It is O.K. to ask for HELP

by Jennie on July 20, 2011

As I sit down to write this I KNOW that most of you will have your own take on what I have decided to do SO…. let the judgements begin!!! (lol!)

When I became preggers with baby boy #2 (3 weeks away from due date btw!!), my immediate first thoughts was the LACK OF SLEEP when you have a newborn!! I was/am terrified. Steve and I are pretty tight, but those first few months were trying on us…. I remember nursing Cody in the middle of the night and silently sending daggers in our bedroom towards him because he was sleeping! Don’t get me wrong, he helped in the mid of the night, but when you are nursing and not pumping (I waited until Cody was 3 weeks to pump), most of the burden falls on you. Regardless, the lack of sleep that comes with a newborn (and children in general) can wear on you.

With all of this in mind I started getting anxiety having to relive it all over again AND this time I will have a toddler to chase after. No more napping while the baby naps… I am going to have to schedule my time between two and neither of them are going to care how much sleep I am running on! So the more I thought about it, the more I knew that I wanted to call in the calvary! I didn’t want ANY help with Cody… no one could care for him like I could and no one could do it like me so I didn’t want family/ friends coming in to relieve me of my mommy duties…. come on, I could do it all!!  This time around I feel WAY different. I want the help and know that I am going to need it. Unfortunately, family (grandma etc.) is working full time and have lives of their own so the old mentality of “it takes a village to raise a child” doesn’t come as easily as it once did when the families could move in to help out new moms for months with their new additions.

This is when I started looking into “night time” help. I thought about how wonderful it would be to have someone come in a few nights a week to lighten the load with the baby so that maybe I won’t be such a walking zombie in the beginning! I have to say, it does sound crazy to me to even say out loud that I am considering having someone come in and help me with my baby, but I do believe that we, as moms, need to be able to say that WE CAN’T DO IT ALL!!! We don’t have to be SUPERMAMAS and take the weight of the world on our shoulders. It doesn’t mean that we are bad moms if we ask for help or delegate some of our many tasks to others. Before kids I couldn’t believe when I saw people who had nannies, housekeepers, lawn service etc. I thought to myself- what do they do all day if they have someone doing all the main “tasks” of life for them? NOW I can totally get it and laugh at the mom I thought I would be, pre-baby (you know it is true- how many times before kids did you say to yourself “I would never be that mom, I would never do that” and then here come the kids and you are doing just the things you swore you wouldn’t do)!

To sum things up, I did ALOT of research on “night nannies/nurses” and there are SO many options. I have found a WONDERFUL company that I have decided to work with and we are going to have a “cuddler”- someone to help with the kids at night for a few days a week in the beginning. I will be talking about why I chose this company over the next few weeks so if you (or someone you know) is interested in delegating some of your “chores” as a mom to someone else this is THE place to go to so they can help you along your journey. The company is called Home Management Services and you can check them out for yourselves online. They offer several services to lighten your load including: childcare providers, nannies on call, cuddlers, cooks, eldercare providers, housekeepers, house managers, launderers and ironers. You may not even know what you need help with, but know that you need something and Caren Burger (the current owner), is FABULOUS and can help you narrow down what you might need for your family and home.

All in all, I am doing this because I want to be present with my kids. I remember how “out of it” I was during those first few months. I hardly remember Cody as a newborn because I was in survival mode and I really want to try and enjoy things this time. I want to be able to be in the moment with the baby and have the energy and happiness to play with Cody and do the things we have done over the last two and half years. What I really want to get across to all you mamas out there is that it is o.k. to ask for help and to not have to take it ALL ON! I am hoping to tear down those walls and get rid of the stigma that if we ask for help we aren’t doing our jobs. Trust me, although instinctually I want to do it all, I really just want to be happy. When my kids get older, do I want them to say that ‘mom always kept a clean house‘ (for example) or that ‘mom was present and there for us when we needed her and wasn’t so run down that she was able to be in the moment with us‘…. my point is- we all know that being a mom is such hard work and SO exhausting. Let’s remind each other as much as we need it that it is o.k. to ASK FOR HELP and it will only make us better in the end!

Do you ask for help? Are there places in your life/family that you have been able to delegate tasks to others that have made your life better and more enjoyable? Remember… you deserve to be just as happy as you try and make those around you!! :)

jennieandkim July 20, 2011 at 4:36 am

What a great resource for new Moms! I had no idea this existed until you mentioned it! The first couple months were the hardest! You're right – it's important to ask for help! When the first kid comes around it's pretty easy to juggle the schedule but once you're at home with a newborn and toddler you need to make sure you get your rest! I can't wait to hear all about it!

-Kim

Marie Rossiter July 20, 2011 at 7:17 am

As I read your post, I sat shaking my head in disbelief by what you wrote…

And when I finished, I wanted to stand up and cheer!

YOU GET IT–and figured it out long before this ol' mama did!

I applaud your intelligence about asking for help–this is one of my BIGGEST challenges. I wish I would have done it years ago when my girls were babies (or as I like to call it, my sleep-deprived, walking zombie stage).

This service would have been great for me, especially since I had no family around me when my girls were very little. And, really, what's the difference if you have family to help or well-researched, highly qualified service to come in and give you a hand? In my eyes, nothing.

If you've got this much wisdom at this stage of your life, I can only imagine what you will discover as the years go by with your children.

BRAVA!!!

Amanda July 20, 2011 at 7:17 am

I was wondering if you were going to do this still… good for you! I am here to help… all you have to do is give me a call. Or drop Cody off. We have plenty of toys for him here and heck he can even take some home with him!! I will never forget when we came over to watch Cody with in the first couple of days and Steve would not go up to take a nap. Hopefully he is not up all night watching over the cuddler :) Just kidding!

jennieandkim July 20, 2011 at 9:55 am

Ladies… thanks for the support!! I really do believe in this service and the women working behind the scenes to get you the BEST, qualified service for your family.

Amanda- I know, I worry we will stay up all night watching over her, but I really LOVE the girl we chose so I hope that will put my mind at ease :)

Marie- thank you SO much for the sweet comment! At first I thought you were going to chew me out :) But as I read on I was so touched. Thank you so much for the kind words and I think as moms all of our biggest challenges is to ask for help. I have had the experience to see a lot of women in my life who try and take on the weight of the world and I have seen the effects it has on them so I am going to try really hard every day to ask for help if I need it… we need to remind each other of this right?!

Loves ya girlys! -Jen

Tricia July 20, 2011 at 11:54 am

I never knew this existed. However, I think it's great to look into. I never thought I'd be the mom that continued to take her first child to daycare during 2nd child's maternity leave. However, it was the best thing for our family. The toddler loved her normal routine with her friends while I was able to bond with the baby and regroup for the afternoons/evenings when the toddler returned home. We've got to get over thinking we can do it all and also thinking everyone should do the same thing. All of us have the same goal in mind…our kids come first…how we do that is different and that's ok.j

jennieandkim July 20, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Tricia- SO true!! Well said! It does help when we can stop and think about what will be best for our family and put it into practice :) -Jen

Help4NewMoms July 24, 2011 at 8:52 am

Congratulations, you have just be named the smartest mom I know. Having a helper in the evening with a new baby is a brilliant idea. Tell me, what advice would you give to moms whose husbands may be hesitant to allow a "stranger" in their home at night?

jennieandkim July 24, 2011 at 11:08 am

You are too sweet!! I am excited to have the help, although it will be hard to let someone take over a little and give up the control!! My advice to any couple wanting to do this is to BOTH be involved in the entire process. The agency we went with (which I highly recommend if you are in the cincy area) has a wonderful woman who is the current owner who loves chatting with both mommy and daddy about all their questions and concerns. Then I would say for both parents to have their own set of questions for each cuddler they interview. The more comfortable you are with who you are working with, the better you will feel about a "stranger" being in the house!

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