a post from the archives / something worth remembering
In my life before motherhood I felt I could conquer most things and find a way of being successful in many situations. Since the day I turned 14 and 9 months I had a job, earnt my own money and was pretty social. I had taken pride in my appearance and often indulged in unnecessary spending for, you know, unnecessary consumer goods.
Yet there I was, unemployed and poorly dressed with a crying baby in my arms, a pile of washing on the floor and a scar on my tummy.
Fortunately for me, I was surrounded by my family who were a pillar of support. My mum used to pop in after work with blueberry scones and make me a cup of tea before rocking the baby to sleep. Both of my parents provided a listening ear and a sympathetic hug in times of need. They would do odd jobs around the house and generally help out without my needing to ask.
Yet I remained anxious and all at sea. Being a proud person with a strong independent streak I desperately wanted to to be able to do this parenting gig on my own. I wanted to be able to do it all without any help. In fact, I expected myself to.
Surely only the weak and incompetent would need to rely on others to help them raise their children! Surely this kind of dependency only rendered me useless and inefficient!
Oh, how very wrong I was.
Last week was my hardest week of parenting ever. All 5 of us were sick with Elke refusing to be put down both day and night. Zeph and Pip felt the pinch of a severe reduction in attention while Dave and I struggled to manage their night wakings, bed wettings and temper tantrums whilst being unwell ourselves.
To think that I could've made it through that week without the support of my friends and family is utter insanity. Parenting is a community affair and without even realising it we support one another. Whether it be with a listening ear, a home cooked meal, a hot cup of tea or a sincere offer to sort another mothers washing - we do it together.
The longer I do this parenting thing the more I realise that the job is unconquerable. I'll never get it perfect. I'll never have a super human amount of patience or energy or time. I'll always need help and support and do you know what - if an offer for food, time or a hug is made, i'm right there, saying YES! And if I really need an extra pair of hands, these days I'm bold enough to ask.
There's no shame in asking for help.
It's empowering to know ones limits and respect them.
Tell me, are you comfortable asking for help or does part of you feel like you've failed if you can't get everything done on your own?