Calling in the Village
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Hey there mamacita. Lindsay here, waving my pink flag from down low in the mommy trenches. Welcome! Gosh, was this anything like what you thought it would be? New motherhood? I know I hadn’t exactly thought that far ahead while pregnant with my daughter! I thought about the words I would speak over her, the love I would show her, the truth I would instill in her. Sure, I thought about breast feeding and diaper changes and milestones and safety precautions, but I didn’t think about what it would really be like down here…
The sleep deprivation.
ALL the laundry.
The complete inability to keep track of time or the day of the week.
The out-of-touchness I now have with the rest of the world.
This feeling that wells up in my heart when I look at my smiling baby that makes me think if it gets any more intense I will surely have to be rushed to the hospital with the diagnosis of “exploded heart due to love overload.”
It’s such a wide range of emotions. If you don’t like roller coasters, it doesn’t matter, you’re on one now in the very front seat! And around and around and around the mommy trenches it rides!
Have you seen the Diane Keaton movie Baby Boom?
My sister and I watched it recently and must have looked at each other half a dozen times and said, “Where has this movie been our whole lives?!” It’s hysterical. Especially if you’re in the mommy trenches. Watch it while you’re nursing or pacing the floor rocking or trying desperately to stay awake during that 6 month sleep regression or three-teeth-teething episode or growth spurt that has awakened your baby from their slumber at 2:30am.
I just adore it. Aside from the cuteness (c’mon, we all love Diane, and that baby girl is presh!) and the scene with the baby thermometer, my favorite part of the movie is…wait for it…wait for it…that she hires a nanny.
(I’m ducking from the things you’re mentally throwing at me right now!)
Yeah, you read that right…that she hires a nanny, and then another nanny, and then another nanny. And by the end of the movie, we see at least four different nannies helping take care of baby Elizabeth.
Y’all, I do not currently have a nanny (yet). BUT, I have finally started taking the advice from wiser women (and my dad), whom I respect, who have trekked through these mommy trenches ahead of me who have said over and over again, “Get help.”
I was at a women’s retreat last weekend and one of the speakers, Karen Abercrombie, a.k.a. Ms. Clara from The War Room, said, “You cannot be all things to all people… You cannot be supermom 24 hours a day 7 days a week… Get help.”
If you’re in the mommy trenches then I really don’t need to explain why you need help. You know you need help and why.
That phrase, “It takes a village,” didn’t come from nowhere. It’s been obvious that childrearing requires more involvement than one set of parents since the creation of the word “village.”
It’s ok to ask for help. In fact, it’s a healthy thing to do. For no more than these following three reasons:
- Prevents anger/ burnout / nervous breakdown / feelings of overwhelmingness.
- When people you respect come in and lend a helping hand in your life, they just might know of an easier, better way for you to be doing something! Whether it be cleaning a window, helping your baby fall asleep, or saving money on groceries.
- Free up energy. When you let someone else help you, it means they are doing something that you do not have to spend energy doing. Therefore, you get to choose where to spend that energy (or maybe, take that time to recoup energy in the form of a nap).
Sometimes the kind of help you need is the kind that needs to be paid for, like housework or lawn maintenance. Or maybe the help you need is the kind that everyone has been offering you since you announced you were expecting: babysitting. Shoot, even just having a friend or family member come over and play with your child while you are still home will provide you the focused attention to get a lot of things done in a short period of time (or the time to take a nap or eat or just step outside and take a few deep breaths). And, like I have mentioned in previous posts, mothers will not offer to help you by watching your child if they do not sincerely want to do it. So, don’t feel guilty asking them. (Pot talking to the kettle over here.)
The truth is these mommy trenches are deep and wide, but only if we let them be. I’m learning with each passing week that digging into the trenches is part of motherhood, but there are a lot of mamas in here with us and people standing on the edges of our trenches offering to swap places with us for a few hours or available for hire to give us a little steadier gait.
So wave your flag, pretty mama. Whether it be pink, or blue, or both! Asking for help isn’t a form of surrender. It’s just calling in the village. You’re in good company. Press on, mamacita. Press on.
I’d love to know, what is the best way someone can help you when you are dug deep into the mommy trenches? And do you ask for help or receive it when it is offered to you? Comment below with your thoughts!