- Leah Outten
Knowing That I'll Need Help
If you've read my thoughts on here at all this past year, you know it's been a struggle at times. Basically, sleep deprivation and feeling overwhelmed by all the demands of being a wife, mom, wanna-be-writer, and everything in between was a heavy weight to feel like I could not handle anything. Praise the Lord things are so much better, most days are filled with bursting joy (some moments though...watch out...I might get hangery on you) and I am so grateful to feel like me again! The tiredness of 1st trimester is in the past, the gagging is gone, and second trimester is pure bliss right now. I remember now why I keep doing this over and over ;-)
To be honest, I'm slightly terrified of being in that pit again after this baby comes. I've written before the tools that have helped me climb out of the pit, one ladder rung at a time with God leading the way, and I know those will continue to be a help. They still are a help even in these blissful days to keep me in check. Like today? I bought flowers for myself and a pretty card to use as art simply because I liked it. That right there, is a cheap way to self care ($4 bouquet, $1 card. Thank you as always for your awesome prices, Trader Joes). It lifted my going-to-bed-too late tired spirit that didn't want to be grocery shopping, right into rays of sunshine of my Wednesday.
I'm already planning how to not be in that pit when this new baby comes. I know I'm going to need help after birth for a few months to not feel so overwhelmed. Is that a bad thing that I know I'll need help? Does that make me weak? Does it mean I can't handle the kids I have? No, it doesn't. It makes me human. We all need help and breaks at times to keep at our best. Our society has moved into such an independent mindset that we forget that our humanity once lived in a village that supported each other. It was survival. I know I need a village, I know I need help. And, I know I will offer help to others who will need it when their needs arise. When I asked for help in my first trimester, it was such a weight lifted off my shoulders when bags of groceries arrived on my doorstep or a meal was placed in my oven that I didn't prepare.
Knowing I'll need help, I'm preparing for that already at only 18 weeks along. I'm a planner, ya know. I considered a postpartum doula, but man are those expensive! Plus, upon further research they center more on teaching and helping with baby care. With this being my 4th baby I've parented, I'm pretty confident in that area...and it's the one area that has not been overwhelming for me in the past. I LOVE babies. After all, they don't talk back yet and snuggle all day :-) But, I will need help with the stuff that does overwhelm me if I can't or don't stay on top of them for whatever reason. Folding laundry. Dishes. Sweeping. Vacuuming. 5 people in a house, soon to be 6, make lots of messes. Over and over and over again. As soon as I get a basket folded, another needs to be washed. That is what makes me feel like I'm drowning. So, I decided to hire a mother's helper instead of a doula and, oh, what a God send that will be! Besides these tools I've learned to survive in survival mode, I think hiring help (and asking for other help as I have had to do before when truly needed) in whatever way that looks like will be a very good thing for our family. Create your village, mommas. And yes, I'm totally willing to give up something in our budget to make this happen. My sanity is too important to not. Or, to put aside gifted baby money towards this since we don't need many physical baby items.
A happy momma is a happy home, right? I feel like it will help me focus on the priorities of those special, yet challenging at times, postpartum months even just having 2 hours a week of help.