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Dear mama: There is no shame in asking for help

I. can’t. do. it. all. by. myself.

Dear mama: There is no shame in asking for help

Some days I feel like I’m not going to make it to the end of the day without crumbling. Some days, I honestly feel like I am going to have to pack the kids in the car and load it up with our stuff and drive north or south. North to Vermont where help from my in-laws awaits or south to New York where my parents’ capable hands are. Because most days I feel like I can’t do this on my own during the day.


I can’t power through to the hours of 6:30 or 7:30 pm when my husband walks through the door when I can finally get a break. Or rather, not even a break, but some focused time to finish my work.

I can’t nurse a newborn over and over and over while I entertain my toddler who thinks I am the bees knees who says, “Mama watch this!”, “Mommy, picka me uppa!” and “Come play!” throughout the course of the day.

I can’t teach my 4-year-old everything I want to because I need to change directions and focus my attention on the millions of other things calling to me—all seemingly at the same time.

I can’t get quality alone time with each of my children because I am always trying to make everyone happy and “balance” all of my responsibilities while also balancing my feelings of exhaustion mixed with busyness and overwhelm.

I can’t get all the edits done that I need to because I have children calling for me or a meal that needs to be cooked or a nose that needs to be wiped or a flooded basement that needs tending to.

I can’t shower, get myself dressed, put makeup on, have a clean house, get all my work done, make sure everyone is fed three perfect meals, make sure everyone is happy as a clam every second of the day, make sure all fights are properly talked through and everyone feels good about them and lessons have been learned, make sure I have the calendar scheduled and planned out perfectly while I also make sure to remember to set alerts for everything that I need to remember while also connecting with my husband and not just shuffling past each other like ships in the night while also going on work trips while figuring out childcare, etc. etc. etc. repeat, repeat, repeat, to the moon and back, etc.

I. can’t. do. it. all. by. myself.

I recently said to my sister, “I feel like I am drowning. I am completely in over my head.”

And in that moment, as I said those words through tears of sadness, overwhelm and failure—I realized something.

I actually felt better.

I felt better in letting someone know that I was drowning in, well, everything. That after welcoming my third child and an added work project that I’m treating like my fourth child means that with limited childcare and a husband who works long hours—I kind of am drowning. I have taken on a lot. I am in the true thick of it with three little kids. And I need some help.

I knew I needed help—and I was already asking my in-laws and anyone else I could for help—but I knew I needed to figure out a more sustainable model of help.

Because I don’t want to give up anything in my life. I love my job—and want more of it. I love my children—and I want more quality time with them. I love my husband—I want more date nights. I love my friends—I want to see them more. I love feeling sane—I need more time to work out or to find ways to fill up my cup.

I love this life I lead and I need to figure out how to enjoy all that I can, all the beauty that’s around me—without all of the stress every single day.

How can I feel grateful for what I have going on when the good is clouded with my anxiety?

How can I be happy with what’s happening in my life when the stress is stealing my joy?

How can I feel love in my heart when I am sinking into a hole?

Well, I simply asked for help.

I reached out to loved ones to talk about how I’ve been feeling. I have overly communicated with my husband about what I need from him. I have accepted the help my in-laws have been able to provide for us with a grateful heart instead of an apology. I’ve told my mom more about what I’ve been going through. I’ve hired a wonderful babysitter to start coming to our house regularly during the week so I can have more focused work time.

These things may sound small, or, may sound normal—normal ways to cope with a busy schedule, a maxed-out mind, and a full plate.

But they haven’t felt small to me, because I wasn’t actually doing all of them. I was just trying and trying and trying to figure things out—all of these things out—on my own.

I’ve realized that you can’t, or rather, you shouldn’t, do that.

You should set your pride aside. You should ask for help. And, mama, you shouldn’t apologize for it. Because you don’t need to do it alone.

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As much as I love fall, it always feels like the season when my family's routine gets kicked into overdrive. With our oldest in (homeschool) kindergarten, my youngest on the brink of entering her twos, work, housework and *all the things* filling my day, it's hard not to feel a little overwhelmed sometimes. Did I mention we're still in a pandemic? (Yeah, it's a lot.) And while I try to take a positive view as much as I can, now more than ever I definitely jump at the chance to take anything off my busy plate.

One thing first in line at the chopping block? Cooking. To be fair, I like cooking. I cooked most of our meals long before I had ever even heard of social distancing. But there's something about the pandemic that suddenly made cooking every single meal feel exponentially more draining.

Enter Daily Harvest. They deliver nourishing, delicious food right to your door. Daily Harvest's mix of smoothies, bowls, flatbreads, snacks and more provide a balanced, whole food options that are as satisfying as they are nutritious. But my favorite part? When we're ready to eat, I simply pull the food from the freezer and it's ready in minutes—without any chopping, measuring or searching for a recipe. Even better, they're incredibly tasty, meaning I'm not struggling to get my girls to dig in. Not cooking has never felt so good.

Here are my 8 favorite products that are helping to lighten my load right now:

Mulberry + Dragonfruit Oat Bowl

Mulberry + Dragonfruit Oat Bowl

One thing that actually helps break up the monotony of quarantine? Trying and introducing new ingredients to my family. I love this overnight oat bowl (add milk the night before and let it set in your fridge overnight—easy-peasy!) because not only does it not compromise on nutrition, but it also helps me bring new whole fruits, vegetables and superfoods to the table with ease.

Mint + Cacao Smoothie

Mint + Cacao Smoothie

I kid you not, these taste exactly like a mint chocolate chip milkshake. (Just ask my 4-year-old, who is constantly stealing sips from my glass.) What she doesn't know? She's actually getting organic banana, spinach and chlorella with every sip. #momwin

Kabocha + Sage Flatbread

Kabocha + Sage Flatbread

Our family's eating habits have been leaning more plant-forward this year, which often means a lot of veggie washing, peeling and chopping every time I cook. That's why these flatbreads are my new best friend come lunchtime. This Kabocha + Sage Flatbread is made with a gluten-free cauliflower crust topped with kabocha squash, fennel and sage for a taste of fall in every bite. (Missing the cheese? You can add it before baking for more of a pizza feel.)

Kale + Sweet Potato Flatbread

Kale + Sweet Potato Flatbread

There's something about the combination of sweet potato crust topped with red cabbage, organic greens and an herby-cilantro sauce that is so delicious… like surprisingly delicious. I polished off this bad boy in seconds! And unlike other "veggie" crusts I've tried, these are actually clean (AKA no fillers, preservations, partially-hydrogenated oil or artificial anything). Plus, it couldn't be easier to throw in the oven between conference calls and homeschool lessons.

Cacao + Avocado Smoothie

Cacao + Avocado Smoothie

Any time I get to serve a breakfast that tastes like chocolate, it's a good day. (That goes double when it's *my* breakfast.) This rich, chocolatey smoothie is packed with organic zucchini, avocado, pumpkin seeds and pea protein for a nourishing mix of healthy fats and muscle-building protein so I can carry that baby all day long. And did I mention the chocolate?

Vanilla Bean + Apple Chia Bowl

Vanilla Bean + Apple Chia Bowl

Maybe it's just me, but after a long week of cooking, the last thing I want to do on Saturday morning is...wake up and cook. That's why these one-step breakfasts are saving my weekend. I simply add our favorite milk the night before and store the bowl in the fridge overnight. Come morning, I have a nutritious chia bowl that powers me through even the busiest day of errands. It's also Instagram-ready, which makes me feel like I'm out brunching (even if I can't remember the last time I was in a restaurant).

Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites

Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites

My kids have turned into snack monsters during quarantine, and I'm often struggling to find a wholesome option (that doesn't require a lot of extra cooking or else I resort to something ultra-refined and shelf-stable). These bites are the hero I never knew I needed. For one, they taste like cookie dough, but they're actually packed with chickpeas, pumpkin, dates and flax seed (among other whole ingredients). But unlike actual cookie dough, I don't have to go anywhere near my mixer to whip them up—all I have to do is pull the container out of the freezer, let them defrost a bit and we can all enjoy a treat.

Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

Sometimes I have a little more time to cook, but I still want a quick, stress-free solution. (Especially because it always feels like I just cleaned up from the last meal.) I love these Harvest Bowls because they warm up in under five minutes on the stove top (or microwave!) but pack tons of flavor. The Cauliflower Rice + Pesto bowl is one of my favorites, with basil, olive oil and nutritional yeast for a hearty dish reminiscent of a mouth-watering Italian meal. When I'm feeling extra fancy, I add leftover grilled chicken or a fried egg.

Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote Scoops

Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote Scoops

Who doesn't want to end the day with a little something sweet? This creamy and decadent frozen treat from Daily Harvest is swirled with sweet berries and tropical dragonfruit for an antioxidant burst you'll feel good about—but that your kiddos will just think is ice cream. Go ahead, take credit for being the best mom ever.

Want to try it yourself? You can get $25 off your first box of Daily Harvest with code MOTHERLY.

This article was sponsored by Daily Harvest. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas

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