Andrea Bates: You Deserve to Celebrate | 8th Annual Mother's Day Rally for Mental Health

postpartum depression, mother's day rally, maternal mental healthHi there, Mama,

Happy Mother’s Day. Yes! I know. It’s Mother’s Day. And you’re a mom. Such a fun day to celebrate!

It’s a day celebrating you, and your mom before you, and her mom before her – a day for all moms and mother figures to be recognized for all the beautiful things they’ve done for their children.

But you – you, sweet mama – you’re trying to figure out how that’s possible. You’re trying to rationalize how the title of mother entitles you to receive accolades on this Hallmark holiday.

Because you might not feel like you deserve any.

You might feel like you’re a mom in title only. You might feel like you haven’t done anything but take on the role of robotically taking care of this little person who eats and sleeps, cries, poops, eats and sleeps some more.

You might feel afraid of holding your baby. You might flinch so hard when she cries. You might want to run away. You might toss and turn at night. You might want to lock yourself in the bathroom. You might turn the music on really loud so you can take a moment to catch your breath. And truth is, you might have to.

But you know what, mama? That’s okay. You can feel all of these things. You can do them. You’re allowed to take care of you, too.

It doesn’t make you any less of a mom. Any less worthy of Mother’s Day wishes.

And you, mama out there who thinks that if you hear your child call ‘Mommy!’ one more time you’re going to lose it? Happy Mother’s Day to you, too. Because you’re allowed to feel ready to bang your head against the wall and you are still a good mom. You’re allowed to admit that though you wished for the day your baby would call you mommy you now wish she’d stop for just a few minutes. It’s perfectly normal. Perfectly legitimate. And it’s happened to all of us. You’re not alone.

And you’re allowed to want to find a minute to go to the bathroom by yourself. You can totally wish you didn’t have to share your chocolate. You can feel completely and utterly tired of watching Disney Channel. Wishing you could catch up on your favorite shows. Wanting to listen to YOUR music in the car. You’re allowed to want all of these things and still receive Happy Mother’s Day wishes.

Because you’re a great mama. Despite feeling these things, and because of them.

You’re the mama who does give that little one a bite of your chocolate. You’re the mama who listens to your kids’ CDs over and over again. You’re the mama who might actually once in a while lock the door when you have to go pee. And you’re the mama who – despite being terrified of motherhood – has and will continue to find your way.

You’re not alone, mama. You’ve got an army of women beside you. Holding you up. Here to listen. You’ve got a support system beyond your wildest dreams.

And whether it’s your first Mother’s Day or one several years down the line – you’re permitted to struggle with motherhood. Because it’s rough. This parenting thing is hard, my friend. Really hard. And as our children grow we watch them develop new behaviors, new strengths and new ways to butt heads with us – the person who loves them most. And we remind ourselves that this only means we’re doing right by them. We’re there to hold their hands, wipe their tears, and watch them grow. Because we’re their mama. And that’s what we do.

Happy Mother’s Day, mama. Wishing you a beautiful one.


The Annual Mother’s Day Rally for Moms’ Mental Health is presented by Postpartum Progress, a national nonprofit that raises awareness & provides peer support for women who have postpartum depression and all other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth. To see some of the ways we provide moms support, visit