I still struggle with this. We all do.
For most of my younger years I was fiercely independent, adamant that I was strong enough, sharp enough, fill in the blank “x” enough, to navigate my path and create what I wanted in life.
Asking for help felt like a sign of weakness, an acknowledgment that I wasn’t capable enough to succeed on my own.
Motherhood knocked me waaaaay off that pedestal. I remember holding my baby boy, so small and tender and vulnerable and realizing how much I wanted for him in life. In that moment, I was his whole world, but I wanted so much more for him than I alone could give him. I realized that I would do anything to protect and nurture him towards his highest good, even ask for help.
Thus came my introduction to the wonderful world of motherhood where very little is possible through singular sheer determination and strength, but everything is possible within community.
Thirteen years in, here is the conclusion that I have come to-
Support is not a sign of your weakness, but a way to be stronger than you could ever be alone.
It is a lesson that doesn’t come naturally to me, nor for most of the women I work with. There is a glorification of the “hero’s journey” in our society, that vision of a single solitary person forging out into the world and succeeding against all odds.
But ladies, none of us are heroes.
We are all HEROINES. Our journey as women, as mothers, is vastly different and relies on community, sisterhood, and support.
The support that I avoided reaching for all my life became essential as I raised my children. Continually, the resources that I reach for for the good of my children far surpass what I can muster for myself, pressing me to grow beyond my own boundaries.
Our children are our biggest growth tools and my firstborn has been teaching me this lesson right from the very beginning.
When I planned his birth there were many conditions that I knew weren’t “ideal” for my desires, but I was too intimidated by “the norm” to forge a new path. I figured that since I knew about the potential obstacles I could overcome them through sheer determination and inner strength.
That was a big mistake and one I urge you to avoid.
Culturally, medically, historically, generationally…, the odds are stacked against you having a positive and empowering birth experience. While they are turning more in your favor every day, we still have a long long looooooong way to go.
Until we reach that point when society organically supports you in having an empowered, transformative, and potentially pleasurable birth experience, you’ll need to consciously create that support for yourself, look for it, ask for it, demand it. Expect that it will feel deeply uncomfortable, but the result will be transformative and take you waaaay beyond where you can go on your own.