Admitting we need help doesn’t mean we are weak. It does not make us “less than” to ask for help. Just the opposite, it makes us stronger to admit when we need support. It’s also vital for our mental health!
I don’t know why we feel we need to do everything on our own. We have to prove to someone, or ourselves, that we can handle it all on our own. We think about what asking for help “looks like” but we don’t consider how it will make us feel. Spoiler alert: you will feel completely burnt out, and that can lead to a scary emotional state. I am not saying it causes depression, but depression does feed on that burnout.
When you burn out as a mom, you burn out bad. It’s bad because it doesn’t just affect you; it will affect your whole family.
Whether you need help with day-to-day things or emotional support, it’s so important to find a way to overcome whatever it is that is holding you back and ask for help. The same goes for accepting help.
I know the pandemic has further limited our options when it comes to asking for help. However, if there is any way to adjust how you do things but still get help, do it! I have found teletherapy is great. Also, when it comes to childcare, outdoor activities, and masks, I feel more comfortable. Some extra screen time or FaceTime playdates or grandparents’ calls are super helpful.
Looking back, there have been so many times I know I should have asked for help, and I didn’t. Be it from a therapist or those closest to me, asking for and accepting help has never come easily to me.
When we moved stateside, I thought I could do so much more than I actually could. And that I completely burnt myself out.
Trying to do it all and making sure everyone else was ok kept me so busy I ignored my own delicate emotional state.
It affected how I acted as a mother, as a wife, as a person. I was exhausted, which led to being impatient, angry, and anxious. Falling back into that hole I had avoided because I didn’t have the energy or time to pay attention to myself, where I was going, or where I was headed.
I didn’t register what was going on within me because I didn’t have the time. I didn’t make the time. Not making sure my cup was full first was a big mistake.
When I got sick, I had no choice. Either I took the help, or my kids weren’t going to go to school because I couldn’t leave my house.
Saying “Yes, I will accept your help” the first time was like ripping off a band-aid. It was hard to do, but once you got over the sting, everything was fine. Nobody thought me weak or “less than.”
Since then, asking for help when I need it has become easier. I still need reminding that it’s ok, but each time it gets easier to let go.
We moms feel the pressure of being “supermoms.” What does that even mean? Think about it. Ask someone else what they think it means. Chances are the answers are different. Ask a person you consider a supermom. I bet she has her different idea of a supermom. She probably doesn’t even consider herself a supermom. I bet she has another person she considers a supermom. We don’t feel we do enough. We don’t feel we ARE enough. Why?
Needing help is ok!
Let me put it this way. Ironman has Pepper Potts, the Avengers, and all his fancy gadgets to help him, and people don’t think him a “less than” superhero. He just as awesomely saves the planet every time.
We look over the fence and think, “Other moms can do much more than I can… I should be doing the same.” The thing is, we don’t truly know what is going on with anyone else. They might be “doing it all,” but maybe they’re “all” isn’t the same as ours.
Each of us is different. We all have different limits, and just because your limit might be different from the person next to you doesn’t make it any less valid.
I repeat, it’s ok to ask for help. The whole “it takes a village” thing is real! We might need help from family, friends, therapists, and that’s ok. It’s better than ok. It means you are aware and strong enough to know you need support.
We should all be ok with accepting help. Be it something simple like organizing a carpool or something deeper like asking someone to listen before we break. Our mental state depends on being aware enough to know when we need help.
It doesn’t make you a bad mother, a bad wife, or a person who is “less than” anyone else if you ask for help. We are all supermoms doing the best we can, and like I tell the kids, you can’t do more than your best.
The Miami Moms Collective community is one where moms support each other through blog posts, fun events where kids and moms can unwind, and a community filled with moms here to listen. If you are looking for support, please feel free to reach out.