Asking for help doesn't make you a bad parent

It wasn't that long ago that we relied on the neighborhood to help raise our kids and many cultures around the world still attest to the old adage 'it takes a village to raise a child' but in western cultures at present we mostly tell ourselves to do it on our own.

Our need to do everything for our kids without help seems to start before they are even born with the notion that anything but a natural birth with the full force of labour pain makes you a bad mother. Then you take baby home from the hospital and some struggle with breastfeeding in silence putting undue pressure on themselves despite the physical implications some face that can make it an unwinnable battle. Let's not forget the fathers that may be getting up during the night to help out and then going to work in the morning trying to function as they did before.

Parenting can be hard and overwhelming at times so why do we make it harder for ourselves by not accepting help when it is offered or not asking for it when it is needed? We have become so hardwired to think that the more we do makes us better parents even though we would be the first to tell others that they are driving themselves into the ground and need assistance. We are the first to offer help to others but are the last to accept it.

Psychology experts suggest that difficulty asking for help can be driven by perfectionism and the fear of being vulnerable when in reality it shows courage and a higher level of self awareness. We also may dwell on the thought of being told "no" instead of the potential benefits such as having an ability to move forward and collaborating and learning with others. Ultimately our kids can be impacted by our health and well being as they are constantly watching and learning from us and know more about what is going on than you may think.

Asking for help doesn't need to be hard, asking for small things or paying someone to help may be an easier way to start. Perhaps you just need some time to run some errands and can ask a friend to watch the kids for a couple of hours or maybe you can try hiring a cleaner as a one time thing just to help you get on top of your household chores. Whatever you choose make sure you take that first step!

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