Promise me you’ll ask for help. From your family, your friends, your doctor, your therapist. For the small things, and the big things.
Let someone deliver you a meal, or do your laundry, or take out your trash. Let someone come sit with you, laugh and cry with you, or give you a shoulder to lean on. Let someone tell you you’re doing a good job, tell you they’ve been where you are, or just listen to the ups and downs of your chaotic life.
Promise me you’ll let go of total control and that image of a perfect mother who could do it all.
Maybe you thought you could do all the dishes and the laundry and cook all the meals while the baby sleeps. Maybe you imagined doing all your favorite hobbies and maintaining your friendships and caring for yourself the way you always have. Some days, it will feel like you’ve done nothing but hold and feed your baby, and you’ll wonder how other people do it all.
Nobody can be that perfect mother, and nobody should have to be. Let your children see the wonderful people in your life who are willing to step up and step in. Let your children know that asking for help is not weakness.
The early days of motherhood are blurry. There will be sleepless nights, never-ending feedings, and tears of frustration. But there will also be sweet snuggles, first smiles, and peaceful moments while your baby sleeps. In the midst of a thousand emotions, let someone share your joys and carry your burden. Whether it’s through a phone call or a text, on your couch, or out on a walk, let someone ask you how you’re doing and not just how the baby is doing. Because you’re still a person too.
Promise me you’ll let go of any guilt or shame in receiving help.
You do not love your child less because someone held them while you showered. You are not a worse mother because you went out for coffee with a friend. You are not a failure for seeking professional help in the darkest moments. Sometimes, the best way you can love your child is by caring for yourself.
You were designed for this—to love, care for, and raise this small child. But you weren’t designed to do this alone.
So promise me you’ll ask for help. Because “it takes a village”—but you have to let the village in.