Does something ever happen to you, and you react in a certain way, and then you sit back in a moment of candid realization that, "Whoa, if this *whatever* had happened a year ago... I would have reacted SO differently..." And then you are sort of hit with your growth? That's been happening to me a lot lately. I can confidently and clearly point to so many points of growth and change in me this past year and its sort of amazing.
I'm certainly haven't *arrived* and I still have a lot to learn- but i've at least come a long way. This last week I got a sinus infection from hell. I had an intense migraine, blurry vision, near constant headache and overall achiness. And you know, as a mom, there's really no such thing as sick days. Lunches still need packed, kids still need to be dressed and sent to school, picked up from school, dinner made, baths, and cleaning, and laundry...
I trudged through and until finally, wait for it, oh my gosh... I asked for help.
CRAZY concept right? Maybe not for everyone, but for me, asking for help has been a lifelong battle. I got it. I can do it. I don't need help. I don't need anyone!
But what I've learned is I can't be everything. I can't actually do everything. It's not humanly possible even. And when I hold myself to some invisible expectation completely fabricated by myself and my inner monologue... I actually cause more harm than good. I get too scheduled, too stressed out, too tired, too task focused. Gotta make an organic dinner, gotta bake for the bake sale, gotta gotta gotta. These are all self-imposed rules that mean nothing really. I mean, my kids would eat pancakes for dinner and be thrilled. So why do I put so much pressure on myself?
I think we all do as mothers. We are our harshest critic. We have an idea of motherhood and life and it's usually a mix of Instagram and Pinterest worthy outfits and meals and crafts and happiness. But dang... Life's not clean like that. Life is a kid with bad dreams at 1 a.m., and silly putty stuck to the couch, and 4-year-olds picking out skirts and shirts that don't match and going out for pizza because you're all too tired to cook.
This week I asked for help. I specifically told my partner what I needed and when and why. And guess what? He 100% showed up.
I texted my mom for help. And guess what? She totally took a huge stress off my plate.
Baby steps. Life doesn't have to be all about being superwoman and soldering on. And that's kind of what my job as a doula is about right? CAN you do it by yourself? Yep, probably. Should you? Probably not.
There's a lot of people willing to help, and no one sees you as weak for asking. Tend to your sanity. Hire a doula. Buy a few hours of postpartum support or overnight support. Ask a sitter to stay with the kids and go out. Ask your mom to come help around the house. Hire a housekeeper. Get your groceries delivered. Tell your husband exactly what you need, "I need a date night" "I need a foot rub" and watch him show up.
Ask for help. No one needs to do this all alone.