I’ve been a single mother for a little over two years now to a beautiful baby girl. I work full-time to provide for us both, with no alternate income. Her father is not in the picture. In fact, he is not even on her birth certificate. For all the other single mother Latina’s out there, you are not alone. Single Latino fathers, I see you, too!

I fumble over something every single day. People call me Superwoman, but I can’t relate to that notion most of the time. I am tired. I ask myself all the time, why aren’t we talking about parenthood? Is it really so easy for everyone but me?

Growing up in a traditional Mexican-American household where my mother literally called herself the help, we never knew the concept of self-care.

I have had to navigate and reevaluate the idea of self-care, especially with little time in which to do so. Since my daughter’s birth, I have hired a babysitter for two hours, once. Baby steps!

Here are some pathways to self-care that may seem obvious, but nonetheless are difficult to do. Identify your ways to give back to yourself. It Is so important to take care of you when your whole world is your child.

1. Ask for HelpYes, it’s going to seem strange. We’ve been so conditioned to be seen as weak if we ask for help. I know you know what I’m talking about! But we have got to do it! 2. Hire a Babysitter Even if it’s for a couple of hours; do it! You need and deserve a break3. Create a Routine – I have had to live by my routine. Of course there will be times that you will need to adjust on the fly, but include something into your routine that you can do daily for yourself. 4. Be FlexibleThere’s two sides to every coin. Life is always unpredictable. Go with the flow of life and if the time is right to change up your routine, do it!5. Go To TherapyMany employers have free counseling sessions as an employee wellness service. I urge you to take advantage of those sessions.6. Drink Water Look, our adult bodies are made up of something like 60% water. We must stay hydrated. Trust me, you will feel better if you’re hydrated.7. Have A Creative Outlet I love to write, listen to music, sing, make clothes, read, among so many other things. Find your creative outlet and prioritize some time in which to do it as often as you can.

What are some of your go-to’s for self-care? Please share them in the comments! I would love to hear about how you take care of yourself.

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Jessica Montalvo
Jessica Maria Montalvo has dedicated her life to the diverse field of education for over 19 years. She knows the importance of cultural inclusivity and diversity, equity, and inclusion as a part of what she stands for as not only an educator, but a life-long learner as well. Jessica is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Indiana University, and from Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne with her teaching Certification for Secondary Education. Later she earned a Master of Education from Indiana Wesleyan University and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Indiana Tech in the global leadership program. Her passion for service has translated to her involvement in creative projects which include roles within an original musical theater production about mental illness written by James Wesley Williams, since its full-cast production opening premiere in 2014. She is also a producer for the recent film short, Grummy. Her greatest work of art is when she became a mother in 2020 to her beautiful baby girl, Lara Juliana Montalvo.