Repeat after us: self-care is not selfish. It is a necessary part of parenting. It is the best way that you can be there -- physically and emotionally -- for your baby and others who depend on you. 

Explore this page to learn more about the importance of self-care, tips for practicing self-care, and resources.


Self-Care Basics


Have you ever heard the phrase 'you can't pour from an empty glass'? It means that you have to take care of yourself first in order to take good care of others. If you are healthy--emotionally, mentally, and physically--you are better able to be present for, and enjoy, the people who depend on you the most. 

Self-care is about taking care of yourself so that you can show up for your family.  Self-care can look a lot of different ways and includes taking care of yourself:

  • Physically

  • Emotionally

  • Mentally

  • Spiritually

  • Personally

Whatever self-care looks like to you, give yourself permission to practice it. You're deserving of that kindness to yourself. 

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Know your worth

As a parent, you’re one of the most important people in your child’s life. Sometimes the non-birthing parent feels like they are not as important. Rest assured, you are a pillar of your child’s development—a positive relationship with you provides your child a sense of physical and emotional security. For example, children who have involved fathers, regardless if their parents are in a relationship or not, do better in school, make more money, and have healthier romantic relationships than those who do not.

There’s no way to be a perfect parent, but there are endless ways to be a good one.

Having a child is a big change, so it is normal to feel stressed or confused. There is no parenting manual, so everyone makes mistakes. What's important is how you deal with your mistakes—acknowledge them to yourself and your child, and then move forward with a plan to do better next time. And remember, it is ok to ask for help.

What are you carrying and who else is carrying it?

It is not your fault if you experienced racism, a difficult childhood, or other traumas. What you can control is how you respond to those things. If you do not address this hurt, it can affect your body, your mind, and your child’s well-being. Talking to someone can help you make sense of negative emotions and change unhealthy thought patterns. Admitting you need help is not a weakness—you are taking back the control in your life and that is a very powerful thing.

Build your village

Being a parent can feel overwhelming at times. It helps to talk to others who are going through the same thing. Building a network of other parents is a great way to get advice or just have people to talk to who know what you’re going through. Building this support will not only help you, it will help others, too. A lot of people suffer in silence—it takes all of us to stand up and make it ok to talk about it.

Schedule 'me time'

Kids thrive on routines--so do their grown ups! Try to find one hour or even a few minutes in your day to do something for yourself. If you have a partner, create a schedule together that includes time for both of you. That could be taking a walk, nap, or bath or having dinner with a friend. Whatever it is, if you plan for these breaks, you are more likely to take them. You and your family will be glad you did.

Get to know yourself again

What did you like to do before you had kids? Did you have a hobby that you don't have time for anymore? Schedule time to revisit that hobby. You can even find a way to share it with your child. Both of you will enjoy the opportunity to connect over something you love and your child will benefit from knowing that there is more to you than being a parent.

Self-Care Tips


Self-Care Ideas

Commiting to taking care of and loving yourself is a great investment in your family's future. Here are some ideas: 

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Get Moving


Try to find a way to move your body. This can include taking a walk or dancing. 

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Be Kind to Yourself


Pay attention to how you speak to yourself. Affirm that you are a good parent and that you are loved by yourself and others.

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Build Support


Sometimes it helps to talk to people who can relate to your experience. Consider joining a parent support group or meet-up. 


Get a Check-up


It is important to have a check-up with your doctor every year to get important screenings. One way to remember them is to schedule them around your birthday.




Parenting can be exhausting. Try to find 15 minutes in a day to slow down, or even take a quick nap. 

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Connect to Yourself


Keep a journal and use it to vent, express gratitude, and write affirmations. 

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Set Boundaries


It is ok to tell people no. When you say 'no' to something, you may be saying 'yes' to more time for your family and peace of mind for yourself.


Talk to Someone


Everyone can benefit from therapy. A therapist can help you work through difficult feelings and challenges and help you get peace.

Knowing when and how to ask for help is one of the best ways to practice self-care. Here are some great resources for getting support and building your village.

Self-Care Resources


Support Groups

Talk to other birthing families about dealing with stress.

Upton/Druid Heights:


Patterson Park North & East:


The Family Tree

Call their parenting helpline or take advantage of their drop-in childcare program.



Pro Bono Counseling Project

Free therapy with a licensed professional for Maryland families, couples and individuals with limited resources


B'more Fit

Free weekly fitness and nutrition program. 


Black Mental Health Alliance

Mental wellness support, including finding a therapist and healing racial trauma


Here2Help Hotline

If you are in crisis, this helpline will connect you to immediate help and services.