My husband and I got married young. We spent almost six years together before having our first little boy. It wasn’t until my first pregnancy that I felt the conflict that eventually led me to you. A fire was lit in my heart to bring safe and effective skin care to Mamas, but I struggled with the idea of leaving my little one. It took a year to wrap my mind around the concept and truly start my business. What was the transformative moment that empowered me to move forward with my passion? I asked for help with childcare and in response…
My mother retired from the job she’d be doing for 16 years to stay at home with my little one.
Jaw dropping, I know. This means so much more to me than I can express.
I know that I am lucky to have a strong bond with my mother. Furthermore, my mom respects the way my husband and I have chosen to raise our littles even though it differs from her own parenting style. This type of love and support has superseded my expectations time and time again. If you have littles, whether you work or not, you understand the need to leave your littles with trustworthy guardians.
Let’s be clear, I have always wanted to do things myself. All of you out there raising a toddler understand what I’m talking about. We always say to our little guy, “do you want to do it, or do you want me to help you?” “KOLTEN CAN DO IT,” he exclaims emphatically every time (yes, he always speaks in third person). I know it may sound silly, but I often feel the exact same way. I’m capable and strong, why would I need help?
But guys, it takes a village.
If you know me or you’ve read my green tea post, you’re aware that my father is from Hong Kong. In Asian culture, we take care of our families daily and come what may. Somewhere along the way, it’s easy to forget the importance of this tradition. There is no weakness in community and there is no failure in asking for support.
I was recently reading the show notes from the freakanomics podcast where Stephen Dubner interviewed the CEO of PepsiCo. Indra Nooyi called, “I Wasn’t Stupid Enough to Say This Could Be Done Overnight.” This powerful woman said something that rung so true to me.
“…our families all chipped in to help take care of the kids, or supervise the nannies, if you want to call it that. And in turn, we take care of our aging parents today. I think this Asian model of having extended family co-exist with the young people today may have to be imported in so that we can take care of our children and take care of the aging parents at the same time.”
This goes beyond just asking help from your parents. I’m talking about what your life would look like without believing the lie that you are alone. Motherhood can get lonely. That overwhelm can come on quickly, and because most women are nurturers, we start to believe we can handle everything. Worst yet, we believe we can be everything for everyone.
Three signs that you need to ask for help
1. You view basic human functions as self-care
Taking a shower, going to the bathroom (alone), feeding yourself, washing your face or sleeping. These are not luxuries, friend. You deserve to do these things, they are non-negatiables in my book.
2. You don’t do anything daily, weekly or monthly that brings you joy
Let’s be honest, I’m not talking about spending time with your littles. I’m talking about that one thing that lights you up. The activity that you would look forward to doing and that would make you feel like yourself again.
3. Stress is an understatement
Bluntly put, if you are living in a constant state of stress, you will start to see the effects in your body and spirit. It can affect your relationships, emotions, skin and allover wellness.
Where to turn
First and foremost, if you are lucky enough to have a strong relationship with your family then call on them. There is nothing quite like the support of your relatives. If you share your struggles with them, they may have insight you never expected.
To be honest, this one is important and complicated. Your partner may be just as stressed as you or, alternatively, they may be unaware of your struggles entirely. Just because your partner is with you regularly does not mean they understand. Explain that you need help as clearly as possible and decide ahead of time ways they could help.
We all have those people that we can truly rely on throughout our lives. Do not underestimate these relationships.
Seek out local groups. Mom get togethers can be a healing space. These groups can be a powerful resource for support and a place to learn tricks that could simplify some of your own conflicts.
Finally, holistic practitioners have devoted their time to helping clients bring balance to their lives. Stress can be alleviated through therapy, acupuncture, skin treatments and many more other services. Find what works for you and practice consistency.
You are not alone
Please, do not allow yourself to retreat. There are many different channels to explore and your people are out there. When we say the words, “I need help,” people will show up. You do not have to do this on your own.
That being said, skin care or otherwise, reach out!