It’s the Holidays so chances are if you’re a parent, you’re a bit more burnt out than normal! And if you’re a parent with a little under the age of 2 then chances are you really need a nap while someone cleans your house, cooks you a hearty meal, and plays with your child! But how do you reach out to your village to ask for this help without seeming needy, selfish, or not independent enough? As a mom of four, I’ve found that it truly does take a village and when I try to do it without support from my village my cup can run dry! Here are some ways to ensure your cup stays full so you can continue to pour into your children:

Be Specific About Your Needs

It’s easy to just say I need help, but that really isn’t helpful for those who desire to help you. What is helpful is having a specific request. For example, when you welcome a new baby one wonderful gift is a meal train signup from friends and family to cover meals for you as you adjust to a new family member. But don’t hesitate to ask for this support at other times. Perhaps you need something like this because of another life event such as a surgery, sickness, death in the family, large commitment at work, school or any other number of other things so do not hesitate to ask your closest circle of family and/or friends if they are willing to support you in this way. Chances are they will be happy to help in such a tangible way. My friend sent soup to our family when I was under a very demanding deadline at work and I was beyond thankful for this tangible act of friendship that allowed me to take one thing off my “proverbial” plate!

Another example could be that you are drowning in laundry. Maybe mention this to your spouse and ask them to help you catch up before a date night or consider ways you could review your budget to get outside help for cleaning. Having a specific request or being able to name what would help you most is key.

Plan Ahead

Having a standing coffee date with a girlfriend, a monthly date night with your husband, and/or a quarterly massage just for you to get alone time can give you something to look forward to! Using that coffee date to ask your friend for advice or your date night to multi task and squeeze in a few errands are great ways to have built in time for self care. Make sure you are reciprocating this with your husband and even your kids. Encourage them to make time for their friends, selves, and help them see value in doing this too. Honestly, it will make you all feel good when everyone’s needs are balanced.

Prioritize Your Health

This is something I’m really going to try to prioritize in 2023, but it’s important that your busy schedule still allows time for a workout, healthy meals, and sleep! Having a newborn in 2022 definitely affected these things, but I am here to tell you that just because it didn’t happen one year doesn’t mean you can’t get things back on track. Make plans to get a walk, yoga, or even a quick HIIT workout in before you kids wake up. Order a HelloFresh box to kick off some healthy eating or even order some smoothies from Daily Harvest, which make the best breakfast, lunch, or snack!

Involve Your Kid(s)

Sometimes when I’m overwhelmed by the clutter, dishes, to-do list, or laundry I think about how I can get my children involved with helping me tackle these in fun ways. For example, my girls love unloading the silverware from the dishwasher because it is a fun matching game. It’s also fun to time them and see how many toys they can pick up in ten minutes or how many items they can sort. Asking your kids for help seems like a no brainer, but sometimes when we are overwhelmed we forget to look for the solution closest to us. For example my 9-5 is a deadline driven job so I like to share with my family when I’m approaching a deadline so they know I will need a bit more support as my work life ramps up and I drop unnecessary home chores. Usually with this communicated they are able to pick up my slack and chip in on things I usually cover.

Let Go and Accept Help!

I’m a very independent person and I usually like things a certain way, but when you are accepting help it’s important to let go and just accept the help in any way it comes. For example, if your husband helps by making lunches for your kids, but they may not be the Pinterest worthy meals you would make, take a deep breath and know your kids will enjoy the change! If your Mother In Law comes to help you catch up on laundry or dishes and things don’t end up in the exact spots you typically put them in just take a deep breath and be thankful for the help. If you can, while this help is being given try to take a moment for yourself, whether it’s a quick shower, a luxurious bath, or even just getting to paint your toes.

Whatever you do when you need help it’s important to not assume that others can anticipate or know your needs so be sure to express that specifically, think of ways to plan ahead, prioritize you health, look for creative ways to fill it and finally just accept the help!

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