Being a parent is the hardest and most rewarding job in the world, and doing it alone, without help, is nearly impossible. Yet we praise moms who seem like “supermoms” and can feel like a failure as moms if we have to ask for help, or have meltdowns and can't do it all. Mama, it's okay to ask for help. It's okay to say no. It's okay to stop trying to be a super mom.
Affirmations Can Be Powerful
Before we go any further, make sure you check out my post Affirmations for Moms to learn why affirmations work and how to use them effectively. I dramatically changed the way I think, and therefore, my attitudes, emotions, mental and spiritual health when I started using affirmations in 2014. I can look back now and see how much I lived in fear and in stress before I began to change the way I think.
The affirmation we are going to use is:
I am knowing that it is safe and okay for me to ask for what I want and to state my needs.
Say the Affirmation Aloud
So when you feel lonely, it can feel really silly to say that affirmation outloud because it’s not currently true in your own life. You might think, “no one cares about what I need and it's not safe for me to ask for what I want!” But this is the key with affirmations – we use them to rewire our brains and change our habitual thoughts so we can begin to believe in what’s possible and what COULD be true. Then your brain goes to work to come up with ideas to make it happen.
Societal Pressures for Moms and Women that Need to Stop
As women and moms, it can be especially difficult for us to ask for help and to state what we want and need. There are so many societal pressures put on moms and women (men also have pressures). Things like we are supposed to be sweet, and smile, and go with the flow, support our husbands, stay home to raise kids, do all of the cooking and cleaning, and so many more! What would you add to this list?
I Used to Feel Guilty to Ask for Help or Have Any Desires
I used to feel so guilty to ask for help when our first child was born. I thought I should be able to handle it all by myself, but I was not prepared at ALL for the massive changes having a baby would have in my life. My husband took a week off and went back to life as usual at work.
Meanwhile, my ENTIRE day was different. I no longer had any time by myself or for myself. I had no adult interaction or conversation (until I joined a MOMS Club). I was still recovering from a traumatic birth and an emergency c-section, while staying up all night nursing with very sore and hurting nipples, extremely sleep deprived. Having a newborn is NO JOKE. It is still to this day the hardest thing I've ever gone through (four times!). And it's the same for all moms. Our bodies and entire worlds are turned upside down by children, in both good and hard ways.
The Messages We've Been Told About How to Be a Good Wife and Mom Are Oppressive!
It took me a while to start asking my husband for more help because of these societal messages of what I thought being a wife and a mother is supposed to look like. Thankfully, I started waking up to the fact that those messages are oppressive – they seriously hold us back from living our potential. They are also discriminatory and sexist! The world needs a balance of both men and women being in charge – the two energies are meant to thrive in harmony together.
Add to that the messages we've been told about marriage. “Submit to your husbands.” This, in my opinion, has been one of the most grossly misinterpreted Bible verses! It doesn't mean that you shut yourself up when he's doing something you don't like, or that aren't allowed to have your own opinions and desires. It doesn't mean that he gets to take advantage of you and control your life – that makes you his child and not his partner in life.
This used to be our culture and way of life, but women are waking up and realizing this is ridiculous and horrible for our mental, spiritual and emotional health. Like I stated earlier, it's discrimination and oppression!
Stop Thinking You Should Be Able to Do it All
Raising children is the hardest (and most rewarding, yes) job there is! It doesn't matter if you stay at home, work from home, work part time, or work full time out of the house, you cannot do it all.
It is okay to ask your husband to help out more around the house. This is 2020, not 1950. Marriages are PARTNERSHIPS. Both husband and wife should be pitching in to do whatever it takes to keep the household running smoothly and take care of themselves mentally, spiritually and emotionally. But you've got to be clear with him – don't expect him to know what you're thinking and feeling. Clearly ask for it.
Even if you're a stay at home mom, managing the care of little ones while trying to run the entire household is a beast! It is still okay for you to ask for help. Do not expect to be able to do it all by yourself. Don't try to prove you're a super mom, because it will affect negatively affect your mental health and that of your children and spouse.
It is Okay to Have Childcare
Before I became a mom, I swore I'd never put my kids in daycare. I had decided that it was the worst way to raise my kids. Ha! I had no clue back then how hard it would be to stay home with small children all day or that I'd WANT to work. How I wish now that I wouldn't have been so hard on myself as a new mom and got more help at home!
Now my three-year-old, Ella, goes to a wonderful daycare three days a week. She is thriving and I am, too! It's also a preschool so she's really enjoying learning new things, making friends and getting her energy out there.
I'm part of several entrepreneur groups of moms on Facebook and I often see moms asking how they can get work done with the kids around. When I first started this blog, I would working during their naps and after they went to sleep at night. It worked, but it was very challenging because I was still trying to be a super mom back then.
I quickly learned that it was much better for me to have a babysitter come over twice a week and give me dedicated working time. I was so much happier and less stressed – I am able to dedicated myself to my work (which is so satisfying for me) and then when it is over, I am much more present with my kids.
We don't expect our husbands to work from home with kids running all around, do we? Or expect him to take the kids with him to work and let them hang out in his office? No! We know that sounds ridiculous. So why do we expect to do it as moms?
And the great thing about having in-home childcare is that you can keep an eye on the babysitter/nanny and have that peace of mind, knowing how they are being cared for.
Homeschooling or Stay at Home Moms Can Also Get Childcare!
But let's say you don't work from home or homeschool – it is still okay for you to have extra help around the house! Many husbands travel so having help inside the home can be invaluable! Pay a nanny or babysitter to come and play with the kids so you can get some laundry done, make dinner, go to the store, or go get a pedicure. It can be such a sanity saver.
Childhood Trauma Affects Your Ability to State Your Needs
It you were raised in a home where your needs were not met, it will be much harder for you to ask for what you want and need. And you may have suppressed what you want for so long that you don't even know what you want anymore. You can get to a point where you're not even sure what your favorite color is, or type of food, or movie, TV show, house style and design, etc. This can also happen as a result of abusive romantic realtionships – you learn to stay quiet just to survive and lose yourself in the process.
I highly recommend getting some help if you've gone through any kind of abuse or neglect. Trying to heal all on your own can be very challenging, and often doesn't work for most people. We ALL need counseling from time to time, just like going to the doctor for a checkup. We need spiritual and emotional check ups!
There are many ways to heal. Yoga classes, meditation, going to a counselor or therapist, Carol Tuttle’s Healing Center, talking to your pastor – whichever way resonates with you and actually works for you.
Affirmations Album for Moms and Kids
If you combine the affirmation cards with my affirmations album, you’ll really see transformation in your life! Check out my album here.