postpartum depression, mother's day rally, maternal mental healthHey there Mama,

I’m writing this post right now in the bliss of solitude. I’m sitting at a table in a cafe enjoying a smoothie.

Where are my children?

At home. With a sitter. Having fun.

It took me four years to discover what I’m about to tell you. To really believe it and let it sink into my core.

Self-care is important.

It’s maybe one of the most important things you can do for yourself after becoming a mom.

We’re conditioned to think that when we become mothers we should devote 100% of our time and energy to our children, our spouses, our jobs. We should spend our time in pursuit of their interests.

Whether society or the media or the mothers who came before us say this, it’s being said. And we’re hearing and internalizing it. And some of us languish under the weight of meeting everyone else’s needs before or instead of our own.

I did. I sometimes felt like I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think.

I needed a break. Time to me.

We were women before we became mothers. Our identities didn’t disappear when our children were born. They just changed. Adapted. We put on another hat.

We have this tendency to put aside our own pursuits when we become moms. Our hobbies and interests fall to the bottom of the heap. They are no longer important. Our needs are no longer important.

But they are important.

YOU are important.

It’s okay to wear your YOU hat while wearing your mom hat. (You can’t really take that one off. And if you do a cute child will toss it back up there.)

It’s okay to know yourself and your needs and make sure your own needs are being met. Put on your own proverbial oxygen mask first, you know?

My wish for you is that you’ll find a way to make time for you.

Maybe it’s just painting your toenails after the kids are in bed. Or soaking in the tub with a book. Or going to bed an hour early. Or watching an episode of your favorite tv show. Or exercising. Or ice cream. Or meeting a friend for lunch on a regular basis.

Whatever it is, don’t forget yourself in the bustle of keeping everyone else happy.

You matter.

Take care of you, too.

~ Miranda Wicker

Miranda Wicker is the writer behind Not Super…Just Mom. Despite the name, she’s more than just a mom and actually quite super. Follow her on Twitter @notsuperjustmom. 

* * *

Postpartum Progress, the world’s most widely-read blog on all things related to emotional health around pregnancy & childbirth, is a service of Postpartum Progress Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit devoted to raising awareness of postpartum depression and similar illnesses. Please consider making a donation today, Mother’s Day, so we can continue and expand our work supporting maternal mental health. Thank you!