Like a lot of moms, I struggle with asking for and receiving help. In fact, my biggest postpartum regret with my son was that I didn’t ask for enough help. My husband left for work in another state, for a month, when our son was just 2 weeks old. I was in such a fog, I didn’t even know how to ask for help. But during my second pregnancy I vowed to do things differently postpartum.
I vowed to focus on allowing my body to fully recovering, bonding with my sweet baby girl and embracing our new family of four. Those seem so simple when I type them out, but those are huge tasks for a new mom. Ones that often get overlooked in the day to day of the motherhood grind. I wanted to share a few ways that I was able to embrace this new role as a mama of two babies under two years old.
First and foremost, I was incredibly fortunate to have my husband stay home with us for a month after our daughter was born. It pains me that I just wrote “incredibly fortunate” because I believe that’s what all families deserve. But that is not the world we live in. I can’t even tell you how many other moms told me how “lucky” I was to have my husband help out and stay home for that long. Lucky?! I thought that should be a given! I had a c-section delivery and was under doctor’s orders to not lift anything heavier than my baby for 6 weeks. Well my 2 year old toddler is close to 40 lb. So if my husband wasn’t staying home to help, who exactly was going to be lifting our son all day long? I am grateful for my husband for caring for me during that time. I wish that every mom had that same opportunity.
One of the best things I did postpartum was learn to listen when people offered help. More often than not, I would simply nod and say thank you, without really hearing their offer. Perhaps I was too prideful to accept, or maybe I was delusional and thought I didn’t need any. I started to hear that my friends, family and neighbors were sincere in their offers. They wanted me to take them up on it. Before I knew it, my friends were bringing hot meals, wine, and presents for my kiddos. My neighbors have walked my dog, done my grocery shopping, brought me flowers and fruit from their gardens. They have taken my toddler to the park, and dropped off my overdue library books. My parents and in-laws have taken my toddler so I can relax and bond with baby. Even having one of those simple tasks checked off my list made my life feel worlds easier.
I am so grateful for my husband and all of our friends, family and neighbors for allowing me this time to just slow down and get comfy in this new role. Moms making themselves a priority isn’t always simple. It requires lots of helping hands to pick up the slack so mama can shower, or meet with a lactation consultant, or simply rest. I encourage you all to find those helping hands. So, grab your robes, get cozy, and make yourselves a priority.