With the Duchess of Sussex revealing this week her private struggle with pregnancy and becoming a mother, we wanted to discuss why we don't talk enough about the struggles of motherhood and why asking and accepting help as a new mother is harder than you think.
There can be an idea of walking into pregnancy and motherhood with a rose (insta) tinted view of this new parenting world. Snuggles and naps with your new little newbie, perhaps the odd night time wakeup where you simply roll out of bed and feed the baby before you both fall peacefully back to sleep.
The reality of course, can be a shock and often something you’re not really warned about before the baby arrives.
Hormones rule both body and mind, you’re anxious, stressed and likely haunted by the simple thought of ‘Am I doing it all wrong!?!’ One thing for sure is, it will be a raw, emotional journey and you will most certainly need help, at some point.
Even out of the public eye, today’s world makes keeping up appearances and maintaining a ‘stiff upper lip’ a common persona to try and maintain. However, the reality of doing this is hard and sometimes the mask drops to reveal a very vulnerable mother beneath. Making it really hard to, firstly admit you need help and secondly to actually ask for that help.
There's definitely a motherhood mentality of bucking up, sacrificing and pushing yourself to the point of no return, because that’s what modern motherhood tells you to do. This is often the main reason than when people ask the all important question of ‘How are you?’, the response isn’t often truthful and also not really pushed.
When people ask how you are and you don’t commit to the truth of reality, you’re effectively taking away someone’s chance to support you. Don’t take those chances away from people, let them help you. You need to ask for help, but more importantly, you need to take it.
You will need help - and that’s ok.
You’ll probably feel like an addict taking the first step toward recovery after you admit that you need help. And after you do this, will come an amazing feeling and relief. You probably would never have imagined that the hardest part of becoming a mother is actually admitting you can’t do it all by yourself. The second hardest part...taking the help.
“It takes a village”
You’ll hear this a lot after you become a mother but then you’ll maybe find yourself sitting alone in your home without the help you need. Maybe it’s because of pride, stubbornness or some personal block that keeps you held to the thought that you won’t be a good mother, if you reach out for help. It’s probably a combination of all of those things or this have-it-all/do-it-all society we live in. Whatever it is, you need to allow yourselves to become vulnerable enough to ask for and accept help without feeling defeated.
So to all the new mums out there, accept and ask for help.
You have permission to not be perfect, because no one is.