by molly rouse
Today, we are not as easily guided by these cultural mores. Many couples of childbearing age live far away from their families and networks of support that they had as children. Sometimes we don’t share the same philosophies as our parents or communities of origin, and having those people around is stressful. Our culture values getting right back to life, rather than taking time to get to know your baby and heal from the huge physical changes of pregnancy and birth. There are so many options and choices for every step of the way to having and raising a child. We are alone and unsure, overwhelmed, exhausted and disconnected. Isolation and lack of support are the biggest issues for new parents today.* It is impossible for one mother (or one couple) to do it all alone. In order to get the sort of support that in another place or time would have been assumed, we have to seek it out.
Yes, seek out support, ask for help! This is super uncomfortable, even excruciating for some people, but you’re going to have to get good at it because being a mother is not a job that can or should be done alone.
Often asking for help brings up fear of:
- Being a burden
- Losing control (someone else does it wrong)
- Seeming weak
- Belief that you shouldn’t have to ask for help
- Having no one to ask*
- Rejection: What if they say no? -> They will say yes if they can
- Being a burden: What if I add stress by asking? -> They will say yes if they can, no if they can’t
- Losing control: What if they do it wrong -> They will do the best they can
So seek and ask…think of the process as a new adventure that will teach you a lot! And remember that there are professionals that specialize in nurturing the family in this amazing time of life: Postpartum doulas! We are happy to spend some time with you and your family to make sure the fit is comfortable, and to discuss the particulars of how best to support you. It may seem a bit strange at first to consider hiring someone to meet your needs in such a vulnerable and intimate time of your life, but I assure you that once you meet with any of us, your anxiety will be decreased, your isolation lessened, and your confidence boosted.
Be in touch. Ask for help. I look forward to hearing from you.
* from Julia Jones, http://www.newbornmothers.com