The Danger of Accepting Help by Rachel Horn
I’m nearly 4 months into being a mother of two. It has taken time to adjust, but there are certain aspects of having a baby that remain the same. For instance, labor and delivery still hurt beyond belief! I was again blessed to make it through this birth without medication as we had hoped and while it is the most beautiful and indescribable experience…WOW, it still hurts. Recovery, though less prolonged, was also still the unwelcome guest I remembered from the first time around.
Among these other constants, there is also a deep pride that floods me. The positives to this are obviously that I am immensely in love and enraptured with my new babe. However, this new mama pride inflates my expectations of what I should be as a mother to unrealistic proportions. I should be able to get up and make dinner for my new family. I should be able to fully engage my toddler while I try to bond with and nurse my new baby. I should be able to do all of this while my husband is back at work AND with makeup. I should be able to do this on my own because other mothers have in the past. I should. Shouldn’t I?
This is where I want to implore mamas to stop with the “shoulds” and examine the reality around you. You brought a precious child into the world. A HUMAN CHILD. Do not let the gravity of that slip away from you. You are powerful and can do incredible things, you are a mom. It is OK to take a break. It is OK if your cleaning routine includes kicking things into a corner just to have a walk way. It is OK to accept help.
So what is the danger with asking for or accepting help? You will have to let people see the real you. Not the Instagram you, not the texting “everything is wonderful” you. The real, spit up in your hair, no makeup, bags under your eyes, you. Motherhood isn’t just perfect days, some are hard and freaking LONG!
Here’s why I encourage you to press on and release some of that negative pride. Your kids will know the real you. At some point, they are going to see you fail or need help and accepting it will teach them that it is OK to not be perfect. Believe it or not, every decision and action we make shows something to our kids. Accepting help is not about you failing, it is about recognizing limits and doing what you can to make the best home for your family.
Let someone bring you dinner. Let a friend come hold the baby for an hour so you can shower. Tell your partner when you need a break or how they can help you recharge. There are single mothers out there busting their rears and doing an awesome job, it can be done. It doesn’t make you less of a mother if you let someone help you get it done. Someone offering help doesn’t necessarily mean they think YOU need help, maybe they’re just remembering THEY needed help.
Whether you are a new mom or have been in the game a while, experiencing vulnerability like never before is part of the journey. Allowing people in may be difficult but it just may be the best part of motherhood.
Rachel Horn is a mother to two handsome boys, Chett (3 years) and Everrett (3 months). Rachel and her husband Jerrett have been married and enjoying life together for 10 years. Rachel is thankful daily for the opportunity to be a mother and lives with her boys in Texas.