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Empowered Moms, Empower Moms

I recently saw a post on social media that said that society tells moms the answer to their burnout is self-care because it takes the responsibility off of itself and puts it onto moms. I had to sit with that for a bit because if I am an advocate for maternal self-care, does that mean that I am part of the problem of giving moms more responsibility when they are already at the end of their ropes?

While I understand the greater context of which this post speaks to, including patriarchy and the value of mothers and caregiving in society, I still believe that self-care is vital for moms.

Once she sees it...

When a mom begins to think about including herself in her daily care activities, she notices everything she does for others except herself. This may create some anger or friction inside her. She may also notice that she speaks to herself more negatively than she does to her kids, partner, or others. She may see exactly how much she does in a day without giving herself time to rest, nourish, or recover. Once she sees it, she cannot un-see it. It is quite possibly the catalyst for transformation.

She must first give herself some compassion.

When a Mom starts to think about self-care, she must first give herself some compassion. Compassion to let herself off the hook for believing she needs to do "all the things" that a patriarchal society tells her she must do to be a "Good Mom." Compassion to talk to herself the way she speaks to her kids or best friend. Compassion to rest and recover and seek support.

Self-Care is not about Self-Improvement.

Self-care is an essential practice for moms that is often misunderstood. It is not about self-improvement but about acknowledging that every mom is worthy of love, support, and care. When a mom practices self-care, she is reminded that she deserves to love herself exactly as she is. She is also reminded that she deserves to rest and heal, even when the world around her demands that she prioritize everyone else's needs over her own. By practicing self-care and self-compassion, moms can begin to seek and receive the support they need to recover and heal.

Sometimes, after recovering, a mom may support other moms going through similar experiences. She understands their worth even when they may not see it themselves. This is because when she needed support, someone believed in her before she could believe in herself. I know this to be true because I was her.

When you feel overwhelmed...

When you feel overwhelmed in motherhood, take a moment to ask yourself where you can start showing yourself some compassion and care. Please remember that I believe you are worthy of support and love, even if you can't believe it for yourself at the moment.

So, mama, this International Women's Day, take a moment to give yourself compassion and share it with another mom or woman who also needs it.



Gillian Yuan is a Motherhood Coach, wife, mom, and dog mom living in Calgary, Canada.

If you want support starting your self-care practices, check out Gillian's Self-Care Guide for Moms.


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