3 steps to receiving more help in motherhood

Are you a mom who has a hard time asking for or receiving help?

Your friends and family are sincere when they say, “let me know if you need help!” But for many women, you’ve been managing your life successfully and mostly independently to this point. You haven’t needed help, so you’re not accustomed to even considering saying “yes” when help is offered to you.

Motherhood means shifting from taking care of yourself to prioritizing the 24 /7 care of a newborn. Have you felt overwhelmed? Have you felt like you just don’t know how to get it all done? Has taking care of yourself or your marriage seemed impossible? There are ways to lighten your load and find some breathing room.

Now as a mom, you deserve the help. Maybe you still can do it all yourself, but you don’t have to. Here are some strategies to help you enjoy the postpartum period of motherhood (and beyond) by asking for and receiving help:

Pause before you answer:

When someone says, “let me know if I can help” if your default is usually, “that’s okay” instead, try this: give yourself a pause to think. Say “thank you for the offer. Let me think about how I can take you up on that.”

Evaluate what kind of help you need:

Evaluate what feels draining to get done right now. Is laundry or cleaning the house nagging at you and you just don’t have the energy? Or would you love for someone to come hold the baby so that you can cook a meal you really enjoy? Everyone is different in terms of what they would find most helpful, and your loved ones are not mind readers.

Be specific in asking for help:

So once you’ve identified the things that would be of most help to you, ask your tribe and be specific, like this:

“Hey best friend! Can you bring me a Rook cup of coffee and come visit me so I can have some adult conversation while I take care of the baby?”

“Hi, Mom! Can you come over and spend some time with the baby so we can grab a bite to eat in Sea Bright?”

“Hey, neighbor. Next time you go to Trader Joes, can I give you a list of a few things I need?”

Very rarely does help just show up at your doorstep, it has to be invited. Many loved ones stay away after a baby is born, thinking they don’t want to be intrusive. But when you ask for the kind of help you’d like to receive, you’re more likely to get it!

What is preventing you from asking for help? If it’s concerns about being a burden or issues of self-worth, counseling might help you explore and overcome these obstacles. If you’d like support addressing your unique needs, I encourage you to consider counseling. Click here for more information to being.

If you are feeling depressed or anxious, you may not even know what kind of help to ask for. If you’re having a hard time finding the energy to take care of yourself or take care of your baby, let’s see what kind of changes we can make for you so that you can get back to things you enjoy.  

Are you not asking for help because you are worried people will say, “no.” This is another common fear I hear from moms, and again, it’s an obstacle we can overcome so it doesn’t hold you back from getting the support you deserve and be able to enjoy life during motherhood.


Jaime Malone