Do you feel like you have no support around you? Or maybe the help that’s being offered isn’t what you actually need?
I’m going to share a simple trick to get the exact kind of support you DO need, and how to make use of the village you already have – without having to spend any money.
One of the most common ways for loved ones to offer support is by asking to hold your baby.
And sometimes this is exactly what you need.
But often, your baby only wants YOU… and going to someone else upsets them.
And while you THOUGHT you needed a break, suddenly all you want is to hold on to your baby because having them taken out of your arms feels like someone is ripping your heart out of you.
So your loved one kind of shrugs and walks away because their offer to help didn’t work.
Or worse, they say something like “oh, isn’t he just a mama’s boy”, or “she’s got you wrapped around her little finger!” – and you’re left with an upset baby and you’re still unshowered/needing to pee/hungry/thirsty/tired/lonely/sad/feeling unsupported.
I hear you. I see you. And it’s so hard.
It’s hard for you because you feel alone in this.
It’s hard for your loved one because they don’t know how to help and probably feel rejected too.
So I’m throwing you and I a challenge (I need to get better at this too):
Learn to ask for what you need.
Ask for the kind of support you DO want and work with the village you have.
But asking for help is hard – and it feels selfish (it isn’t!) – so I’ll help you find the words.
The next time someone tries to help in a way that isn’t what you or your baby need at that time, you could try something like:
“I really appreciate you trying to help. Would you be able to get me a glass of water instead? That’s exactly what I need right now”
“Thanks for offering to hold Charlie – it’s hard to do much with my hands full! But instead, I’d really appreciate it if you could stir the soup to make sure it doesn’t burn while we go to the bathroom”
What are some things you could proactively ask for?
Is there anything unrelated to baby that would give you a break?
One of the ways my mom supports us is by taking our dog with her when she goes up to the cottage. We get a break from one of our “children”, she gets exercise and fluffy cuddles, and our dog gets lots of ear scratches and attention. Win-Win-Win!
What about asking to have dinner made and dropped off for one night this week? Or asking to meet up at a park so you can get some fresh air and adult conversations while baby plays?
What about asking if they can pick up a few groceries for you during their next shopping trip?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments. What kind of help do you need, and what response did you receive once you asked for it? Was it as scary as you thought it would be?
Know someone that needs help asking for what they need? Be sure to share this with them.