I want to be completely honest here! I used to struggle to ask for help. I'm the kind of person who loves to help everyone else, but I rarely ask for help even from my husband. He is the one offering to support me most of the time. I see myself as an independent person, and I prefer to do things or resolve matters on my own rather than to burden someone else.
During my mid-teens, I was suddenly forced to take over the majority of household chores from my mother, who was suffering from severe depression. As my father was working full-time, there was no one to help me, and I had to grow up quickly and rely on myself. There was no point asking anyone for help. On top of that, I was afraid to accept help because I felt it would make me look weak and incapable.
Motherhood is not a comfortable journey to navigate. It is both challenging and rewarding at the same time. The constant tiredness (hello coffee!), the endless list of to-dos and feelings of inadequacy can be too much to bear as moms sometimes. I remember my first year of being a new mom; I used to burst into tears over little things. Sometimes I was even resentful towards my husband and would lash out for no real reason. From the outside, it looked like I was doing fine, but on the inside, I was a hot mess! I didn't know how to ask for help, even when I just needed a 5 min break.
At some point, I was at wit's end, and I asked for help. I sat down with my husband to discuss the key issues, and we decided to clearly divide our responsibilities. Since none of our family was close by, we also agreed to put our son into daycare two half- days a week, so I could have some free time. When you share the workload, you will feel less stressed and overwhelmed. Things get done, and it takes the pressure off you, so you don't spread yourself too thin. That way, you can enjoy motherhood and thrive instead of just surviving every day.
Here are 5 reasons why you should ask for help mama
It takes a village
Mothers can't do it alone. I know some mothers out there who don't even know how to ask for help from their partners. Remember that it takes two to decide to have a child, so it takes two to look after a child. It should never be a one-parent doing all the child-caring scenario unless of course, you are a single mother. Still, even then you have to ask for help from your parents, siblings or friends. Also, your kids can benefit from interacting with different kinds of people and learn new things. It takes a village to raise a child, not just the mother.
You are not weak
Here's the thing, now that I've been a mother for four years, I've learned that asking for help does not make you vulnerable. It takes a lot of self-love and inner strength to know that you've had enough and need a break- physical, mental, or emotional. Since the lockdown, I asked my husband a lot for help with the kids whenever I needed a break. As I write this blog, my husband has taken my kids out for a walk so I can concentrate on writing. :)
Take breaks not breakdown
Get used to asking your partner, extended family and friends for help to get away for a few hours. Drink a hot coffee in a cafe on your own or go to a yoga class, these mini-breaks will recharge you, and you can go back to being 100% supermom. You cannot and should not do everything on your own. As mothers, we will always have a lot of things on our plates. We have to remind ourselves that we need to take breaks from motherhood because if we don't, we can suffer from a breakdown.
Strengths and weaknesses
Okay, let's face it. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. We cannot possibly be good at everything, so sometimes it's just best for someone else to do the job. Delegating some duties to your partner or older kids to deal with things you don't like doing can buy you time and save your sanity, things like helping out with homework or simple chores like taking the trash out or tidying up.
The gift of giving
What happens when you help someone, it makes you feel good, right? That is why we keep helping others. I bet it never occurred to you that someone else might want to give back to you. So how about giving others a chance to experience the gift of giving?
Starting today, think about one small task you can ask your partner to do? Then from there, work your way to a bigger task and slowly increase the frequency.
Remember, you are only human and asking for help is part of being a human being.
I hope you find the courage and strength to get the support you need to keep you going to show up for your family every day.
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