The Myth of Sacrifice: Why Moms of Color Deserve to Prioritize Their Own Needs

As a mom of color, you face unique challenges that can make it difficult to prioritize self-care. From the pressures of parenting to systemic oppression and discrimination, it’s easy to put your own needs on the back burner. However, it’s essential that moms of color begin to put themselves first and prioritize their own well-being. Here are some reasons why self-care is so important.

  1. You can’t pour from an empty cup: As a mom, you’re often tasked with caring for others. Whether it’s your children, partner, or extended family, it’s easy to become so focused on their needs that you neglect your own. However, if you’re not taking care of yourself, you won’t be able to care for others effectively. Prioritizing self-care means ensuring that your own needs are met so that you can be the best version of yourself for those around you.
  2. Your mental health matters: The stressors of being a mom of color can take a toll on your mental health. From the trauma of systemic oppression to the daily struggles of parenting, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and anxious. Prioritizing self-care means taking time to tend to your mental health, whether that means seeking therapy, practicing mindfulness, or engaging in other stress-reducing activities.
  3. You deserve to feel good: As a mom of color, you may have experienced discrimination or oppression, which can make you feel undervalued or unworthy. Prioritizing self-care means recognizing that you deserve to feel good and taking steps to prioritize your own well-being.
  4. Modeling healthy behaviors for your children: As a mom, you’re a role model for your children. Prioritizing self-care means modeling healthy behaviors for your children, demonstrating that it’s important to take care of oneself and prioritize one’s own well-being.
  5. Resistance to systemic oppression: As a mom of color, prioritizing self-care is an act of resistance against systemic oppression. By taking care of yourself, you’re rejecting the idea that you must constantly put others first and sacrifice your own needs for the greater good. You’re demonstrating that you deserve care and attention, and that you won’t allow yourself to be marginalized or devalued.

So, how can you begin to prioritize self-care as a mom of color? Here are some tips:

  1. Carve out time for yourself: Whether it’s 30 minutes or a few hours, make time for yourself every day. Use this time to engage in activities that bring you joy and help you relax.
  2. Seek support: Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Reach out to friends, family members, or community resources for support.
  3. Engage in stress-reducing activities: Practice mindfulness, meditation, yoga, or other stress-reducing activities. These can help you manage the stressors of daily life and promote relaxation.
  4. Connect with others: Find a community of moms of color who understand your experiences and can offer support and encouragement. This can help you feel less alone and provide a sense of belonging.
  5. Prioritize your mental health: Seek therapy or counseling if you’re struggling with mental health issues. This can help you manage symptoms and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

In conclusion, prioritizing self-care is essential for moms of color. It’s an act of resistance against systemic oppression, a way to model healthy behaviors for your children, and a means of ensuring that you can care for others effectively. By carving out time for yourself, seeking support, engaging in stress-reducing activities, connecting with others, and prioritizing your mental health, you can begin to put yourself first and prioritize your own well-being. Remember, you deserve care and attention.

With Love, Lakischa Smith

Meet Lakischa Smith, a proud mother and a dedicated public health advocate. With a Bachelor’s from Dillard University and a Master’s in Public Health from Florida International University, she’s committed to sharing honest narratives about black motherhood. Lakischa believes in fostering sisterhood to combat the pervasive forces of white supremacy, and empowering African American women to be agents of change for future generations. She asserts that recognizing and addressing our community’s struggles is crucial, for healing is the key to moving forward. Armed with the power of education and a deep belief in collective action, Lakischa is determined to ensure that the issues impacting African American maternal health aren’t just seen—they’re addressed and resolved.

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