We can’t always put our finger on why we’re not coping. But deep down we know we’re not. Many mums find that asking for help is the hardest thing.
Despite the current backlash on the alpha mum on social media and from our cultural thought-leaders, there is still that underlying pressure for mums to keep it all together. Maybe it’s a hangover from the way we were raised. We may be rebelling against it but the social conditioning is deep. From television to books to films and examples in our communities, in our families – mum is the hero. And we were told that’s a great thing.
But it’s not. I just want to be mum. Not hero mum.
Which means accepting flaws. And means accepting help.
That’s the hardest step. I can handle I’m not perfect, I’m open about that with the kids. Role modelling doesn’t mean presenting an impossible polished version of yourself. It means dealing with the realities of life. We mess up. We make bad choices. Role modelling is being aware, accepting those flaws and authentically seeking change.
The theme of 2018 for me has been ‘self-care’. But here’s where it’s getting confusing. I put so much pressure on myself to sort my own problems. It was empty empowerment because I was still so set on being my own detective to find the root of my emotional state and what causes my cycle of emotional eating. I didn’t accept that I needed more help than I was allowing myself to have. I was trying to be supermum of my self-care. And then wondered why it wasn’t working.
With astute insight from one of my care providers, I gave myself permission to seek more help. She put it perfectly. When relaying her observations of my efforts so far, she painted a picture of someone who would thrive with more help.
I switched to auto-pilot to make the call and set up my first therapy appointment. It was like those last few hundred yards of a race, you know you’re going to do it but you can’t remember how your body is managing it. I cried when I put down the phone. Tears of relief, with drops of anxiety and anticipation.
At that moment I admitted to myself. Asking for help is really the hardest thing to do.
My care team so far have been:
Harmony Practice – emotional compulsive eating therapy
SkiNirvana – skincare, facial massage
Kirby Amour – soul coaching