Does anyone else suck at asking for help? And by suck what I mean is not only do I not ask for help I also tell myself that I am a failure for not being able to do it all. Whelp, I for one can give a big hell yes to that question.
Ugh. Why is asking for help so hard!? And before we get too ahead of ourselves, the help I am referring to is deeper than tasks and household chores. The help I’m talking about is the actual act of acknowledging that I cannot do it all, I am not doing it all and I am self destructing. After my third consecutive meltdown it was suggested by my partner that I do something for myself (and take a needed and necessary time out). I was stunned. Startled. I was at a loss. Oh, and I was pissed. Somewhere in the last 6 weeks I tripped over myself and fell down a dark hole created entirely in my head. It felt a lot like anxiety and looked like solitary confinement; I was battling myself in a way that was not rational. While one half of myself was piling on the things i needed to do the other half was building barriers preventing me from doing said items. For the record, the to do’s were legit, the barriers were both irrational and illogical. I was in a free fall of resistance. Quite the dichotomy isn’t it?
It turns out that the free fall does not last forever and I’m finding my bearings, once again. There was definitely a toddler style meltdown complicated by marbled communication (just imagine trying to understand someone who is explaining themselves with a mouth full of marbles). This was not my first meltdown and I am confident it will not be my last. Underneath the meltdowns was a new Mom just needing to feel like herself again. The first six weeks are no joke: joy and grief coated in sleep deprivation. Joy for this beautiful babe, grief for your old life and then sleep deprivation is tossed in to really fuck with you. Your life has completely changed, your body is healing, you feel held hostage by a baby terrorist and then there is the guilt you feel for the fact you just called this little human a terrorist. It’s really a beautiful mess.
Like most things, I know the only way through this, is through. I know that it is not just storm clouds (anyone who has the WonderWeeks App knows what I am talking about) and there truly are moments and days that are rainbows and butterflies. What I want you to know and why I am sharing this is that hard and messy is normal. That your struggle is real and normal. That you, momma, are normal. Hang in there, I am told it gets easier. If you’re interested, these are the things that have helped make it easier, for me:
Talk it out.
Postpartum support groups. Find one. Go to one. Repeat. This is one place where you are guaranteed to be understood; you won’t be the only one running late, with a crying baby, eating a questionable snack (because Halloween) and wearing dark circles under your eyes like a goddamn badge of honour. And should you roll in on time, Starbucks in hand, looking fly, you’ll be supported just the same. Find one. Start one. GO to one.
Leave. The. House.
Ugh. I live in the frozen tundra of the prairies and winter has arrived. It is snowy and cold and i do not want to leave the house. I haven’t left the house. I need to leave the house.
Make appointments for yourself.
Massage. Hair. Solo Coffee Date. As women, we suck at doing things for ourselves, just because. For that reason, make an appointment for yourself with someone else so you actually follow through. I’m much less of a flake when someone else is also depending on me.
Call your mom.
Does this need any further explanations?
I hope that these words, at the very least, provide you with comfort. Perhaps some company as you are hanging out in a rabbit hole of your own or some relatable feelings from the other side. We are all doing our best and our best is more than enough. However, John and Paul said it best, we all get by with a little help from our friends.
You are enough,