Are You a Mother or a Martyr?
Motherhood has always involved a bit of sacrifice. Okay.. A LOT of sacrifice. Since I became a mom, I’ve noticed something about myself that maybe some other moms can relate to. I feel this urge to do it all, regardless of what it does to my mental or physical health. I want to take care of the kiddo, and keep the house clean, do the grocery shopping, pay the bills, have a hundred thousand followers on Instagram and Pinterest, and do the laundry and the dishes, have a thriving social life, and even (gasp) wash my hair.
Perhaps you’ve heard the quote by productivity consultant David Allen, “You can do anything, but not everything.” I’ve never really appreciated the importance of this quote until I started trying to do ALL OF THE THINGS. And the thing is… you CAN do everything… but not forever. Because you WILL burn out. And you will burn out HARD. Trust me. I’m two 4:30 AM wake-ups away from the worst haircut you’ve ever seen, just so I can feel like I’m in control of SOMETHING. #bringbackbowlcuts
Think of it this way: does the CEO manage the marketing, accounting, human resources, PR, and legal aspects of her company on her own? No. She has teams (yep, plural) of qualified individuals who are responsible for each department; allowing the business to run as a well-oiled machine.
The same is true of your household. You’re the CEO. While you might not have teams of individuals at your disposal, you still shouldn’t do this alone.
Could you? Sure. Lot’s of women do. But the point is you don’t have to. It’s a matter of tapping into your resources in a beneficial way; for your own mental health and for the well-being of your family. Killing yourself slowly by piling on all the responsibilities of adulthood, motherhood, marriage, career, and literally everything else is NOT the way to be your best self.
How do you do this? You’ve got to ARE, mama. Quite possibly the least inspiring acronym on the planet, but bear with me because it will change your life. You’ve got to Ask, Receive, and Embrace Help. This is how we take the martyrdom out of motherhood.
Ask For Help
This is the first step, mama. In order to kick martyrdom to the curb, you must ask for help. I know it’s hard. In this ultra-curated-social-media-centric world we live in, we see so many other mama’s doing it all. They can do all the household stuff, plus have an amazing career, AND be an influencer AND have a happy family with a perfect marriage AND her hair and makeup always look AMAZING.
“How does she do it all,” you ask.
Pssst… hey… I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret… she doesn’t “do it all.”
Her social media feed is curated to give you the appearance that she does it all. I GUARANTEE you that she has helpers. Whether those are people she has hired, traded services with, or even just put her kids to work (if they can run a TV remote, they can run a dishwasher, just sayin’) she gets help.
She gets help because she ASKED for it (or in the case of her kids, told them what was up and you had better believe they get ish done before mommy loses her ish).
You must ask for help. Plain and simple. Just. Ask.
I know it’s hard. It takes a LOT of humble pie to ask someone else for help. I promise you that when you ask for help, you WILL receive it. And it will take a HUGE burden off your shoulders.
After you’ve asked for help, receive help willingly. Do not renege on your promise to yourself to receive help. If someone offers to help you (without your request), SAY YES. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT refuse help when you are drowning. Do not reply with, “Oh my gosh that is so nice of you to offer, but I’m good, really.” And then your inner voice is screaming at you “WTF ARE YOU DOING? Take the help! YOU NEED THIS.”
Believe me when I say that you will regret your refusal. And then you will resent yourself, sending you down a black hole of despair and self-hate that is just plain awful. Don’t do that to yourself. You’re awesome!
If you’re a pro at refusing help (like me), EXPECT that people want to help you and practice saying, “Yes, I will take you up on that. Not tomorrow, not someday, but TODAY. Because I deserve a break, and I do not need to martyr myself to be a good mom.”
Listen, I know that’s a mouthful, but it’s so much easier to say, “Yes, I’ll take you up on that,” when you’re used to hearing it in your own mind. It will be easier to ask AND receive help when you embrace that you are WORTHY of receiving help. Which brings me to my final point.
Embrace it mama. Embrace help like you’re getting paid to hug the shiz out of help. Because you know what? Help fugging loves you. That’s right, I said it. People WANT to help you, and you are DESERVING of receiving help.
Mama, you are SO loved. I can’t even begin to tell you how much people love you. And I know, I know, we might not technically know each other, but I know this for a FACT that you are loved by countless individuals. There are people out there who are ready and willing to give you a hand, and will GLADLY give you a break if you would only ask.
If you don’t know where to look, let me help you. Shoot me a message, and we will brainstorm your helpers together, okay? Just promise me that you will Ask, Receive, and Embrace help when it comes your way.
Whoa, girl you went old-school! I like your style. See you around mama.