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We See You, Mama

By Special Guest Writer

Melissa Lindsay

Police Records Clerk, Former Police Dispatcher

Weekends, holidays, day shift, swing shift, graveyard, no days off - I’m not just talking about the career you chose as a dispatcher; I’m also talking about motherhood.

You've chosen to answer the calls for help and the call of motherhood; you truly have a heart of gold.

We see you, mama.

We see how you work all night, come home as the sun rises to get the kids ready for school, drop them off, get a second wind, run an errand, clean up the house, get tired again, sleep a few hours only to get back up, pick up the kids from school, come home to do homework with them, make dinner, and off again to work another long night answering calls for help.

We see you, mama.

We see how you've given up watching your kids open gifts on Christmas morning so you could be at work to answer the calls. We see how you've managed to move birthdays and other holidays around to celebrate, and deep down you still yearn to have a “normal” life like everyone else.

We see you, mama.

We see you hold it together when you hear another mama's cries or when a child the same age as yours calls for help. We see how your heart breaks, but you manage to keep it together on the call.

We see you, mama.

We see your exhaustion from being a new mom. We see your exhaustion from being an experienced mom. We see how hard it is to juggle the shift work, forced O.T., and motherhood all at once.

We see you, mama.

We see and honor your selflessness and dedication, and today we want to remind you how important it is to take some time to refill your cup. Motherhood and dispatching can be fulfilling and taxing at the same time. With all you give, you MUST make time for yourself. We realize this doesn't always seem doable with the kind of shift work we do, yet it's imperative that you make your self-care a MUST.

You must care for yourself, mama.

If making time for self-care seems like a daunting task, start small. Make a list of some simple ways you'd like to practice self-care daily and choose one. Here are some examples:

Drink a warm cup of your favorite tea.

Go for a walk around the block.

Watch the sunset.

Take a bath.

Set a boundary.

Take a power nap.

Call a friend.

Read a few pages from a book.


Write down three things for which you're grateful.

Listen to music.

Do something creative.

Listen to a podcast.

Watch a feel-good show.

You must care for yourself, mama.

Take a moment to commit to whatever you decide on and figure out how and when you can incorporate it into your day. Think about roadblocks that might come up and how you could work through or around those things to ensure that you can still work your self-care into your day.

You must care for yourself, mama.

As a mama and a dispatcher we value your commitment to the community you serve and the children you raise, which is why we feel it's so important for you to know we support and encourage your self-care. Not only do we encourage it; we demand it. You put others first always. You can take at least ten minutes out of your day to put yourself first. Your passion for helping people is honorable, and the children you raise are incredible. Thank you for doing both.

May you always be proud of the work you do, the person you are, and the children you raise.

We’re so proud of you, mama.

Happy Mother's Day.

About the Author:

Having been a dispatcher for nearly two decades, Melissa Lindsay knows all too well the challenges of juggling the roles of mom dispatcher. Her experience with postpartum depression and anxiety left her feeling like she lost herself in motherhood for many years. In 2015 she found personal development by way of another mom sharing it with her. From that moment forward, she committed to her practices in self-development and as a result has a newfound joy for life and work...and has achieved the ever-elusive "balance". In all her personal studies and work, she learned in depth about the internal affects of external stressors, so in 2020, Melissa made what felt like one of the most difficult decisions if her life. With the support of her police department she was able to continue supporting her community and transferred into the Records Bureau, which allowed her to experience less stress and be of even more service than she already was previously. The move allowed her to pursue her passion and purpose, mainly by writing her first book, The Mom-Me Diary, a journal for moms and mom-figures for setting daily intentions for self-care, gratitude, grace and awareness as a foundation on their motherhood journey.

The Mom-Me Diary is a self-help journal for moms and mother-figures of all ages and cultures trying to improve their lives. This book assists moms who seek to reprioritize their self-care, self-love, and find their identities again while still being the best mothers possible for their children. Through various journal prompts, reflections, anecdotes, and quotes or “mom-isms,” The Mom-Me Diary teaches people to seek daily gratitudes, to learn from their children, to set intentions, and to grant themselves grace for being human.

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