Tired new mama: Accept the help

Accepting help does not make you weak.

Tired new mama: Accept the help

I get it. I get that a lifetime of being an overachiever to suddenly not isn’t so simple a metamorphosis.

You will always be that little girl in the front row, waving her hand for the 13th time that day because you have the right answer and you figured it out yourself. You will always be the woman gritting her teeth and grunting while opening the pickle jar because you actually use your gym membership three times a week and do not need your husband to do it for you.

I get it.

Asking for and accepting help is so hard, especially when you pride yourself on the fact that you can do it yourself. Maybe you’ve never needed help before—or at least that’s what you told yourself. But now you have a new baby, and life can be so hard.


It can be so exhausting and frustrating and draining in so many ways you never even imagined before. And, despite all that, it can be tempting to try to hold it all together—to hold it all in—all by yourself.

But, from one overachieving mom to another, I’d like to make a suggestion: don’t.

Don’t deny the love and help that is undoubtedly pouring in around you. It is so important to accept that help. And it does not, will not make you weak.

When I put aside my fear of showing (what I perceived as) weakness, I realized that by letting in the love, I wasn’t just helping myself—I was making things better for my baby, too. So…

Accept the help when your husband creeps into the nursery at 4 a.m. after your little one’s third nighttime wake up and offers to hold her for a while so you can get some sleep. You are not slacking—it actually is his job to help too, and trust me when I tell you that nothing will make you love him more than knowing he’s there for the two of you.

Accept the help when your mom wants to come stay with you for a week (or two…or three!) after the baby is born. It sounds like a long time right now, but those days will fly by in a blur of spit-up and exhaustion, and that second set of hands loving on you and your baby will be a godsend.

Accept the help when your dad won’t let you pay him back for the diapers and groceries he picked up for you after your fourth week of unpaid maternity leave. It has been years since you’ve needed him to pay for anything, and even though you still don’t need it, your pride isn’t worth nearly as much as what this means to him. (Plus, OMG babies are expensive.)

Accept the help when your mother-in-law offers to buy all the odds and ends off your registry that didn’t get purchased before the baby came. She isn’t criticizing you for not having them (you wanted them, remember?). She has probably been about as excited as you have been for this grandchild, and letting her in is the first step in fostering a solid relationship between your child and her grandmother.

Accept the help when your father-in-law offers to repair that squeak in the floor that keeps waking the baby and the swing that keeps malfunctioning and the baby gate that you seriously cannot get installed properly on your own (but don’t want to admit it.) Helping is his love language, and he’s showering that new baby (and you!) in all the love he can.

Accept the help when your congregation wants to make a meal delivery schedule for your family. Your baby is in part their new baby too and accepting that love sets an example of humble strength that will give you all a stronger bond.

Accept the help when your boss puts a gentle hand on your shoulder after she catches you crying at your desk your first day back and suggests you head out early (even though you’ve missed 12 weeks and that deadline is looming and Sarah from two desks over is giving you the side eye.) Your boss knows how hard you work—it’s why she wants to give you this break. Let her—and get yourself home for some serious snuggle time.

Accept the help when your best friend offers to sit with your baby so you can take a real shower for the first time in a week. The baby is sleeping anyway and you really, actually will be a happier and better mom if your hair is clean. Promise.

Accept the help. Accept the love.

If it helps, tell yourself you’re doing it for me. (Though it’s really, truly okay to do it for you, too!)

Accept it all because, this? This is your tribe, Mama.

And together, we’re all stronger.

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My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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