Allow the help and ask for it too.
It is probably the most underutilized thing that humans ask for.
We want to do it all on our own and don't need the help.
When we realize we can't do it on our own, we're afraid to ask to help because we don't want to burden our friends and family.
If your friend asks you if you need help, if someone offers to bring you food, if someone offers to pay for something, if your friend tells you to call on them when you need a babysitter, follow through.
Allow the help. If someone asks you what you need, it's because they can't read your mind. People don't want to assume that they know what you want. If someone asks, be honest with what you need. If you don't know what you need, tell them that.
Ask for the help when you need it. Don't restrict yourself from your needs just because you're afraid to burden someone. If they say no, it's ok. They're allowed to. And guess what? You're allowed to move onto the next person. Don't just stop there. Ask the next person on your list.
Everyone needs support through life. Whether you have children or not. Whether you're married or not. Whether you're working or not. Everyone needs support.
Also, just because you ask someone once and they say no, doesn't mean that they will say no again. It's ok to ask people again when you need them in the future.
The ability to ask for help is the biggest roadblock I see pop up for the my clients. Whether they are in postpartum, on their pregnancy journey, or experiencing loss, asking for help often stops them in their tracks and can lead them to feel isolated.
My biggest form of encouragement and homework I like to give my clients is to ask them to make a list of support people through their journey. And yes, it's ok to rank those people. You absolutely are allowed to do that based off of who you are most comfortable reaching out to. Make a like, write down what strengths each person has, and utilize those strengths for time when you are in need.
Maybe you have a friend who is a really good active listener. Do you notice that they are silent when you speak? Do they stay off their phone? Do they look you in the face and nod their head while you're talking? That person might be good to call when you're feeling lonely, sad, etc. and need someone to just listen. Call them.
Do you have a friend who loves to clean? Is their house always spick & span whenever you come over? Ask them to clean your house when you can't. If you're fresh into postpartum and unable to do chores, ask them if they can come over and help with a few things around the house.
These are all legitimate need that are ok to reach out for. If your friend offers to watch your children for you so that you and your significant other can have a date night, do it! Follow through! Accept the help.
I know it's hard. I know, I know, I know. But, you can do it, We all can.
I have a friend who recently started to accept people's offers for help and she gives answers when people ask her what she needs. It's incredibly refreshing. I never have to guess, she just tells me exactly what it is she needs from me. And I am over the moon to do it for her. When I reach out on my own to offer help, she accepts. She says "Oh my gosh yes! That would be amazing and so helpful!" I'm proud of her and I'm so glad that she is comfortable in reaching out and asking for help.
Don't be afraid. It takes practice but, after you do it enough, it will becomes easier AND you'll be able to easily identify who your village is. Who will be there for you. If someone says they want to be there for you, let them.
Allow the help and ask for it too.