The 4 Letter Word We Need to Stop Treating as Taboo

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That’s right, I’m talking about HELP When my first child was born we had issues breastfeeding. It took two weeks of misery, tears, frustration, including a trip to the hospital for jaundice, pumping to get my supply back up because he wasn’t actually nursing and constant breakdowns before I finally hired a lactation consultant.

She checked everything and let me know he was too small to latch, gave me a plan to get him bigger, a hospital pump to rent, and my piece of mind back. Best whatever money it was that I ever spent.

I asked myself over and over, why did I wait so long? I could have made that so much easier so much sooner and would have been more present for those first two weeks. Instead I reached the point of frustration where I understood why someone would shake their baby (I never did! But I saw how it could happen.)

It’s because I believed that I should be able to do this! (Note the “should” there.) That asking for help meant I was failing as a Mom, that something was wrong with me. This was the one role in life that I thought would just come naturally for me and I would just totally rock at it right away. Hahahaha. (Stay tuned for my next blog when I expose the missing roadmap for Motherhood and help you overcome the overwhelm.)

Working with other Moms, I see the same fiercely, exhaustingly determined mentality I was stuck in time and again across the board with all aspects of Motherhood. While Moms have started to fight back against the oppressive and unattainable “perfect” parent paradigm, there’s still this resistance to asking for help, even from a spouse. Moms seem to believe they’re supposed to know and be able to do it all when it comes to their child.

Whenever I explore this I hear Moms unconsciously, and sometimes consciously, telling themselves the story that asking for help is, at best, an imposition on someone else and, at worst, an indication they’re not good enough. It’s not true! Decide right now that you’re willing to let those stories go. You don’t have to yet, I’ll help you with that, but you have to at least get willing.

Now you may say, “Why ask for help when I’m mostly managing?” and “I can do it. Eventually this will pass and it’ll get easier. I just have to get through this part.”

Then you have to get through the next part and the next part and the next part and then what did you miss as you were getting through all those parts? And what did you teach your child about life?

That may sound harsh but I don’t want you to miss out! You don’t have to miss out! All parts can be ones you WANT to experience, not ones you’re just getting through.

How? Each person’s path is unique but you can start with three small steps:

  1. Make a list of the top three things you wish that someone could wave a magic wand and improve. (Ex: More adult time. A clean house. You time.)
  2. List anyone that could, maybe, help you with those things. Go ahead and list more than one person/company for each thing because sometimes people aren’t available for various reasons that have nothing to do with you. (Ex. A friend to come hang out. Cleaning company. Momma’s helper to play while you get stuff done.) 
  3. Finally, ask for help and trust whoever it is when they say yes that they mean yes. (That means you take them at their word and let whatever else that may or may not be going on in their heads be theirs because it’s about them, NOT you.) If it’s your partner, make it a conversation about what you need help with and let him say what he’d like to help with, which makes it more of a team effort.

Yes, it may feel uncomfortable and that’s OK, new behaviors often do.

Valerie Friedlander is a certified professional coach who helps Moms step out of overwhelm, discover the balance that works for them, and create a vibrant life for themselves and their family. If you are tired of just surviving and are ready to start thriving, learn more at www.theunlimitedmom.com and join the conversation in the Facebook Group: Empowered Motherhood Journey.

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