Asking for help
One of the hardest things to hear in this line of work is " I wish I knew you back when I was breastfeeding". Oh man, that's a tough one. Because now I know that in your past you needed help and you probably didn't 'get it. It gives me this nipple sized bit of guilt down in the pit of my stomach that lingers like humidity in Georgia in August. Now I wonder- did you get to breastfeed at all? Did you meet your goals? Was your baby sick, or did you get some bad advice from a healthcare provider? Oh no, did you google some breast condition, or what happens if you don't make enough milk and so you started the endless downward spiral of supplemental bottles? I'm spiraling myself, here. But do you see?
I'm sorry I wasn't there for you. And I mean that. I might be apologizing for being born too late, or I might be apologizing for my 20's, LOL. But I wish I had been there for you. And now I wonder, if you had known me, would you have asked for help? Like, out loud, in a desperate sort of whisper, through your tears at 2:00am, would you have asked? Or maybe the outcome would have been the same. Maybe you did ask for help, and it wasn't the right kind. Or someone tried to help you but it just wasn't a good fit. Let's try this on in a different context.
Are any of you small business owners? If so, then you know how hard it is to get things rolling. And manage the work, and figure it all out, and actually provide the service or product that is your business. It's HARD. And I have to admit, it's been a challenge for me. And since now I've gone and told you the truth, I guess I should add that this whole "work life balance" thing that I have been so focused on achieving, is a goal like a star that I can see, and it looks like I can touch, but then is just beyond my reach. The funny thing about finding the people who need the help, is that I know they are out there. I KNOW YOU ARE OUT THERE. Somewhere. And I want to help you. So what keeps us apart? The distance? My failed attempts at marketing? And now, I have to ask, is it your pride?
Because I became a mom at 31 for the first time, I knew a lot of things. I knew a ton of things about myself. I could even say them out loud; what I'm good at, how my body works, things I love, and things I hate. I had time by myself to figure it all out. 31 years to be exact. And then we were a party of 3, and I wasn't the most important part of this group anymore. And pleasing the boss was harder than I imagined. (Baby bosses are very demanding, and no one told me that.) And admitting that I needed help was harder than I thought, too. Partly because I didn't expect to need help, and partly because I thought I didn't really want any help. I did pretty well on my own all that time, and NOW, I needed help? Seriously, that is why they made Google. RIGHT?? But not really.
Everybody needs help sometimes. As I write this, a 7 year old stood next to me and waited for me to stop typing so he could ask me to help him find the sand colored, microscopic ear magnet that he dropped on the beige carpet.
So now that I replaced it, because I am obviously only going to find that when I wrestle it out of the baby's mouth, I realize that I have done something right as a mom. I've taught him to ask for help when he needs it, and not feel bad about it. He only apologized about 3 times. And when I needed help as a new mom, people just came out of the woodwork. Honestly, they just keep doing that (I'm so lucky). I remember when my friend showed up with a pack of onesies and a bag of fruit from Kroger and told me never to refrigerate grapes.You actually can't have too many onesies because babies are gross. Thanks, Caryn. And Brittany didn't even have any kids yet, and she washed my dishes and put together the stroller that SHE bought me. THANK YOU.
As a business owner, Abby at Harmony Nutrition gave me an invaluable contact in Harmony Pediatrics: Dr. Chheda, and sweet Luisa of Peaches To Pearls told me I was 100% capable of blogging, and people would totally care what I have to say. Thanks to all of you!
Now, this is the part where I practice what I preach. Being a small business owner is hard, and I am not too proud to tell you that I am learning as I go. Can you help me, please? If you know me and think I am good at what I do, will you please share my business with your friends? If you like anything you've read here, please share. If you wish you had known where to turn when you were breastfeeding and you didn't get what you needed (even if it was 40 years ago) please share me. If you are looking for a judgement free IBCLC (rhyme time, people) please share me. I love you all, and I can't find those who need me if I don't have a little help from my friends. If you need help with breastfeeding, I am your girl. All you have to do is ask.
Stay at peace, my friends,