So, throughout my life I’ve never been afraid of asking for help. Asking my sister to help me put on fake lashes, asking my brother in law to help me with pretty much all the DIY in my old flat and asking my mum for help with washing, cooking, sewing…the list goes on! However, in our four years together, nobody has been more help to me than my husband Stu.
Whether he’s helping look after me when I have a migraine, helping rescue me from my latest car drama or just helping pick me up when I’m down, I always know I can go to Stu for help.
But something I’ve randomly found hard to ask for help with, is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do…being a mum. From the moment we got home from the hospital, I had in my head that I wanted to do everything for Sienna on my own because I didn’t want it to be a shock when Stu went back to work. Then when he went back to work I felt guilty asking Stu for help because I knew he’d been at work all day.
Stu being Stu, of course really wanted to help as he could see how tired I was getting. Stu was also going through his own guilt because as much as he wanted to help, as I was breastfeeding there was only so much he could do.
To try and combat this and give me a bit of a break, we got a breast pump. The first time we used the pump was when I went to the hairdressers and everything went well. It was amazing getting my hair done, it was nice having a coffee without having one eye on Sienna and of course it was lovely to catch up on all my trashy magazines .
The only bad thing was I really didn’t enjoy the process of pumping. I found the pump sore, tiring and made me look way too much like a cow. As a result I avoided using it.
I avoided using it so much that the next time we tried Sienna on a bottle when I had a migraine she just wouldn’t take it. The guilt then was off the chart, guilty for making Sienna sad with a bottle, guilty that Stu had a crying baby that wouldn’t feed and guilty I hadn’t persevered more with the pump.
Now, I know that guilt and being a mum go hand in hand, but I also know how pointless this emotion is. Me feeling guilty all the time is the worst possible example for Sienna and if I want to be a good mum I know I have to look after myself too.
I then had a helpful call with mum and a helpful conversation with Stu and I began to realise asking for help with Sienna isn’t a bad thing. So, now at the weekends if Sienna gets up super early, I’ll ask Stu to do the nappy or play with Sienna whilst I get ready to feed her. Or if I need a break I just tell Stu and he will take her off my hands so I can have a bit of me time.
As for the feeding, I’m writing this at the hairdressers after leaving Stu with a bottle of expressed milk… I’m back home now and unfortunately Sienna didn’t take the bottle. However, she did take a dummy which she never normally does and Stu managed to get her asleep in the car to stop the crying.
We are going to keep trying with the feeding, I’m going to work on the “guiltying “ and eventually with a little help I’m sure we will get there.