postpartum depression, mental health, maternal mental healthFor all the mothers out there, of any variety, Happy Mother’s Day.

If you are a mother, you are fierce and you are awesome. Whether you are a birth mom, adoptive mom, stay-at-home-mom, work-at-home-mom, employed outside the home mom, mom who goes to college, mom who’s lost a baby or a child, or any other kind of mom (and this is by no means an exhaustive list), you rock. You are a wonderful mom, no matter how much you feel otherwise (goodness knows I feel less than awesome quite often).

It doesn’t matter what you look like, what you wear, whether you breast feed or formula feed or some combination, whether you use cloth diapers or disposable, whether you wear your baby or not, whether or not you vaccinate or if you do so on schedule, delayed, or alternative/selective schedule, whether you gave birth with medication, without medication, vaginally, or by c-section, how many children you have, whether they live with you, with someone else, or in heaven, whether you are tall or short, skinny or fluffy, all that doesn’t matter. You. Are. Awesome. You are fierce. You are amazing. You are fantastic, fabulous, wonderful, beautiful inside and out, lovely, and great.

Motherhood is not all about being the “perfect” mom. It’s not about meeting some nonsensical ideal that the world has set up for us. It’s not about being some specific religion or member of any one church. Motherhood is not about baking cookies every day, sewing your own clothes and having them look like they came off the rack at Nordstrom. It’s not about having the best Pinterest boards (and making everything off of them and having the projects turn out perfectly). It’s not about always being happy, having beautifully done makeup and manicured/painted nails. Motherhood is not even the one thing that defines you. You are a complex woman with many roles and many defining factors and aspects.

Don’t let the hype of being the perfect mother get you down or make you feel less than worthy. I assure you, there is no such thing as the perfect mother who has everything together (maybe my own mom, but I’m pretty sure she’d disagree with me since she’s the one who told me there’s no perfect mom).

And to all my PPMD mama’s, I’d like to send extra special gentle and loving hugs to you. Having PPMD doesn’t say anything about your capabilities as a mom. It doesn’t make you any less of a mom or a worse mom. Love yourself, accept yourself, give yourself permission to feel whatever you want or need to feel, even if that means not liking Mother’s Day because it reminds you of all your struggles.

If you are a mom, today is for you. I know sometimes Mother’s Day can be so incredibly difficult. This year, it has difficult aspects for me. If Mother’s Day is bittersweet for you, that’s okay. If it’s sad, that’s okay. If it makes you angry, that’s okay. Today, if Mother’s Day is happy, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. If it isn’t, I wish you Whatever Kind Of Mother’s Day You Need Mother’s Day To Be.

You have my love.


Esther Dale is a Postpartum Depression, Postpartum OCD, and Postpartum Anxiety survivor, attempted gestational surrogate, full-time college student, Army Wife, mother to three children, and staff to several cats. She loves to read, write, take pictures, and dream about taking naps.


The 7th Annual Mother’s Day Rally for Moms’ Mental Health is presented by Postpartum Progress, a national nonprofit 501c3 that raises awareness & advocates for more and better services for women who have postpartum depression and all other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth. Please consider making a donation today, on Mother’s Day, to help us continue to spread the word and support the mental health of new mothers.