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Self-care matters: Mantras to nurture you as you become a mom

Congratulations on making the life-changing decision to become a mother!


You are about to embark on your journey toward conception. It may be smooth and predictable, or it may challenging and baffling. Or, most likely, it will be somewhere in between.

But no matter how your path toward conception unfolds, one of the most important things for you to focus on right now (other than the making of your baby) is nurturing and strengthening the relationship you have with yourself.

In preparing to become a mother, you will be required to devote a large amount of space in your body, mind and heart to creating and caring for your child to be. This is also the beginning of the beautiful, complicated and forever-evolving relationship you will have with yourself as a mother. Now is the time to think about how you want that relationship to be.

We all come into motherhood with an established relationship with ourselves. We know how we treat ourselves, and hopefully we treat ourselves with love, care and compassion. But what we don’t necessarily know is how we will treat ourselves when we even begin thinking about giving life to another human being who shares part of our DNA and for whom we are solely (or jointly) responsible.

There is no other relationship that will ask more of you or stretch you physically and emotionally in the way that motherhood will.

As a mother of four children and the author of The Self-Care Solution: A Modern Mother’s Must-Have Guide to Health and Well-Being, for which I researched self-care practices and interviewed hundreds of mothers, I would like to share with you what I wish someone would have told me when I, like you, first dreamed of becoming a mother.

Entering motherhood with self-awareness, self-love and self-respect is essential to your ability to ride the waves of motherhood (the joy and pain, and everything in between) with the confidence you will need to be the amazing mother you aspire to be.

There may be times when you feel that you have to choose between caring for your children, your relationship or yourself. But while you cannot give your attention to all these areas at the same time, it is not only possible but crucial to your health and the health of your family that you be intentional about integrating all three elements in your life.

These mantras will serve as the grounding you need to stay centered and true to yourself as you embark on your exciting journey of motherhood:

  • I am very important.
  • My identity, separate from my role as a mother-to-be, will always be important.
  • My health, my happiness and my needs are important. I need to take care of my body, my mind and my spirit as I create, grow and raise this child-to-be, who will need me in more ways than any other human being has ever needed me, and who I will love unconditionally.
  • I will honor myself physically, emotionally and relationally as I transition from woman to mother because my overall health and well-being, as well as my ability to mother my child, depend on it.

I urge you to keep those reminders near you for a very long time.

But right now you are at the “twinkle in your eye” stage, and what a beautiful place to be! You are ready to get this process going, which starts with asking your body to cooperate with your desire to conceive a child. Again, your body may oblige right away or it might take a little longer, but throughout the conception process I urge you to repeat the following messages to yourself on a daily basis:

  • I will treat myself and my partner with loving kindness and compassion throughout this process, and beyond.
  • I have a right to want this baby.
  • I will not, however, attach my self-worth or self-love to whether my body will support my desire to conceive.
  • If I do have issues with conceiving, I will seek the emotional support I need, and stay true to myself when making decisions about fertility or adoption options.
  • I will treat my body with care, love and kindness so that I do my best to provide a healthy place for my baby to be conceived and reside for the next nine months.
  • I will love, respect and honor myself and my body, which will grow and change throughout this process (that could involve infertility treatment), and I will stay true to my body’s signals of hunger and satiation.

The process of conceiving a baby is the time when you begin to formulate how you want to live the rest of your life as a mother. It is time to secure your commitment to your own self-care.

As writer S.C. Lourie explains, “Thinking about yourself first is often a blessing for your tribe, too, because when you look after your heart, whoever is in your heart gets automatically looked after too.”

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.

$70

Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.

$65

Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.

$45

Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!

$23

Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.

$30

Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.

$39

'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."

$35

Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.

$24

Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.

$22

Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!

$25

Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.

$32

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.

$105

Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.

$17

Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.

$68

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One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.

$25

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.

$29

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.

$18

Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.

$29

BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.

$20

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Because parenthood is challenging, we can sometimes forget how to just be happy in the midst of it all.

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