When is it okay to ask for help? Always.
Just as I was “about to pop” my mom offered to come help me. I puffed out my chest and told her I didn’t want to “farm out” the caring of my daughter. (The audacity!) Then, after a grueling labor and a plummeting of hormones and energy — I was DESPERATE for help.
No help sounded agonizing.
For many of us, asking for help is equivalent to admitting defeat. We would rather keep struggling in silence, sinking deeper in quicksand with every passing day, than admit we can’t do something entirely on our own.
The traditional African proverb—it takes a village to raise a child—is as equally true today as it was thousands of years ago, but somehow we have lost touch with that notion.
Social media threatens that folks can peek into our lives on a whim and we have turned into a society of thinly veiled facades: “All good over here! Don’t need a thing! Look at our portrait perfect family! Light and airy! (the irony of me saying that).” But really, we are no different from the generations that have preceded us; we are equally entangled with joy and exhaustion.
Many people say they find purpose, joy, and meaning in helping others, but they battle accepting help themselves. (ME!!!)
When life is bearing down on us and our instincts are to tidy up the house or go drink ourselves into oblivion—when our instinct is to numb—let’s do the thing we think we cannot do.
Let’s call someone we trust and talk to them about it, cry about it, name the issue, and start to address at it. Admitting that we have hit our limit and seeking help from outside ourselves deepens our connection with those around us.
Having a support system can have a huge impact on how we experience day-to-day life.
Women with robust support systems are more effective at work and at home, keep resolutions (hello, 2018!), weather personal and professional challenges more easily, are less likely to feel isolated, and (here’s the kicker) have children who become comfortable asking for and receiving help and support from others.
In the moments when we would rather be cemented in our independence than ask for help, let’s consider breaking down that brick wall.
Let’s consider not sucking it up and pushing through the tough times, but allowing help in.
Just as we want to impart our love, empathy, and compassion on others, they also want the opportunity to impart those gifts on us.
Needing help is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of humanity.
Ways to dip your toe into the “I need help” pool.
- Ask for more help from your husband/wife/partner.
- “Hey, this is really bogging me down. Can you help me?”
- Ask for help from girlfriends.
- Mamas of teeny babies, find some face to face contact with other mamas and hang onto them. They will be your lifeline.
- Once you’re a mama of a toddler ( I know nothing about raising children older than toddlers) you’ve got built in friends. Make friends with the parents from your kiddo’s class. You are all in the same boat. Reach out and ask them for a play date or to just hang out! Emotional support is so huge.
- Ask for help from a professional.
- I am a huge fan of therapy. Being a mama is hard full of transitions and it always help to have a professional guiding you and giving you suggestions on how to deal with all the changes.
- Don’t feel the need to be the “best” anything. Do the things that bring you joy, and forget the rest. Hate grocery shopping? Instacart. Hate cooking? Sandwiches. Hate making crafts. ME TOO!
Is there an area of your life where you’re ready to receive some help? Comment below!