Asking for a much-needed helping hand can be difficult for moms. Here is how you can get over this dilemma.

When I was raised, my mother would always tell me not to rely on help of others. I guess she experienced a lot of disappointment in her life, and to this day, she has such a hard time even asking her own daughters for a helping hand.

Unfortunately, for a very long time, I used to believe that it is always better to tackle everything alone. You should not have to ask for help, but people should offer their help. And if they don't, then you don't need it. I believed this for a very long time.

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When I became a new mother to a beautiful daughter, I was determined to do everything myself. It took me a lot of breakdowns and healing to realize it doesn't have to be this way.

Today I do not believe in doing everything on my own. I learned that by not asking for help, I was denying myself to make my life easier. To this day, I have probably asked 1000 times for help, and I will ask another million times for sure.

It takes a village to raise a child

This old African proverb says it all. It takes a village to raise a child. My husband and I are two full-grown adults who, on some days, can barely manage two tiny humans. How on earth is anyone supposed to do it all alone (HUGE probs for every single parent)?

Being a parent is a privilege but let's be honest: it is exhausting. I really don't think that any expecting woman thought that motherhood would be such a tough job.

From pregnancy to birth and postpartum, and a long time after that. The load is extreme.

It is a to-do list that never gets shorter but only longer and longer, doesn't matter how many tasks you checked off the list. Not to mention this huge new responsibility to take care of a human being. There is a lot of stress and anxiety.

And even though it's so exhausting, many mothers struggle to ask for help. But why is that?

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Reasons you may not ask for help

Trying to be the perfect mom

We have this image of a completely selfless mother who fully dedicates her life to her kids. We wanted children, and now we should be able to do it all, right? That is our job. We want to be that perfect mother, or should I rather say society expects us to be that perfect mother?

But there is no such thing as a perfect mother. We are chasing something that society and social media have created. Perfect mothers are a myth. We end up setting impossibly high standards for ourselves. And asking for help might feel like failing, failing as a mother, and failing the expectations towards us when apparently others can do it as well.

You may conquer it all for a while. Child care, work, household, and managing a family. And it will make you feel good. For a while, at least, until that breaking point comes where everything gets too much.

Refusing to 'ask' for help

Why bother asking for help if people don't offer it in the first place? Why should I have to "ask" my partner for support? A dilemma many women face. On the one hand, they want their partners to take over parental tasks. On the other hand, they don't want to ask.

I get it. I was there for a long time. I expected people to notice when I needed help. It occasionally happened. But for sure, not as often as I really needed. So I became stubborn, and I would not ask anyone for help, not even my husband. They had to offer it. Otherwise, I would do everything by myself.

However, the truth is that parenting is not a single person's job. Even if you are a stay-at-home mom and your partner is working. Why do they get to call it a day when yours will continue to the next morning. You are both doing jobs that are equally important. Both of you should get recognition.

This situation can be extremely frustrating. But keeping quiet about it can lead to real problems in the relationship.

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Wanting back control

The first few months with a newborn are hard, doesn't matter if it is your first or third child. During those months, you sacrifice a lot: your sleep, your body, your time, even your identity. Everything seems out of your control.

So when we do something like household chores or other things that have nothing to do with the baby, we might feel that we have taken back control over some part of our life. However, at the same time, we get overwhelmed by all the things that need to be done.

They don't do it the way you do

Sometimes we tend to hold on to how we do something as if it is the only right way. And that is why it can be hard for us to give tasks to other people. Maybe our partner does not clean every little corner. Maybe he doesn't fold the laundry like you do. Maybe it takes a lot of time for him to change one diaper. Sometimes it can be hard to let someone else watch over your baby, even if it's the father.

Reasons you have to ask for help

You deserve all the help you can get

Mothering is amazing, but it is not an easy task. It doesn't give you superpowers or makes you magically immune to fatigue, tiredness, or exhaustion.

And parenting is not a single person's job. From now on, you will be a mother to your children forever. There will be enough sleepless nights because of teething babies and stressful days because of emotional toddlers. Even after they have moved out, you will still worry about them with every cell in your body. If we can make one single aspect of our life easier, why shouldn't we use that opportunity?

You deserve all the help you can get. I know that some perfect mothers will tell you that they never had any help and did it all by themselves. Yes, that is incredible, but what did they gain from it besides advertising it to other people? Did it make their life easier? Back then, wouldn't they long for any helping hand? I am sure they would.

You can thrive as a parent and be a role model

Asking for help doesn't define your capabilities as a mother. Someone who does everything on their own does not make them a better mom.

Every time you can reduce any kind of stress will help you become a happier person and a better parent. And you are teaching your children something important as well. You show them that it is ok to ask for help with confidence and accept help with confidence.

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How to get better at asking for help

Think about the final result

Maybe you get a comment, or maybe you get an eye-roll if you ask your partner to do something. It doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is the final result. And that is you with less on your plate.

In the beginning, it is not easy to overlook it. You may even have the urge to defend why you need that help. But don't do it. It costs too much energy. Focus on the final result. And when your partner helps out with the same task over and over again, it will become a habit for them. And habits will make you do things automatically. Believe me, I've seen it.

Don't overthink

Often we hesitate to ask for help because we don't want to burden anyone. Or we are annoyed because people don't offer help when we obviously need it. Or we are simply annoyed that we have to "ask" for things that are not our sole responsibility. Whatever it is, overthinking can leave us in a spiral of over-complicated thoughts about the simplest things.

Think about it this way: If someone asked you to do the same thing for them, would you do it? If the answer is yes, then don't hesitate to ask.

So don't overthink the consequences of asking someone for help.

Let your partner parent their way

When we take over most parenting tasks, we create a way of doing things. And it is sometimes hard to give that up.

But you need to let your partner do things their way. Maybe they take a lot of time to change one diaper. Or perhaps they cannot yet soothe the baby as fast as you do. But give them the opportunity to learn! If you always tell them what to do, they will never learn anything, and they will bombard you with questions about anything.

The takeaway

Asking and accepting help will be a learning process. And there will be times when we will reject help or refuse to ask for it. In this situation, ask yourself. Who does it benefit if you decline help? And how will it affect your day? Will you still be able to enjoy your time with your children?

Break free from trying to do it all by yourself. Whether it's your partner, a family member, or a close friend, include them in your journey as a mom. Stop trying to conquer the endless duties of motherhood all alone. Give up your mom guilt. Give up your unrealistic expectations. Set aside your pride.

Remember, it takes a village to raise a child. So start building your own, for you, your child and your family, and your sanity.

mother asking for help