Why is it we find asking for help to be so difficult? Whether it be help around the house from our spouse, from friends and neighbors to help you out in a pinch, or to seek out professional help when you feel you've lost your way. As a mother, why is it so difficult to speak up, to put our own needs first for a change? We do a phenomenal job noticing when our kids or spouse may need some help and are usually quick to jump in to try to make everything right. Why do we wait hours, days, months, years to finally speak up on our own behalf; to take notice and realize that perhaps we simply need some help?
If I had to suggest a theory, I would say it's because we're parenting in a competitive, self-sufficient, image-conscious era. We want everyone to believe we have it together, that we can manage whatever is thrown our direction and manage it well. We may feel if we ask our friends and neighbors for help, they may view us as a mother who is in over her head. If we ask our spouse to help unbury us from the pile of household tasks we may fear being viewed as incapable of caring for the kids and managing the house, or worse, just lazy. If we seek counseling from a professional, we may fear being viewed as weak. As mothers, we try to steer clear of feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, and shame. If we are trying to avoid these feelings, asking for help is certainly out of the question, right?
Wrong. At least it shouldn't be. I struggle to seek out help, but lately I've tried to accept those invitations from others who have offered to...help! As a person who likes to feel independent and self-sufficient this is difficult. I like to believe I can manage everything on my own and will be just fine, but truth be told I can't. The sooner I embrace this, the better. The sooner we as mothers let go of our need to appear to have it all together, to be Pinterest-perfect, the better off we will all be.
Being a mother is the toughest job we'll ever have. It is an exhausting, exhilarating, emotional roller coaster ride. Our "work" is to raise a part of the next generation and ensure we are providing a laundry list of important life experiences, values, and plenty of guidance. This is a pretty big undertaking and to think we can do it only in conjunction with their other parent, with little help from others, is absurd. There is a reason why it takes a village. Let's make sure we are accepting the help the village is willing to provide.