Why We Need to Normalize Asking For Help

How do you feel about asking for help as a parent? Is it something you struggle with? Or does it come easy to you? Do you have a village you can lean on confidently and consistently? Does it make you feel guilty? Are you worried about burdening others? Do you feel like you are less adequate if you can’t do it on your own? 

No matter where you fall on this spectrum of feelings surrounding asking for help, this is something we feel passionate about normalizing.

You absolutely should not feel shame or guilt in asking for help. But still, from what we can tell, so many of us do. We weren’t meant to do this alone.

We often chat about the fact that our society praises independence in children, but the story is not all that different for adults. Why is so much of our worth being put on being able to be superhuman and do it all without ever needing anyone to lean on? The pressure is so strong for mom’s to not need anyone else. 

So let’s talk through a few reasons why we need to normalize asking for help. This is something we want to talk about in hopes of inspiring you to ask for help in whatever way you need it, but also to start a conversation in our community and hopefully help others find the time they need for themselves as a part of finding a balance in their parenting journey.

We need to normalize asking for help because we are meant to have a village. 

We’re sure you have all likely heard the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child”. Well this phrase was created for a reason! Being a parent is really hard at times and comes with a lot of responsibilities. It truly takes a whole village to raise a child – children are meant to be parented in a wider village of attachment but our society has made this concept quite challenging. When we are left without a village we never get time to be alone, to do things for ourselves, or to do things that make us, us. So much of the responsibility falls solely on mothers or just a mother and her partner, rather than an extended village. We may not have a village or live as close to family members as societies used to, but that doesn’t mean we can’t create a village of our own. You village can evolve in so many ways and there is nothing stopping you from being creative in how you build your village. From virtual to in person, from family to friends, from grocery drop offs and errand running to holding your baby for an hour, let’s re-claim having a wide and diverse community to help us in raising our children. You weren’t meant to do this alone.

We need to normalize asking for help because there is no reward for doing it all, but there are consequences for us and our children. 

Do you have a vision of who you are as a parent? Maybe this was something you were clear on before you even became a mom. It is so much harder to be the parent you always imagined you would be or the parent you strive to be daily, when you are burnt out and exhausted. We absolutely have to be taking care of ourselves in order to care of our children. Taking care of you is taking care of your baby. If we start to drown in everything that is demanded of us, what does that leave for us to give to our children? Are they only left with a version of us that is resentful, exhausted and burnt out? Asking for help provides us with the opportunity to show up for our children how they deserve, how we imagined. When we ask for help, we can show up for ourselves in ways that then allows us to show up for our children in the best way possible.

We have to normalize asking for help because we are setting an example for our children daily. It is so important that you let your child see you being kind and compassionate to yourself. 

The need to be asking for help can stem from giving yourself grace in stepping back from doing it all, and also in giving yourself time for self-care. If you are never asking for help when you need it, what does that say about your self-worth? You are worthy of time to take care of yourself, you are worthy of time to do things that you love outside of being a parent. Our children are watching and learning from everything we do. So let’s set an example for them that is defined by knowing our limits, setting boundaries to protect our peace, respecting ourselves, and giving ourselves grace when we know we need help. Imagine your child as a parent some day, would you want them to be suffering from burnout, or would you desperately want them to lean on you and ask for help in whatever way they need? We would guess you would wholeheartedly want your child to advocate for their own needs and lean on you for support, so it only makes sense that we do exactly that right now. 

We have to normalize asking for help because if the only break we get as a parent is contingent on our child sleeping, then there is a lot more pressure being put on their sleeping patterns. 

One of the reasons we feel there is so much pressure on baby sleep, is that often when children are asleep it is a parent’s, especially a mother's, only chance to get a break to do anything else or have time for herself. So often when we talk to parents about wanting to make changes to their baby’s sleep, their motivation lies within wanting time alone, wanting time with their partner or to get other things done or rest. Your child’s time in bed does not have to be the only opportunity for you to do these things. By asking for help we are taking off some of the pressure that is put on our little one’s sleeping patterns. If nap time is not your only time to shower, you might not dread the struggle so much, you might be able to co-regulate calmness and peace. If your baby or toddler being asleep is not the only thing making it possible for you to get a break, you can be responsive more easily when you are less fixated on how long they are going to sleep or how quickly they go to sleep or how much you are going to need to support them. If we were more open about asking for help as parents, perhaps then we would feel supported enough to be able to slow down when it comes to baby sleep. Maybe, we wouldn't feel so rushed to push babies into independence but rather feel empowered to enjoy and embrace where our children are today.

We need to normalize asking for help so we have time to connect with others who hold important relationships in our lives.

Motherhood has a tendency to be quite isolating at times and we feel it is so important that we take time to intentionally connect with others around us. Sometimes asking for help with your little might be the only way to make this happen. From your relationship with your partner that you are parenting with, to your relationship with your parents, your friends, other moms, all kinds of relationships, we need to hold onto those connections in our lives. Asking for help so that you can have time to connect intentionally with those that you love is so important. 

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, defeat or failure. Asking for help in brave and an indicator or self-worth and and self-love. 

Categories: : Sleep Without Sleep Training, Motherhood, Parenting, Self-Care, Boundaries, Advocating