I hate accepting help. Note that I didn’t say I don’t need help. I need help all day every day. Most likely I also need professional help. But accepting it is incredibly hard for me. Ironically when my husband leaves for months at a time, this intensifies. ( I don’t need a man! Oh wait except to kill spiders, make babies, and be there during scary movies.) I feel a strong need to be this fictional supermom people talk about. When the cashier at the grocery store asks me if I need help out to my car I’m all- Help? No, why would you even ask such a thing!- as my 5 year old is attempting to steal candy bars, my baby is vomiting down the back of my shirt, and I just tried to pay with my library card. -Eff off Harris Teeter, I’m going to roll this shopping cart with the one wonky wheel and two children out to my car all BY MYSELF. And then most likely I will eat a candy bar and softly cry all the way home. I got this.
I don’t know what it is about us as moms that makes us feel like we have to project that image. The image of having it all together. Because the simple truth is that no one does. There is something wrong when I have a friend tell me that she just wants to be a mom that is keeping it all together instead of constantly losing her sh*t. I’m pretty convinced that if we were to dig a little deeper the mom “keeping it all together” would be a complete fallacy. (Or she has a lot of excellent hired help. Which I think is amazing. If anyone knows of a free maid service hit me up.)
We assume that accepting assistance somehow subtracts from our momness. I’m slowly and painfully learning that is anything but the truth-that needing other people is NORMAL. Accepting help equals happier mom equals happier partner equals healthier kids. No one is meant to do this parenting thing alone. Reaching out to your spouse or family or church or neighbors is how we are meant to do life.
I’m retiring my “mom island” and refusing to pretend I am a one woman birthing, nursing, working, cleaning, cooking, butt wiping super power. I will make my manta, “I am not wonder woman.” I will bring store bought cookies to the party and not feel bad about it. I will accept help that is offered and I will offer whatever I can-even if that is just a text of encouragement to my other exhausted mommy friends. Just because we are capable of doing this alone does not mean that we are supposed to. Mom on, y’all.