For years I suffered in steamy silence. It’s difficult to ask for help. So when I did, I was probably close to a breaking point. The stakes were really high and if my partner let me down, I’d tell myself, “This is why I can’t ask for help.”

I came into marriage and parenting with huge expectations, mostly unrealistic, of what it would be like. I expected myself to be able to do it all with ease, a smile, and with gratitude. 

When my twins were born, I was so excited and grateful to be a Mom that I could easily push through the discomfort of being up six times a night. Because I was nursing, I told myself my partner couldn’t help. After three months I went back to work exhausted, pumping and still getting up 4 to 6 times per night. I thought, “I’m doing it. I have it all. Oh well if I’m a little exhausted.” 

Then surprise, I became pregnant with my youngest daughter when I had one-year-old twins. I continued to push through, going back to work this time only after four weeks to avoid losing the nanny that we later fired for stealing. Looking back I was in a trance. The trance of I can do it all, I should be able to do it all. My mom did it all. I should be able to do it all with ease and a smile.

This trance nearly cost me everything. As time went on, I could not do it all. I became increasingly resentful of my spouse, burned out, and overwhelmed. My partner was trying to help but I’m not sure I always sent clear signals of what I needed because I truly believed I should be able to do it all. 

With no family support close by and no friends to share my experience with, the 24-seven of parenting three kids under the age of three was slowly breaking me. I became increasingly isolated and I 100% blamed myself for being broken. If I was stronger, tried harder, or was more mentally healthy I’d be able to handle it all. The trance led me to believe I was failing. It was my fault and I was deeply ashamed. I was too ashamed to ask for help, and if my partner didn’t immediately step in the way I needed. I felt like I couldn’t count on him either.

It was my kids’ behaviors and my yelling that eventually became so concerning that I reached out for parenting help. Luckily, I found Hand In Hand parenting. The parenting coaches I worked with, didn’t blame me. They saw I was a burned-out mom doing the best I could. 

It took years to break free of the trance that I should be able to do it all and I’m failing if I’m not. During those years, I also learned where I needed more help and how to ask for what I needed clearly and directly. Of course it’s still hard at times to ask for help.

Asking for help sounds easy but IT IS NOT for many of us for many different reasons. However, I do believe we can’t do it alone and we should not have to do life or parenting alone. 

We all deserve support in our lives, people that we can turn to, count on and have our back. 

Asking for help can be extraordinarily hard. If you find yourself, isolated, and struggling to let people in please, know you are not alone. There is support out there. It comes in many different forms. I urge you to keep looking because you deserve support. We all do, life is too difficult to do it alone.

Quick Win: Is there someone in your life you can turn to? Is there a group you can join? Even if you can only share 10% of yourself, 10% of your struggle is a starting place and perhaps you’ll feel 10% less alone or 10% more supported. That is not nothing. I invite you not to give up. Keep trying until you find what you need. 

~Michelle

Michelle Puster M.Ed.

Mindfulness Informed Professional

Helping burned out parents find inner calm and compassion

440 Cobia Drive Suite 1301

Katy, TX 77494

832.361.1547