Here is something profoundly different that I did between my first and second babies...ask for help. Think that's too simple? Stick with me for a sec while I explain what I mean.
With my first - I prepared the "physical stuff".
I got the nursery ready. I had the newborn diapers neatly lined up by the perfectly folded receiving blankets.
I had curated his "sleeping space" with matching furniture and decorated with a woodland nursery theme. (He never ended up sleeping in there...)
I had spent a few days stocking my small freezer with meals which I thought would last me until I "got back on my feet in a few days". (...I'm still not "back on my feet 5 years out) Really, the most critical thing to point out was that I had really internalized the values from society around independence.
I thought I was supposed to be able to do it all.
I thought that being a "good mom" meant that I should carry the load on my own and that asking for help was weak or was failing. Afterall - haven't women been birth and caring for babies since the beginning of time? (Hint...not like this they haven't)
So martyred my own needs and saw that as a thing of honour...I took excellent care of my son! I was responding to his needs! I did all the things that I was "supposed to do"!
...But on the inside I was crumbling and dying a little each day. I was completely exhausted, burnt out, lonely and struggling with my role and identity as a mom.
I didn't ask for help, not even to my husband (at the time).
When I became pregnant with my second baby I knew that I needed to do things differently but I didn't know how.
I ended up learning a ton from my therapist, my postpartum doula, the stack of books that I read and many people I spoke with.
The biggest thing that I changed for my second postpartum that made all the difference?
I LEARNED HOW TO ASK FOR HELP AND BUILT MY SUPPORT VILLAGE.
Was this easy to do? NO! It really wasn't. It was hard, intentional work.
I struggled a lot with the conditioning that was deeply embedded in my mind around productivity and independence.
But I did the work, assembled and organized my village of support.
The result was incredible support and care during the early weeks once my second baby was born.
Here's the thing though - this work really has rippled out and served me well in other areas of my life.
I still use these skills that I learn from when my babes were small.
And so do the clients that work with me. I help them learn to do the same and it's life changing.
With light, love and warmth,
P.S. - If you are pregnant and want to feel supported while preparing for and during your postpartum with your baby - send me a message with the contact form below with a "Tell me more". I'd love to see if I can help you!