Asking for help is a struggle for so many women (myself included). And, for many of us moms, asking for help usually means that we feel like we’re failing in the parent department. The worst part is that we won’t ask for help particularly when it comes to carving out some much needed self-care time. Self-care for moms is essential yet always just out of reach for many of us.
It’s just not a habit that many of us moms (or women) have cultivated for a smorgasbord of reasons.
Learning to ask for help without letting it make me feel like crap has been a game changer, and I believe that learning how to ask for help is the best form of self-care around.
Step #1: Admit You Need A Hand
Self-care for moms doesn’t always take the form we think it will because sometimes self-care isn’t about baths and manicures—self-care can really include anything that helps your emotional and physical wellbeing.
So, sometimes, admitting to yourself that you can’t do it all, all the time, without help is an important first step to get you to the place where you can engage in self-care activities that you enjoy, need and want just for yourself.
It took me a long time to get this. So, I come from a place of understanding when it comes to trying to do it all without help. Trust me!
Whether it’s asking your husband for help, family for help, or the church day-camp down the street for a spot at their summer camp—whatever form it takes, just getting yourself to ask for help can be the best thing you do for yourself. I truly believe that asking for help is self-care for moms.
Step #2: MAKE THE ASK
Ah, but here’s the OTHER rub…sometimes asking for help IS the hurdle. If you’re like me, this can be THE HARDEST part of the process.
Asking for help is a hang up that so many of us have because is like admitting that we can’t do it ALL. And, if we admit we can’t do it all, then we feel like failures at this whole motherhood thing.
Change the Narrative
For me, that was at the heart of being incapable of asking for help. But, I decided to change the narrative because what I was doing wasn’t getting me to happy.
Instead of asking for help triggering “failure” emotions, I decided to let it be a sign that I was finally making room for myself in this life I’ve created. The trick was to turn the narrative on its head.
So, I think that the best form of self-care for moms is just making the ask.
I’d even go as far as saying that asking for help and admitting you can’t do it all, all the time, is really a sign of strength. Why? Because you’re saying that your needs are just as important as the needs of those you’re taking care of.
So, yes, “the ask” is hard—but with practice and a little reframing, it can become your superpower!
Flaw in the Design – Not in You
You are a whole person, despite the care that you’re giving to your family. You have to make time for the whole person that you are—to take care of your needs and wants.
But, the system isn’t designed that way. It’s basically set up so that you fail….think about it….
The Alter of Motherhood
Door #1: if you decide to work and “have it all” then you’re gonna have to find a way to “do it all” (this includes WAHM, working moms, mompreneurs, or any other hybrid gig).
Door #2: if you decide to be a SAHM, then we have to ascribe to the “do-it-all” / self-sacrificing mentality. (See my own confessions about this here).
Interesting—there’s one common denominator in both of those options: your SELF gets sacrificed at the alter of motherhood. Under this design there’s just not room for you and your needs.
And, this my friend is the problem.
I read a great quote recently: “You don’t have to GIVE it all to GET it all.” So spot on, really. And, I think it’s going to be my new mantra.
Let Go of Perfection
Ultimately, when you think about it—the best self-care for moms can be letting go of the idea of perfection you have in your head and embracing the idea that you need people as much as they need you.
Releasing those unrealistic expectations eliminates the predetermined outcome of failure and shame. Because, let me save you the suspense – we ALL need help.
So, making “the ask” is part of the process. It may help to redefine what making the ask means to you. If you can reframe the meaning, then shame and feeling like you’re failing won’t stand in your way of some desperately needed self-care.
Sometimes, it’s all about getting out of your own way, right?