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I work with a lot of new parents; first time parents, second time parents and parents of 3, 4 and 5 children. And the one thing that I hear over and over again is a belief that they have to do it all by themselves.


What I have come to understand from working with hundreds of parents is that this belief that everyone is doing it alone and doing it well is an illusion.


Many new parents are sitting at home, longing for connection and yet unable to connect due to a fear of appearing unable to go it alone. They are so fearful of being vulnerable that they find themselve unable to ask for help or even accept it because they are so fearful of being judged as not good enough.


How did this happen?


When did we become a society where asking for help and accepting it was a sign of weakness?


And, of course, this phenomenon isn't just seen in new parents. Many of my chronic illness and pain clients are feeling the same way.


So, what can be done?


We need to stop saying no.


Read that again.


Stop saying no.


When someone asks if they can help you...


Say yes.


If someone asks you if they can drop off a coffee...


Say yes.


If someone asks you if you want to take a shower, a nap or to go to playgroup...


Say yes.


I know what you're thinking...I don't want to be a burden.


They're only offering because they feel they have to but they don't really want to help.


They have their own problems/need for help. Who am I to ask?


Believe me, the help you are receiving is bidirectional.


By saying yes, you are building connection, helping another person feel useful and needed.


By saying yes you are creating stronger relationships and a community of love and acceptance.


By saying yes, you begin to pave the way for others coming behind you to be able to ask for and accept help.

Human beings are inherently helpful and long for connection and purpose. That friend of yours who asks if they can drop off a coffee really wants to do so.


Let them.


I'll leave you with an example of this that I came across years ago when I worked with women who had come to Canada with their partners to pursue a job opportunity. I would go to their homes and help them teach their children English through play. It was a very rewarding and eye opening experience for me as a beginning counsellor and new mom.


What I learned from these incredible families was the power of a strong community. These women took care of each other. Each day of the week they would get together at each others homes. They would clean together, cook together, laugh together and support one another. They would help each other raise their families.


It was a beautiful thing. It was community-based living that I believe we all need more of in our lives.


So, the next time someone asks if they can help.


Say yes.


Say yes!

Who are Dr Carolyn Daitch and Lissah Lorberbaum and why should I care?

Dr. Carolyn Daitch is a psychologist, director, consultant and author specializing in anxiety disorders, stress and emotional management. She has more than 25 years experience in private practice in Michigan, USA.


Dr. Daitch wrote The Road to Calm Workbook with co-author Lissah Lorberbam in 2016 to help readers take control of runaway emotions by incorporating her training and understanding of hypnotherapy with evidence-based psychotherapy.

In their book, The Road to Calm Workbook, Dr. Daitch and Lissah Lorberbaum provide a clear explanation of how and why we may become overwhelmed by our emotions and offer simple, effective strategies to overcome what they describe as emotional flooding, decrease stress to prevent emotional flooding, and manage emotional reactions due to a wide range of possible scenarios.

What is The Road to Calm Workbook about and why should I read it?

The Road to Calm Workbook focuses on teaching us how to manage runaway emotions in simple, practical and effective ways. It offers a set of practical and effective tools that empower readers to manage a variety of emotional triggers in their lives.

Each chapter features educational information and tools to support emotional regulation. Part one features a detailed explanation of emotional flooding and how it can negatively impact relationships. Part two features tools to support self-regulation, as well as strategies to implement today to ease stress and stop emotional overwhelm in its tracks.


Additionally, Dr. Daitch and Ms. Lorberbaum offer a table of when each of the 12 tools can be used, as well as how to identify triggers and take stock of your stressors.


Does Dr. Daitch have any other books?

Yes! Dr. Daitch has authored four books including, The Road to Calm Workbook, Anxious in Love, Anxiety Disorders: The Go-To Guide For Clients and Therapists, and Affect Regulation Tool Box. For more information on her many projects visit: https://carolyndaitchphd.com/


How often do you justify yourself on a given day? I imagine if you give it some thought you'll find it's quite often.


Think about it.


A friend you don't particularly like asks you to go for coffee and you say, I'd love to but I can't because ...


...the kids have a birthday party and my husbands away on business and my car broke down last week and.....


Why do we do that?


When we justify ourselves and the decisions we make we inevitably feel a sense of guilt and shame for our decisions. We justify, or give excuses, not for the other person, but to ease our own discomfort.


The cashier at the store asks you to donate to this weeks charity and you say, "No, I donated the other day when I was here" or she tries to upsell you on the deal of the week and you say, "Not today because .... I already have 10 of them at home, thanks."


What would it be like to simply say, "No thank you"?


I can tell you, at least at first, it is incredibly difficult and uncomfortable for most people. In fact, I often challenge clients to try stopping at "no, thank you" the next time they are asked to do something that they don't want to or can't do for any reason.


It's a simple, yet strangely empowering exercise for many with a fear of judgement and often leads to increases in confidence in other areas of their lives.


Imagine how freeing it would be to stop justifying yourself. To simply say, No and walk away.

Now, I'm not suggesting you forget your manners. There are situations where you may want to provide another option; one that is more suitable to your life and family.


For example, the next time your mother asks you to come for Sunday dinner on a night that you already have 2 birthday parties, swimming lessons and a soccer tournament, you say, "This weekend won't work for us. How about we plan for next Sunday" or "Sundays dinners won't work for us. You are welcome to come to the soccer tournament if you'd like"


Taking control of your life without justification is empowering and will help you live a life that is your own.


Give it a try and share your experience with us below in the comments.