Sleep deprivation. Emotional rollercoasters. Decision fatigue. Hormone swings. Drastic shifts in personal identity. Diapers to change. Feedings to figure out. Daily navigation of first-time experiences. Advice coming in from all sides. Self-doubt. All of this on top of managing your pre-baby life. WHEW!
If ever there was a time to ask for help, it’s now.
Some of us grow up believing that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Some of us link our value and self-worth to being the person who is able to “take care of everything on our own.” But what if there was no shame in asking for help? What if it’s actually an opportunity to strengthen relationships while giving yourself some grace?
Asking for help does not indicate that you are incapable. You’ve been courageous enough to say yes to this colossal journey of parenthood and simply put, a bit of backup could drastically improve the quality of life for your family. No one was designed to carry the entire load alone.
One great way to deepen connection is to allow those willing to support us to lend a hand. Asking for help lets others know they’re valuable and needed. They want to help and your life would be easier with a little help. Win-win!
Not asking for help (or refusing help when it’s offered) can inadvertently send the message that we don’t trust or respect the other person. It can imply “you won’t do it right” or “you aren’t necessary here.” This can cause people to be hesitant in offering help for fear of being criticized, corrected or devalued. All of us long to be needed, so when you think about it, asking for help is ultimately an act of generosity.
Make no mistake, leaning on others requires us to relinquish a measure of control, which can be challenging. What if it isn’t done “perfectly?” What if I’m not comfortable with the outcome? Sure, we can choose to fixate on “how” something is completed OR we can decide to be grateful and appreciative that it got done and enjoy the time, energy and ease it provides.
When you request assistance, consider being very specific about what would actually be helpful. Rather than leaving your support system guessing, tell them exactly what would be most beneficial to you. Maybe what you need most is a long hug. Maybe you need the diaper pail emptied. Maybe you need gas in your car. Clear communication avoids wasted time and unnecessary frustration.
Who will you ask to help you today?
Categories: Working Parents