About the Author

Gwendolyn Althea is a communications professional and self-care advocate, passionate about dope food and dope parenting. She encourages everyone to Make A Dope Life that aligns with their passions. Check out her thoughts on faith, food and life at 40+ at www.makeadopelife.com.

Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Oh, my goodness! You were speaking to me weren’t you? “taking care of him without sacrificing myself”; “take care of myself & let him see me doing it”. These two statements spoke to me. I am a grandmother of 6. I’ve taken care of 5 of them in my home every day from birth to 2 yr. old while their mother went back to work. I was able to maintain a good level of activity because my sister could always step in if I had something to do. I didn’t do evenings or weekends unless I was a last person left to ask. Doing things I enjoyed in the evening & on weekends helped me to keep it a joy.

  2. Such an amazing blog post! As moms, we often feel like we are crying out for help in a crowded room with no one listening. The joys of motherhood are a blessing but the weight of it can be exhausting. Having the support of other moms is the key to hold each other up and keep being the best woman we could be for ourselves!

    • Yes! That support system is invaluable. Community is who we are as a people. We just need to tap in to one another for support.

  3. Your Blog was definitely on point. It’s hard to care for others, when self- care is lacking. Once your Soul is nourished, you can fully nourish others.

  4. This was extremely powerful piece! I am a mom of 4 and have most certainly struggled here. When my super mom cape feels a little loose, I regroup and take a moment for me. If I am good, they are too.

  5. I’m certain this piece has been brewing in your spirit for years to come. I remember years ago you were the first person to inform me that wearing the proverbial super mom cape shouldn’t be viewed as a badge of honor and was harmful to my mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. I hope this article expands the reach of your message.

    • Wow, I don’t even remember that but it sounds on brand for me, lol. You’re an amazing mom and a great example for your daughters of finding a balance that works. Thank you so much!

  6. Omg! Gwendolyn! I said Gwendolyn! This message was so much me! I needed this today! Being a good mother doesn’t mean we lose one’s self. Thank you for sharing this encouraging message today. It was needed today! 😊

  7. Thank you for the article. True you must take care of yourself in order to care for others. Unfortunately most of us have to walk through the lack of self care and the aftermath in order to finally gain wisdom. Keep pressing forward with the message of necessity self care and self love.

    • ((virtual hug)) We’ve all done it, but I’m so glad the conversations are shifting in this direction and we are seeing more support on this issue. Thanks for your feedback!

  8. First I have to say, I am really enjoying the articles. Real women, with real topics of discussion. Every single one that I have read, I could relate to. I took the opposite approach. I was pregnant with my first son at 20 after not wanting to have children at all. My son was a product of date rape. The father was a boyfriend that I had broken up with. Nonetheless, I accepted this and moved on to have my beautiful son. He was truly a blessing. There is a saying that if you want to hear God laugh, just tell Him your plans. God knew just what I needed. My son basically was a catalyst for me becoming the woman I am today. I did sacrifice. I felt that becoming a mom meant no more short shorts, short dresses, blah blah blah. I wanted to be the best example of a mother that I could be. The home that I created for us. The jobs that I had. The way that I dressed. The meals that I prepared for him. All had to be perfect. Here, I am today so much better than I would have been if I had not given birth. I loved your perspective. I am choosing me now, but I wish sometimes that I had chosen me then.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. That’s a challenging situation. As a teen, my mom shared with me there was a time she wasn’t sure about my paternity also due to a date rape. Like you, she found joy in being my mother. She sacrificed for us and also found ways to still pursue her dreams even if they were delayed and took a little longer. I know your son appreciates all you’ve done for him. Reading your story, it sounds like in choosing to do for him, it also served you. Fret not about the past. You are here NOW! Welcome!

  9. This touched me in more ways than you could imagine. So proud of you LS. Such inspiring and beautiful words to help us remember we must be good TO ourselves so we can be good FOR others. ❤️

    Marian B.

  10. Yes! Yes! Yes!!!! Every word, every emotion. Every thought. All the truths and the feels. You have captured what many of us have lived or are living and what some may not have even realized is to come for them. You can create an entire t-shirt line with the expressions you’ve penned Sis! I love it and I love you!

    Now let us all go forth and pee in peace! Lol!

    • Ha!!!! I cannot begin to express how surprised I was to learn that so many of y’all couldn’t go to the bathroom in peace. Thankfully I was able to steer Sol away from that early. Such a simple thing we should be able to enjoy, lol. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

  11. ALL OF THIS!!! We are in complete alignment sis! Women need to stop sacrificing themselves for their children. Your life doesn’t stop because you have a child. I am purposeful in the space and time I take for myself and my husband. I didn’t want my children to be leaving the nest and us looking at each other like, “now what?” LOL! I love your sentence he is a center of my joy… not THE center!

    • Your life does not stop! Amen! I’ve never forgotten how many friends I had whose parents broke up not long after they came to college. You and hubby are doing great staying connected. Thanks for chiming in!

  12. I am so grateful for these words. My sons are grown, but they grew up watching me be a working mom. I went to college twice and volunteered at church but I always attended sports games and school functions. My husband was there, too, but mom was always on call. Great news. They have learned to honor and respect women. They were taught that sometimes mom had to step away and have a private moment. I am blessed to tell younger ladies that I am now excited to be included in their village. God bless my village, past and present.

  13. Gwen!!! More of this! The article was relatable, intriguing, and something that new and seasoned mothers need to read. I absolutely loved it sis

  14. This is such a refreshing take on motherhood. Being a martyr was never my cup of tea and having children wasn’t something I aspired to, honestly. I did it for a variety of reasons and wouldn’t trade it for the world but I will say I will always allow my children to see me take care of myself and them but I wish I’d shown them that I rested. That you should be rested and loved on by others too.

    • Thanks for this simple and practical thought on motherhood. Loving my children for who they are and not who I want them was a learning curve but I got there. Being the example of what womanhood and motherhood looks like it a whole word. I appreciate your voice as other are finding there way. Thank you!

  15. Wish I could have had a bigger village. I thought I had to do it all by myself. Most of my friend’s only had one child. I had three and my husband abandoned us. I didn’t know how to ask for help. Glad you are telling a different story for others to see.

    • We do tend to feel like we have to do everything ourselves. I know I did. I’m hopeful this will be different for those coming after us.

  16. What an awesome take on motherhood and the many sacrifices made. And even still, she is still a whole woman who should be loved and cared for, not lost in her role as mother.

    I work with moms looking to start online businesses and one of the common struggles is time management and self-care. I am going to share this article with them to reassure them that they can still live a dope life and create a dope, lasting relationship with their children by setting boundaries and living out their dreams.

    Thank you Gwendolyn! I look forward to more of this.

    • Thank you for sharing. I bet when you investigate that with your clients, it’s not that they don’t actually have the time, they don’t think they deserve to take it. The idea of making space for themselves comes with their own guilt and often judgment from others. Keep encouraging them. Thanks for sharing my article.

  17. This is such a powerful piece! And it certainly resonated with me. I have learned more and more than I can’t pour from an empty cup and I need to spend as much time taking care of me as I do taking care of everyone else. I definitely believe I am a better mom because of it.

  18. So much of what you wrote spoke to me! Self-care, making sure not to lose yourself in mothering, all of it! I especially loved the way you highlighted your son being a center of your joy and not the center of your joy. So true. Great job!

  19. This piece resonated deeply. I identified that martyrdom and pressure to sacrifice as a kid watching the women in my family give everything and then some. I vowed not to repeat that cycle…and still I find myself actively working to break that cycle daily. Sometimes it’s as mindless as realizing I just ate standing in the kitchen while cleaning. But, I work at it every day. Thank you for this piece it is motivating.

    • Thank you Norris! It can be a tough cycle to break but we are all better for it. Thanks for reading and sharing your feedback.

  20. This spoke to me. Like many moms, the majority of my thoughts and actions are centered on caring for my children. Then there’s my partner, extened family and work, leaving little time for me. Changing that mindset is hard but worth it.

  21. Yes to this!

    I often remind my clients who are mothers of these truths. Since I’m not a mother, the advice is often disregarded but I am an observer and I’ve worked with children for over 25 years.

    They can tell.
    They watch.
    They learn from their examples.

    I’m so glad your words resonate here. Thanks for sharing.

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