Maternal Mental Health Research Collaborative
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You Are Loved: A Letter to All the Mamas on Valentine’s Day

Dear Mama,

Whether you planned to have a baby, were caught by surprise or found yourself knee deep in motherhood by accident, nothing prepared you for how dramatically your life would change. Maybe pregnancy was easy and you liked it. Or it could have been a nightmare, filled with morning sickness that lasted all day, every day for nine months. Your mood could have been stable. Or you may have been hit with anxiety over the changes in your body and thoughts about how you’d handle a newborn. However you got here though, you’re a mama and you need to know you’re loved.

You Are Loved

It might not feel that way today or any day. You might feel like a failure no matter what you do. Being a mom is so much harder than we like to admit. And it’s a role that we don’t appreciate. The job of mothering can be completely thankless and bring you to your kneesand it can also be one of the greatest experiences as you’ll ever have. Raising a tiny human and walking, running or maybe crawling with them through life is exhilarating. But can also leave you terrified and broken,and that’s okay.

It could be that love washed over you the moment you saw your baby or it may have not come to visit until months later. There’s no right or wrong time or place that had your experience with it. There isn’t one universal experience to describe the love between a mama and her baby. Whatever your story, it’s the right one for you. Just like how you’re the right mama for your baby.

You Give So Much

You give so much of yourself, day after day, and hold yourself to impossible standards. There are days where you feel like you’re on top of the world and have this mothering gig figured out. But then you’ll have a string of bad days filled with no sleep, teething, diaper rash, whining and feeding issues that leave you feeling broken.

It could be that you’re never told by your partner or family that you’re loved, appreciated and doing a good job. No – you’re doing an amazing job. Getting up each day and making the decision to keep going no matter how you feel is bravery and courage in action. Or there may be days that you don’t make it out of your pajamas, feel totally washed up and 20 years older than you actually are. But you keep going.

You Are Worthy

All these things and more may have you feeling unworthy of love, care and affection. Especially on a day like Valentine’s Day when you’re hit with Pinterest perfect pink and red hearts, Instagram feeds full of romantic gestures and Facebook photos of everyone’s kids celebrating in matching t-shirts and leggings. You can’t or don’t want to try and compete and you still feel like you’re coming up short.

We know how you feel. We’re mamas, too. And what we all want you to know is that you’re loved. You’re enough. All that you do for your babies and family is remarkable.

This Valentine’s Day, stop and take a moment to consider the relationship you have with yourself. Do you speak kindly when you mess up and expect perfection? Is your inner voice actually your inner critic? Have you spent any time caring for yourself today? What about self compassion and giving yourself a break?

Know that we see you. We know how hard you work. We also know how hard it can be to appreciate and love yourself. Remember that you are worthy of love just by being you. Today and always.

All our love,

The MMHRC Team

 

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