Mother Your Center

When I was in my twenties, new to infertility and barely learning how to make myself a priority, a mentor taught me this:

You must mother yourself. If you think you want to be a mother, you must learn to mother yourself first. 

That advice stopped me cold in my tracks.

– I had been working myself to the bone at a job, wanting to be the superstar with every last ounce of myself.
– I ate Oreos for breakfast, Nutter Butters for a snack, and a big slice of Junior’s cheesecake in bits throughout the day. And likely some matzo ball soup, too.
– I did not love myself. I didn’t think I was good enough. I believed that I wasn’t attractive enough, funny enough, lovable enough.

So there you have it. My “soil” for any future motherhood was a wreck. There was not going to be any fertile growth there – literally or figuratively (even if I had given birth.) I wasn’t even taking care of myself. How on earth would I be able to be a healthy, whole mother (emotionally and physically) for another being? I needed healthy soil for “life” to take root, whether or not I was going to get pregnant. I needed to nurture my center, opposed to just barely surviving.

My life from that point forward changed course

– I made my health a priority.
– I stopped eating sugar, gluten, dairy. (whew!)
– Every day going forward my lunch came from an Organic Cafe, where I ordered vegetable soups, hemp smoothies, and lentil burgers.
– Instead of opening the work candy cupboard everyday, I brought in my own healthy snacks: rice crackers, almonds, raw cashews.
– I actually left my job when needed for acupuncture or dentist appointments or any other reasonable thing I needed to do to take care of life; to take care of myself.
– I got home early enough to chop some vegetables instead of having the late night car service driver make a stop for Thai food or whatever else was still open.
– I started treating my soul with respect…I started to admire who I was and protect any light that was within me, regardless of what anyone else said or thought.
– I treated myself as I would if I had a daughter watching.

And all of this, my friends, changed my life forever more. I’ve been a different woman ever since. And I became more confident than ever that if motherhood ever did come my way, that myself and my kids would be 1000% better off than we would have been otherwise. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

My dear friends who are mothers and those who are not – it is my greatest wish for you that you can put yourself first and mother yourself in whatever ways you need – whether it’s taking the time, spending the money, healing your center, nourishing yourself, saying yes or no, following a dream. I believe this could be the hardest thing we as women ever do. It feels like a massive sacrifice, it feels impossible, it feels like we can’t make time for ourselves, it feels like we really shouldn’t do it. But I believe that we should. Every single one of us deserves this. No single person knows our needs more than ourselves. Mother your center. And it will change you; your soil will be healthy; and your life and all those around you will be better than ever before.

With Love,


How can you mother your center more? What care do you need?

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  1. Heidi May 6, 2016 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Beautiful thoughts – thank you!

  2. Anonymous May 6, 2016 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    What a perfect post!! I am single and not a mother so I am learning to love and care for myself the way I want to love and care for a family of my own one day. I noticed you talked a lot about health, I have leaky gut pretty bad and am betting you know stuff about that ( you seem to know everything��) I would love a post on that…. I know you probably get requests like this all the time but you really do seem like a health guru! I think taking care of my body better is one thing I need to do to mother my center!

    • mara May 10, 2016 at 12:51 am - Reply

      Thank you so much for this note – – – You're so awesome to be thinking about caring for your body. It's such a huge undertaking, yes. But completely worth it in every way imaginable. As for the leaky gut – yes, I've read a lot about that. I believe I've had that problem as well, since I've been so sensitive to foods. There are SO many things one can do and I'm no expert on it… but for me, I've removed foods that are causing a problem (for me that has been gluten, dairy and sugar) and eat mostly a plant based diet, I drink bone broth periodically, though I should be doing it more often. I have done a parasite cleanse and a heavy metal cleanse and coffee enemas. I eat fermented foods and take probiotics regularly. I take fish oils and Vitamin D, as these are great for autoimmune issues, which usually accompany a leaky gut. I've removed toxic chemicals, plastics, and beauty products from my life as much as possible. We eat organic when at all possible, to avoid pesticides and GMO. Anyway, there are even more things I should be doing. It would be most ideal to find a health practitioner who specializes in this. You can look up This is a health coach I know and she's very knowledgable. I wish you all the best on this journey!!!

  3. Alicia May 6, 2016 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    As someone who lost her mother very young, Mother's Day has always been difficult and wearing. Thank you so much for such a refreshing and wise spin on the topic!

    • mara May 10, 2016 at 12:58 am - Reply

      Sending you some extra love, Alicia. And yes – I think for many of us, we need to redefine what Mothers Day is for us – or at least add some additional purposes to it, as some of us may feel the day is lacking for us in some of the celebrations.

      I'm glad you made it through the day – 🙂

      Also, here's another idea: Perhaps the day could be a reason to do something that you know your mother would have enjoyed to do with you- like going to the spa, or brunch, or buying something special. So in other words, spoil yourself, in her honor. And I'm sure that would make her as happy as can be. 🙂

  4. green May 7, 2016 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    Love this Mara. So good and wise.

  5. Katy DeBardelaben May 7, 2016 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Beautiful, as always.

    Curious: when you started taking care of yourself more by leaving work earlier, taking time to go to wellness appointments, have an actual lunch break, etc, was there backlash at your office? Did your boss or other employees feel like you were suddenly slacking or did they understand your need to mother yourself? Just wondering how this was handled or perceived.

    • mara May 10, 2016 at 1:16 am - Reply

      Hi Katy – good question! so, I would say there wasn't a backlash at the office. Though, it was about a year later that I got divorced. And that was such a massive life situation that I did feel I couldn't keep up as well as before. I remember at the time feeling like divorce was a full-time job – with all the paperwork, phonecalls, arrangements, adjusting to the new life, etc. etc. It's was almost like I needed a "divorce leave" in the way people take a maternity leave. Anyway, so that was a different thing – and I did tell my boss and he was extremely supportive.

      As for just the "mothering yourself" part – I think it can be done in a way in which people respect you for it – and it's because you are respecting yourself. And if they do have a problem with things that are really reasonable, I'd say it's likely not the best environment for your health anyway. Part of doing all of this is being willing to walk away in honor of your health and well being. It's putting yourself first. It's setting boundaries as needed. It's finding environments that will be healthy. Of course this can all take some time to get there as dream situations don't happen over night. But it should be the goal.

  6. Mearly An Arm May 8, 2016 at 5:35 am - Reply

    Hey! I Love your blog. if you could check out mine sometime and give me some pointers I would really appreciate it! I'm starting over from scratch and I would love any feedback I can get! Thanks! 🙂

  7. Scarlett May 10, 2016 at 3:42 am - Reply

    Thanks for this post, Mara. It's given me more motivation to take better care of myself, which I have not been doing very well lately. Gonna start eating my veggies! Miss you!!

    • mara May 11, 2016 at 11:48 pm - Reply

      So fun to get this note, Scarlett!!! Miss you so much – and all the Brooklyn women. I'm so glad we have so many memories together…

  8. ApRiL May 19, 2016 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    And YOU just stopped me in my tracks with this: "I treated myself as I would if I had a daughter watching."

    I am blessed to have a daughter watching and I'm not doing any of this for myself. Time to make a change.

    Thank you Mara.

  9. Amy November 22, 2016 at 2:36 am - Reply

    I've been rereading some of your posts tonight because my soul is in need of some deep cleansing and nourishing. This post is helping do the job. Thank you.

  10. mara November 24, 2016 at 2:13 am - Reply

    Amy, I can't tell you how glad I am….and sending you lots of love as you continue to nourish yourself. May you be filled with more and more light.

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