'I need help'. Three tiny words that every single mum in the world is incapable of saying.
What is it about admitting that we can't do everything by ourselves that mums just seem to totally freak out about? Why is it that asking for help seems to be some sort of admittance of failure or incompetence. I'm going to say right here and right now that its dumb, dumb as f**k! Asking for help is not a sign of weakness nor is it a sign that you cant cope. Asking for help is simply that and the only people that read anything else into it is US.
I know I'm absolutely guilty of trying to do everything by myself. The housework, the laundry, the cooking, the school runs, the homework, going to work etc and then being utterly furious with my husband for not doing more. You know what my husband says? 'Why didn't you ask me to help?' I'll tell you why because I want you to read my mind and work it out, because by me asking for help that tells you that I can't do it all (which I can't) and suggests that I am not in fact super human (which I'm not). So no dear husband I will not ask for help, I will continue to move in a manic cloud of laundry powder pretending that I am not one more bowl of dried Weetabix away from losing my shit. I know I'm not alone in this, I have this conversation with my friends at least weekly but still we don't say those three itty bitty words.
While I'm thinking about friends, why don't we ask them either? 'Hey close friend who loves me dearly, could you give me a hand with my newborn this week I've not slept in 500 years and I'd love some help' NOPE! We don't say it. Despite our friends offering umpteen times to have the baby so we can nap we say no, its fine I don't need any help. LIES! Our friends love us, they love our babies and most likely remember how hard it is and genuinely want to help but we still can't say those three teeny weeny little words.
In the supermarket when you have gone to but one small carton of milk but end up leaving with nine loaves of bread (they were on offer), 23 toilet rolls, two boxes of out of date mince pies and a ride on lawn mower and the lovely store assistant says 'would you like some help carrying this to your car?' you reply 'oh no this is no problem at all, I can carry this with one hand' and break three ribs trying to wiggle down the travelator whilst looking for your car keys. Still no sign of those tinchy little words.
I know that perhaps I'm exaggerating but what I'm not exaggerating is the fact that 15% of new mums in the UK suffer from depression and a third of moms in the UK admit to experiencing severe anxiety. Now I know not all of that is down to not asking your husband to empty the dishwasher but I do know that asking for help with any aspect of our mom life is the first step to feeling more supported. Asking for help should not been seen as a weakness but rather a strength, the strength to admit that you can't do everything. We need stop beating ourselves up and judging ourselves because being happy, healthy and feeling supported is definitely more important than proving to yourself that you are a super human - we already know we are super human we gave birth! Give it a try, ask for help just once this week and see if it makes a difference (husbands all over the country may now have to learn how to use the hoover) and make asking for help your 2017 New Years resolution.