Asking For Help Is The Hardest Thing

asking for help

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

Anahata Health Clinic and Leigh Martin Acupuncture – acupuncture

Kirby Amour – soul coaching

About Claire Jones-Hughes

Founder and co-editor of BrightonMums.com, Claire has been blogging since 2009. She has posted on a variety of sites including The Argus, The Huffington Post and The Guardian's Comment Is Free. Known as The Contented Mummy on social media, she is dedicated to honest, unsponsored blogging so that parents can benefit from shared experience. Can also be found at www.fitfaband40.co.uk - sharing her journey to health & wellness.

View all posts by Claire Jones-Hughes →

2 Comments on “Asking For Help Is The Hardest Thing”

  1. Here here! It’s so easy to forget about ourselves as individuals and not just mothers. I’m a single mum to 7year old girl and a 5 year old boy. Started work full time the end of last year and didn’t realise how I’ve been running on autopilot since then…. up at 5am to do housework etc kids to school for 8am so I can start work at 8.15….pick kids up from childcare/family/friends at 6.30 then home for kids bath/homework and bed. Then it starts all over again. The weekend just gone I had a whole weekend to myself (no children,or work) and I was completely lost. I’ve forgotten who I am. It got me really down as realised I’ve lost contact with my friends and have completely isolated myself from everything. It was a scary awakening. This week I have a meeting with my boss to see if I can have more flexible working to fit in time with my children doing things not only that they enjoy but that I do too….. I do not want a repeat of the lonely weekend I just had.
    Mental health is just as important as physical if not more so…. we all need to talk about it more so that everyone knows they are not alone.
    Well done claire on talking openly about your struggles.
    (Sorry for the essay haha)

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