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    To the Mom Who Refuses Help: Stop It

    To the Mom Who Refuses Help: Stop It

    For my entire life, I HATED asking for help. I used to think asking for help was a sign of weakness. I always told myself I never needed anyone for anything. I wanted people to think I knew how to do everything.

    In school, when my teachers would ask "does anyone have any questions," I wanted to raise my hand so bad and say "ME!" But I never did. Why? Maybe I didn't want to seem "dumb" or "helpless." Maybe I didn't want to be a burden to anyone. Perhaps that stems from being a child in a broken home. I should ask my therapist. Oh wait, I don't have one. Because I never thought I needed it.

    Whatever the case was, I would ask myself: Am I physically able? Sure. Am I mentally able...perhaps. But these are not the questions I needed to ask myself. The question is do I HAVE to do this without help?

    I took this stubbornness with me into motherhood. My daughter was the first grandchild on both sides of the family. Needless to say, she was a pretty big deal. The second she was born, our family swarmed us with love and offered to help in anyway they could. Did I take it? Not really. Besides me being a super protective first time mom, I didn't think I needed help. I thought being overly exhausted and emotionally drained was all part of the deal. I was a new mom, I was supposed to feel like a zombie, right? Maybe, but perhaps it wouldn't have been as bad as it was if I had just let my mom babysit for two hours while I took a nap. But here is another problem...

    I have control issues. So much so that I couldn't even trust my loved ones enough to help me. The only person I let help is my husband and even then I couldn't help but stress a little bit. It's not him, it's me. Probably another issue I should discuss with a therapist...

    We've all heard the saying "it takes a village," right? That saying used to annoy me. Maybe I'm slightly bitter because 99% of my family lives 4+ hours away. Thankfully, my mother-in-law recently retired. So she has a lot more time to travel and visit. Which means help has become more available. Have I taken it...YES!

    If someone is offering to help you, don't overlook it. They are offering because they want to help. So take it, please. Do it for yourself. Your mental health. Do it for your children. Let them see you accept help. You would want them to ask for help, wouldn't you? Show them it is normal and apart of life. Show them it is necessary for growth. Trust me, they won't think you are "weak" or "less than" for letting a babysitter watch them for a few hours while you go out to dinner with your husband. So yes, it DOES take a village.

    Same goes for work + business. This shop means the world to me. It's like another part of my body, my soul. It's like another child. I am so protective over it, that since starting in 2018, I have been afraid to ask for help. About eight months ago, I started feeling overwhelmed. I started thinking about hiring an assistant. Someone to help me package orders, or someone to help with customer service. But the fear of having someone come in and mess something up terrified me. So I kept telling myself I didn't need anyone. I got this far without help, why start now? Well let me tell you why...

    Without help, this is as far as you're going to get. Think about it. Does Beyoncé write, produce, record her own music and watch her kids at the same time? No, she has a team help her. Does Kylie Jenner run her businesses by herself? Hell no, that girl has an endless sea of people helping her. What I'm trying to say is, YOU can only do so much. There are only 24 hours in a day. If you want your business to continue growing, ask for help. Hire an assistant. Almost two years into this business, I finally hired some help and it's been one the best decisions I've ever made.

    It feels like there is more oxygen in the air. I don't have 100% of the weight on my shoulders. Letting go of control a little bit means I get to spend more time with my growing family. Kids are only little for a short period of time. I don't want to miss out on those special moments. Unfortunately, we can't get them back.

    Same goes for your relationship with your partner. Letting people help care for my daughter once in a while means more alone time with my husband. Which is beneficial for our marriage, as well as our daughter. So if the opportunity to have a date night comes around, TAKE IT GIRL. 

    Bottom line is, we all need help. I have come to the conclusion that I need to accept help when offered. Life doesn't have to be so hard. And hey, maybe if you raise your hand, you'll end up learning a thing or two.

    I don't care who you are, or what you THINK you can handle, you need help. And I say that in the most loving way.

    If Wonder Woman can ask for help, so can you my friend.

    As for seeing a therapist, that is on my 2020 goal list. Stay tuned.

    -Kristin Blyth, owner + creator of Free the Mother

    The SAHM & The Husband Who Just Doesn’t Get It

    “I wish I could stay home and hang out with the baby all day!” Is a statement I often hear from my husband. I am a stay at home mom to our almost 6 month old daughter, Amy. 
    Despite what many may think... staying home with your child all day is not as glamorous as it sounds. Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby; I love (most of) the time we spend together. But guys, it’s a lot of work. And you know what’s extremely frustrating? Having a husband who just doesn’t get it. Who really doesn’t understand all that I do for this tiny human on an every day basis. Who doesn’t realize that some days, yes, taking the baby with me to go food shopping IS the hardest thing in the world. 
    I can’t even tell you how many times we have gotten into the same argument. The one where he says “1. well, what did you do all day?” ; “2. you can go to work and I’ll stay home” ; “3. You’re so lucky. I wish I could stay home and  h a n g  o u t  with the baby all day!” ; “4. I am paying your car payment & every other bill!”
    Okay. 
    1. Here’s what I did all day:
    I nursed our daughter.
    I made coffee.
    I changed a diaper.
    I held her for an hour when she napped because God forbid I put her down, there will be a major freak out and no nap.
    I read her a book.
    I forgot I made coffee.
    I changed another diaper.
    I nursed her again.
    I put a load of laundry on... and hours later realize I didn’t transfer it to the dryer... so I washed it again.
    We played with some toys!
    I showered with the door open so our daughter could see me clearly from the swing in the hallway and not have a major freak out.
    I changed another diaper!
    I nursed her again.
    I rocked her for 40 minutes because she was doing that “I’m so tired” cry but just. would. not. sleep. 
    I walked to the mailbox (yay! 30 seconds of freedom!) only to realize I forgot to put the outgoing mail in the mailbox earlier that morning.
    I packed our tiny human up and into the car and went to the post office.
    I changed another diaper.
    I forgot to eat.
    I nursed her again.
    I put her down so I could just use the bathroom.. but the separation anxiety is peaking and she screamed the whole time.
    I held her while I made myself something to eat.
    Would you look at that, it’s 5:00pm already and you’re home.
    2. We are barely getting by on your salary (NY at its finest). If I go to work my salary will be significantly lower than yours. Not to mention I have an issue with pumping and there would be no breast milk bottles to give. Which would mean switching to formula. Which would mean another monthly expense.. on my lower salary. 
    3. I know you think Amy and I are hanging out and having a good time. And yes honey, that is true a lot of the time. But it’s so much more. It’s mentally and physically exhausting.
    4. We made the decision together. We decided I was going to stay home for a number of reasons. The main ones being: having two incomes would raise our health insurance premiums and we wouldn’t be able to afford it (gotta love NY) and my salary would end up paying for daycare alone. So yes, I know you’re paying all the bills. But that was the sacrifice we decided on and you have to stop bringing it up in every argument. 
    I am lucky. I am so lucky to be able to stay home and raise our daughter. She is funny, loving, smart, cute as a button and super feisty. Seeing her face all day every day is rewarding on so many levels. But it is anything but easy. 
    -Janine Stephens, @janineabean