Miranda Wicker: On The Magic of Self-Care

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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. 

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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!

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About Katherine Stone

is the founder & editor of Postpartum Progress. She was named one of the ten most influential mom bloggers of 2011, a WebMD Health Hero and one of the top 25 parent bloggers using social media for social good. She also writes the Fierce Blog, and a parenting column for Disney's Babble.com.

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Comments

  1. Much love to you friend.

  2. This is so important. My favorite self-care time is soaking in the tub with a book. I try to do it once a week and it usually melts the stress of the day away.

  3. Miranda, I could read this every day. I still struggle with that guilty feeling when I make time for myself. Self-care makes me a better mama, a better wife, and a better person.

  4. This is the one thing I’m really good at. I need me time and I make sure I get it – not always as much as I want but enough to keep going. Beautiful words and I’m glad you’re embracing this.

  5. Yep, self-care is the only non-negotiable aspect of a successful PPD treatment plan. So glad you shared and were able to come to this realization yourself!

  6. Amen sister. It took me a lot longer than four years, but I am a wholehearted advocate of self care. Little things, big things, nights off, weekends away… you HAVE TO. I needed more of it with the addition of each child, to be honest. But once I discovered the magic balm that is self care, I wish I’d had someone like you to tell me about it sooner. Thanks for writing.