One of my earliest memories is cheering for my mom as she’s running the New York City Marathon. I am about four years old and I’m standing on one of the big rocks in Central Park, yelling "GO MOMMY!" because she was finally doing what she had trained for so long to do. I recently found a picture of us posing at the finish line and I asked her why she got into running in the first place (because how could this be one of my first memories and I don’t know everything there is to know about it)? She told me a colleague recommended she try it to help her deal with the stress she was experiencing in her marriage to my father, and at her demanding job as an executive producer at an ad agency. But then she said it was actually way more than that. “Running helped me be the mom I wanted to be,” she said. “I felt I deserved time to myself, and I shouldn't have to apologize for putting myself first. Once I realized how great running made me feel, I kept it up because it fulfilled me, which helped me be the best mother I could. And it worked, right? I’m the best mom?” And she is.
Romper partnered with Baby Dove to convey that when a mother takes care of herself, she's also taking care of her family. Keep reading to learn what six mothers have to say about the subject, and why no mother should ever be made to feel bad for caring about herself.