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It's Okay to Ask

Written by sarah pollak


Posted on January 22 2019

Someone came in just this morning, who has a 6 day old baby.  Her husband tells her the truth-she is strong and amazing.  She is also weeping in the shower. We hear variations on this theme daily.

It's the number one rule of good parenting, in our opinion.

Pregnant moms, new moms and, let's face it, all moms need help. There is no shame in that.  It's the best and the hardest job on earth.  The ability to ask for help is one which sometimes needs exercising.  Many of us believe that we need to do it all.  And we can.  But is that best for baby?

For many of us doing it ourselves is a "skill" that we built before we had kids, and we just drag it along with us when we have kids.  I know that for myself I rose through the ranks at any job by "Fake it til you make it." determination, and many times that meant doing it all and certainly rarely asking for help!

Why Asking for Help Matters

Hello. Your workload just multiplied exponentially literally overnight. 

And you are now in a job that you have no real life experience in, even if you've read and listened and have tried to train yourself.

We have heard so many tales of exhaustion from new moms who are serious professionals who could manage very impressive jobs who say "I was at the top of my field/ I was respected/ I was damn good at my job...I love what I do now, but I feel like a failure at this job, because... she's still crying/he won't sleep/nursing hurts/etc. I am so tired!!!"

Time for an Attitude Adjustment

Asking for help can be hard, but it could save your sanity, and a sane mother is a good thing.

Seriously, it's your sanity we're talking about here..  Sleep deprivation is a form of torture.  Don't forget that.  Then-you are life support for anther teeny tiny beautiful human.   Sanity matters.

Know What You Want

You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes...

In order to get what you want?  You need to KNOW what you want, as well as what you need.  Just another thing that some of us know, and sometimes we don't. It's  better to know what you want, and know it before you are weeping or screaming;)  And once you're pregnant, when I say Know What You Want I do not mean "A new house, a new car, etc."  I mean simpler things like food cravings, a foot massage, the toilet seat down so you don't fall in in the middle of the night...

Practice While Pregnant

First Trimester

The first trimester is the perfect time to start honing your Ask Don't Tell skills."  During  the first trimester most of us tend to be fatigued beyond our imagination, and some also have the joy of regular puking.  Of course, most of us also are not telling people that we're pregnant, making this a really fun three months:/  

So, just stick your big toe in the water.  Try a little ask.  If you have a partner, start by gently explaining that your body is making a human, and while you may be making that look easy, it's sort of not always what it appears, so, you're going to be asking for maybe a little help.

Second Trimester

WooHoo, the bump is starting to be real and the world can know it! Show it!  Wear clothes that make you feel good, and, rub your belly early and often(not pregnant people do not rub their bellys so this will alert anyone who isn't sure if you're pregnant that Yes, you are pregnant.).

Let the asking begin.  This does not mean start ordering people around because you're queen. It means asking for what you want.  It can be pregnancy related, or, in the second trimester, just working on building that awareness of what you want-where you want to go for lunch/what you want to do on Saturday/what kind of scent you want that candle in/why you want and need another new pair of jeans etc.

Third Trimester

Work it. By the third trimester hopefully you are getting a wee bit better at asking for things, because the opportunities here abound.  Don't expect others to notice that you cant reach your toes-or the kitchen sink to do the dishes.  Some will, some will not.  Again, ask gently "Hey, could you.....?"  

One Important Adjustment

If you can shift your inner narrative from

"OMG, they HAVE to..."  "I HAVE to ask..." 


"I GET to ask them to..." "I GET to..."

it can be a life changing thing. Try it.  It takes practice. Do not expect overnight results..  Start building a new neuro-pathway today! You've got this!





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