No, this is not another blog about the holiday season, in spite of the title. Today, while I waited to donate blood, I reflected on how I had wanted to donate for many years, but could not. The title of today’s blog popped into my head, a phrase that Postpartum Support International’s (PSI) Birdie Gunyon Myer, RN, MA, CLC often uses with Moms and in her PSI trainings.
The advice I give to expectant and new Moms and Dads which consistently meets resistance is “Accept Help”. Both the active and the passive “push back” from this recommendation outweighs resistance to any other recommendation. Especially in America, and especially in New England, “independence” is an incredibly strong value. We feel that we must be self-sufficient, and often, that if we need help, there is something wrong with us.
Birdie’s phrase, “There are seasons of giving, and there are seasons of receiving”, and “this is your season to receive; there will be opportunities later for you to give” has provided comfort to countless Moms and Dads. When I provide this nugget to them, the relaxation of resistance is almost instantaneous, often even visible in the their faces, in their bodies. It enables acceptance that just because you accept help, (and even ask for it sometimes) doesn’t mean that things are unhealthily unequal-we will be able to “give back” in the future. And it is very satisfying to “give back”. May this season be the season you accept what season you are in.