It’s not always easy to ask for help. In fact, sometimes it can feel downright impossible. Reaching out for help

It’s not always easy to ask for help. In fact, sometimes it can feel downright impossible. Reaching out for help is often an act of courage that should not go unnoticed.

So, when one exhausted blogger mom, Celeste Yvonne, wrote a plea to her husband for more help with their children, her letter went viral.

An emotional plea

New mothers are short on rest and sleep. They are expected to care for their children 24/7 with little reprieve. Well, Celeste had hit her limit one night when she had both a toddler and a newborn baby, and this prompted her to share her frustrations in a post on the Internet for all to see.

Celeste begins her letter saying, “Dear Husband, I. Need. More. Help.”

She continues, “Last night was hard for you. I asked you to watch the baby so I could go to bed early. The baby was crying. Wailing, really. I could hear him from upstairs and my stomach knotted from the sound, wondering if I should come down there and relieve you or just shut the door so I could get some desperately needed sleep. I chose the latter.”

Celeste describes the scene the evening prior saying, “You came into the room 20 minutes later with the baby still frantically crying. You placed the baby in the bassinet and gently pushed the bassinet just a few inches closer to my side of the bed, a clear gesture that you were done watching him.”

“I wanted to scream at you. I wanted to launch an epic fight that very moment. I had been watching the baby and the toddler all damn day. I was going to be waking up with the baby to feed him all damn night. The least you could do is hold him for a couple of hours in the evening so I can attempt to sleep just a few hours of precious sleep. Is that too much to ask?”

In her beyond-tired-newborn-baby-mother state, Celeste then considers the traditional roles their parents played in raising them as children.

“I know we both watched our parents fulfill the typical mother-father roles growing up. Both our mothers were the primary caretakers and our fathers were relatively hands off.”

– Celeste Yvonne

“They were excellent dads, but they weren’t expected to spend a significant amount of time changing diapers, feeding, caring, and tending to the kids. Our mothers were the superwomen who maintained the family dynamics. Cooking, cleaning, and raising the children. Any help from dad was welcome, but unexpected.”

Celeste continues her appeal to her husband saying, “I see us falling into these family dynamics more and more each day. My responsibility to feed the family, keep the house clean, and take care of the kids is assumed, even as I return to work. I blame myself for most of it too. I have set the precedent that I can do it. And in truth I want to. No offense, but I’m not sure I want to know what a weeks worth of dinner would look like with you in charge.”

She then goes on to compare herself to her friends whom Celeste sees, “doing it all, and doing it well.” This leads her to question in the letter why she can’t do it as well herself.

She suggests that perhaps her friends are “secretly struggling” in private as well and “playing the part in public.”

Celeste gives her husband kudos for being a good father, and further explains saying, “but I’m human, and I’m running on five hours of sleep and tired as hell. I need you.”

Getting specific

Since no one is a mind reader, Celeste gets specific for her partner saying, “In the morning I need you to get our toddler ready so I can care for the baby and make everyone’s lunches and drink a cup of coffee. And no, getting the toddler ready does not mean plopping him in front of the TV. It means making sure he went potty, giving him some breakfast, seeing if he wants water, and packing his bag for school.”

Celeste continues, “At night I need an hour to decompress in bed knowing our toddler is asleep in his room and the baby is in your care. I know it’s hard to listen to the baby cry. Believe me, I know. But if I can watch and pacify the baby for the majority of the day, you can do it for an hour or two at night. Please. I need you.”

Celeste Yvonne goes on to describe that she needs “more breaks” on the weekends. She needs times to quote “feel like an individual”.

The exhausted mother asks that her husband lend her a hand and basically start pulling his weight as an equal partner on their parenting team.

Finally, Celeste asks for some appreciation.  She writes, “Lastly, I need to hear you’re grateful for all I do. I want to know that you notice the laundry is done and a nice dinner has been prepared. I want to know you appreciate that I breastfeed at all hours and pump when I’m at work when it would be easier for me to formula feed. I hope you notice that I never asked you to stay home from your networking events and sport activities.”

“As the mom it’s assumed I’ll be home all the time and always available to care for the kids while you’re out and I feed that assumption by, well, being home all the time.”

Celeste closes her emotional letter saying, “I’m telling you how much I need you, and if I keep going at the pace I’ve been on, I will break. And that would hurt you, the kids, and our family. Because let’s face it: you need me, too.”

Emotional labor

In Celeste Yvonne’s appeal to her husband to get more hands on and involved in the raising of their children, she raises the social issue of the burden of responsibility falling on the mother to be full-time caretaker over the father. However, in reading her letter it is clear that she is depleted and in need of the help.

Mothers will bend over backwards for their children, and then find a way to bend even further if need be. That is the role that mothers often tend to play. The unconditional, ever-giving maternal figure who is there for you no matter what the circumstances.

However, in reality our mothers are people. They are human beings with an energy threshold and boundaries that should not be tested just because of the reliability factor.

Being a mother is a full-time job, but when you have a partner, it shouldn’t have to be. Communication is key in any working relationship. Express how you really feel inside and ask for what you truly need. Whether it is in a text message, phone conversation, email, tweet, old school face-to-face conversation, or a blog post that goes viral online, say it.

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