Huffpost Parents
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Mia Redrick Headshot

Why Mothers Put Themselves Last

Posted: Updated:

I've spent the last nine years as a life coach for mothers helping clients identify their dreams, plans and goals and supporting moms with systems in their lives and for their businesses. Over the years, I've supported hundreds of mothers in Time for Mom-Me® groups around the country, showing women the specific methods for consistently practicing self-care. Many of the mom participants struggle to commit 60- 90-minutes a week to fully participate in their six-week Time for Mom-Me® groups, and focus on their own self-care. On the other hand, many of these moms never even blink an eye when signing their newborn to teenage children up for various activities to enrich their lives.

Most of my clients come to me with a clear understanding of what the members of their families need to feel whole, loved and enriched. They can even recite the schedules and necessities for their spouses if they are married, children and even their pets. Yet the toughest question for these moms to answer is, "What do you want for you?" It's almost as if taking care of one's self is a dirty word.

Why is that? Here is my take. The earliest stages of motherhood begin with a list of requirements to be healthy and to listen to your body because it is in the best interest of the baby. Most moms never think about themselves during that process. Instead, expecting moms are so focused on preparing for the new baby that they very seldom consider how to navigate the transition and affect their own personal growth once the baby is born. Moms benefit when they learn how to create life systems that are sustainable even in the beginning stages of the parenting journey. Moms need to know that just as they create and prepare for their baby, they need to prepare and build community and learn how to grow their own life.

Here are my ten reasons for practicing self-care in motherhood:

1. Taking care of yourself will make you a better mother because there will be more of you to give.
2. You cannot give what you do not have and if you give from empty, you will not be able to sustain your giving.
3. Your family will learn best from you the definition of what "Supermom" really means. Are you a "Super mom" or "Supermom?"
4. Your self-care is necessary to being a great parent.
5. You establish the tone of self-care in the family. Will your children learn from you that taking time to read, rest, and reflect are unimportant?
6. In order to get your spouse/partner/family to support you with your needs, you need to first know what you need. Clarity is the key to getting more of what you want.
7. Whatever you do for yourself, you share with your family. Your family benefits directly from you taking care of yourself
8. You will have fewer headaches at night.
9. Spending 60- 90 minutes alone each week will give you time to plan what is best for you.
10. Not taking care of yourself makes you resentful in the long-term

Most moms learn self-care from the moms in their lives. What did your mom teach you about taking care of yourself? Self-care is an essential component of motherhood. Our families rely on us each day to make the best decisions, to love them and to provide for their overall wellness and health. How can we give our best if we haven't learned to apply our best to ourselves?

One of the pillars of self-care is a support group that encourages camaraderie, accountability, sharing and solutions. Time for Mom-Me® groups are a network of like-minded women who embark on a six-week self-care journey. The groups meet once a week and members read my book, Time for Mom-Me: 5 Essential Strategies for a Mother's Self-Care by Mia Redrick, The Mom Strategist. Each group session corresponds with a chapter from the book.