board certified and licensed occupational therapist with over 20 years of practical experience. Farrell earned a master’s degree of occupational therapy from Pacific University and advanced certifications focused on sensory integration from USC. Farrell has extensive experience working in the NICU and with children of all ages with various mental and physical diagnoses. Farrell started her own therapy business to help focus on treating children in underserved areas across rural areas of Idaho and Oregon. Farrell has developed and provided educational trainings across Idaho and nationally. She is a past president for the Idaho Occupational Therapy Association and currently is the Chair of Idaho Occupational Therapy Licensure Board. Farrell works with a variety of nonprofit  organizations and is an Idaho Diaper Bank board member. She is a mother of two active school-aged boys and enjoys skiing, tennis, and outdoor activities with her family.

Parenting Philosophy

Parenting is the most rewarding and challenging role a mother can possess. Watching our children learn and grow provides us with amplifying our own learning, perspective taking, and empathy. The role of parenting provides us with so many aspects to support, educate, encourage, and instill values in our children. The Golden Rule is one of the most valuable tools to teach our children. Supporting our children through teaching them kindness, decision making, learning through mistakes, and being they’re for them in their successes and failures is one of the greatest ways we can encourage our children to become striving adults and future role models. Honesty, support, encouragement, as well as teaching children respect, and graciousness towards themselves and others are valuable lessons we can give to our children. Teaching them through our own failures and success, as well as guiding them to make positive and healthy choices can empower our children and children for future generations.

Motherhood and Community

I have learned many valuable lessons through working with children and adults throughout our community. The impact one can make with the simplest of gestures has astounded me. I have learned perspective taking, random acts of kindness, and even a less is more philosophy from many of the people I have met over the years. In working with the Idaho Diaper Bank, the stories that people share of their hardships and success, and even the thankfulness they express when receiving something as simple as diapers has been impactful. My children have learned and expressed a willingness to support and help others. The other day, my son saw a child sitting by himself at a student/parent banquet, and I was so impressed and honored that he was the one who went up to that child and asked them to sit at the table with all the other kids. I am not sure if he would have done this without learning and being impacted through the years with exposure to the Idaho Diaper Bank and realizing the simplest acts of kindness can go a long way. When I volunteered my time and developed a community teen social skills group with children diagnosed with ASD, I learned many lessons and the value of perspective taking. Now, when I am parenting my own children, I incorporate perspective taking into our discussions. Recently, after working with a 3-year-old child in a rural community, who needed foster care placement, I realized that my family and I could provide respite services to these parents in need of a break. I spoke with my family, and without hesitation, both kids and my husband were on board and willing to step in and help, no questions asked. I am so grateful for all the children and families I have met over the years. These experiences have been inspirational and helped me grow as an individual.