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By: Kaylee Reza

Mental health matters to me because it allows me to show up for myself and my children every day. Mental health has taught me that it is okay to not be okay and to take time for yourself to heal, learn, and grow. My poem is about going through the ups and downs of having a new baby (in my case twins) and the importance of moms making mental health a priority so that they can be the best version of themselves for themselves and their little ones. Mental health matters.

3rd Place · Adult Writing (2023)

Excitement, joy, worry, fear

Questioning, “Will I be good enough” when they are here

Precious baby – soft smiles and little toes

Will I stay sane? Will I have that mentioned glow?

They look at me as if I’m perfect, but no, I don’t feel that way at all

I feel weak, I feel nervous, I feel small


Care for baby, make sure they are fed

Care for yourself? Never mind, “you’re fine, you aren’t dead.”

Boiling point has been reached

But it’s time to listen, time to teach

Stay calm

After all you have this precious baby

What could be wrong?


Wishing I was there

Feeling guilt, feeling bare

Feeling empty in never ending depth

Sadness filling my insides – up it crept

To my brain, waiting for it all to implode

Ticking time bomb, waiting to explode


Enough is enough

Time to take control

I’m ripping off the band aid, taking off the cuffs

I’m starting small – it’s all I can do

No more screaming, “When will this end?”

Days are short and so very few


Silent walks and coffee breaks

Breathe in, breathe out

Take time to wright for goodness’ sake

Cherish the moments, but there’s no guilt to be had

If I need to get away, if I just feel bad

Taking anti-depressants because it’s what I need

I’m doing this for them, but more importantly, me


I grew them and now they’re helping me grow

Through the pain, through the fear, my legacy in tow

I never knew I was this strong until I had to be

I’m working hard every day to become a better me


No, the hard days are not over, they’ve only just begun

But mental health matters so I can be their mom

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