Grand Rapids mom practices self care

“Sippy cups with straws. Who is doing this? Discuss.”

This was one of the recent texts to come across my mom’s group text. This text is filled with memes, articles, jokes and support. It would take days to scroll all the way to the beginning of this text group which started last summer. It’s been my lifeline, an outlet, and a unique way I practice self care.

“What’s the future looking like up there? Is your babe walking yet?”

K & A–the other two moms in my group chat–also have one or almost one year olds like me; they’re also working moms like me; they’re also first time moms like me. We’re learning as we go and we’re learning from each other.

“Throw up vs spit up, how do you tell the difference?

We knew of each other before we got pregnant, but just as acquaintances. Now we’re tied together. Together we troubleshoot. Have you tried this? What are you doing for that? Sometimes we randomly vent. Why is this happening to me? Can I just tell you? Most importantly, together, we’re honest.

“Guys, we’re back to the doctor and can’t figure out the problem. I’m so freaked out.”

We text during the day when we’re sharing occasional articles or memes, in the morning to check in on each other after long nights, sometimes in the middle of the night. We try to meet up for quick, childless happy hours once a month and every other month or so with our husbands and babes.

This is self care. It gives me another outlet–beyond my caring, but not breastfeeding husband; beyond my family or friends who are supportive but not IN IT. I take care of myself by expressing what I’m feeling or asking for help. They unwavering support me–and I’m a better mom because of it.

Dana Burland ( is a digital consultant at Steelcase and mom to one-year-old C.