Pride and Pregnancy
“If there is anything I can do for you just let me know” how many times during or after pregnancy have you heard this phrase? With 3 under 3 I have heard it quite a few times especially after giving birth and when I heard it I would quietly think to myself “Yes please! Can you stay and watch my baby, while I sleep or shower? But out loud I would just say “thanks for your offer; I will let you know if I do”. Lets be honest though, I never really told them or asked them for help and I wondered, why was it so hard to ask for help, at least for me, when I had just given birth and could clearly use it? I also used to ask myself do they really mean it when they say “if you need anything just let me know”.
Becoming a mother brings on many roles - protector, teacher, night nurse, guide and so many others. It also brings on so many emotions - excitement, love and happiness. For me with 3 under 3, I also felt overwhelmed yet proud. I didn’t know how proud I could be until I became a mother. I really thought I could handle everything myself or at least felt like I had to. One of the questions I would be asked when I had my OB appointments or my other two little ones' pediatric appointments would be “will you have someone that will help you? I would always say yes, because I thought my husband and I can handle this. Plus I also thought if my mom and mother-in-law did it without any help so can I.
Thinking back on why I was so proud ? I found answers and solutions. One, I felt guilty asking for help especially from my mom or mother in law, because they didn’t have their moms in the same country to help them when their children were born. I assumed they would think of me asking for help as being a weak mother. I was completely wrong of course. I learnt that just because you think you can handle everything you shouldn’t. Two, fear of being rejected, I thought my family and friends have their own busy lives and I didn’t want to bother them in fear of them actually saying “I can’t because I’m too busy” so I would never even bother to ask. When I forced myself, thanks to my hubby, to finally ask someone to babysit my kids, and they said yes, a huge wave of relief went through me and when I humbled myself to ask for that help it just became easier and easier to call someone to babysit. Finally three, fear of giving control to someone else. I would think ok if I ask this person to help me clean are they going to do it how I like things to get cleaned. I realized how silly these questions were once I actually let someone come and help me, who cares how it gets cleaned, someone is there helping you so you don’t have to do it which is great! But if you really like things done a certain way just be polite and maybe suggest they pay attention to your baby or kids while you clean.
Going through this experience during the pregnancy and birth of my third child has truly taught me to be humble and accept and ask for help when needed. So do they really mean it when they tell you “if there is anything I can do or help you with” Yes! Your family and friends truly do mean it when they offer their help, they actually want to be of some use to you otherwise they wouldn’t offer.