07 Apr Speaking Out
Asking for help and saying no are two things that I’ve always struggled with. I’m a classic people pleaser and I regularly put other people’s feelings ahead of my own. I hate to bother other people with my problems or make someone go out of their way. Because of this, I am the “go to” person when someone needs help. When someone needs a ride, needs something from the grocery store, or needs help with a project, I am the first one to get the call. In reality, I enjoy helping people and I usually don’t mind going a bit out of my way to make someone happy. I was even running errands and helping people late into my pregnancy, but I never realized how all of that would change once I gave birth.
When I came home from the hospital, I was exhausted, sore, and struggling with the transition into my new role as a mom. I felt like I was being pulled in so many directions and everyone needed something from me. I began to feel overwhelmed due to the added responsibilities I had, and I felt like I didn’t have enough time, energy, or hands to do all of the things I needed to do in addition to what was being asked of me. I had just had surgery (I had a 2nd degree tear and had to have stitches) and I was running around cleaning, visiting relatives, and trying to take care of my new (colicky) baby. I was so exhausted, and the lack of sleep and rest was really starting to catch up with me. Unfortunately, I ended up paying the price for ignoring my doctor’s advice and popped a stitch when I was four days post partum. The pain was excruciating and I was so angry with myself for potentially impeding my recovery.
I finally decided that I was the one that needed help and the one that people should be visiting, not the other way around. I stopped trying to please everyone else and stopped saying yes when I wanted to say no. Most importantly, I started asking for help. I understood that saying no didn’t mean I was being selfish or rude. I let go of the guilt that ultimately came with saying no to the ones that I care about. Even though it was difficult for me, I surrendered my control and put my faith in others to help me.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that others enjoyed helping us as much as I enjoyed helping them (especially if it meant they got to see the baby). We had meals made for us, groceries delivered, and on-call babysitters available for when we needed to get out of the house for a bit. I finally started to enjoy my time with my newborn daughter instead of stressing about all of my responsibilities.
Now that Hadleigh is 5 months old, things have calmed down and I have settled into my new role as a mom. I am once again able to help out and find myself saying yes more often. But, I will always remember the hard lesson I learned and I will continue to ask for help when I need it. I wont say yes when I really want to say no.