Saturday, 1 November 2014

Accepting Help

She's five weeks old tomorrow. So little! So big! Such a short space of time to get to know her, yet I feel so incredibly close to her. Such long days, each full of new learning yet one much like the other.

Opposite things totally true at the same time.

No one ever told me (or perhaps there's no way of appreciating until you experience it) just how all-consuming this mothering business is. Days fly by and suddenly she's a month old and I'm starting to get into a routine at the same time as still feeling like I have no idea what I'm doing.

I learn new things every day about how to take care of this little person. But I'm learning another lesson, too: how to humbly accept help. I'm not a natural at that...

I've been receiving so much help in the last few weeks.
  • The church has organised a rota that continues until next week, where friends bring us dinner every other day. Six weeks without really cooking - time to get our act together enough to be able to do it when we need to.
  • My neighbour with the 9-month-old, who passed on loads of baby stuff to me and drops by every so often with fresh food she just made. Who is always around for a chat and lots of practical advice.
  • The old friend whom I haven't seen in years offering me a brand new sling because she's won two in a competition.
  • My housemate from years ago who's a maternity nurse and made a trip all the way from London to visit me, offer advice, and shower me with truly useful gifts for baby.
  • Baby items given or lent to me left right and centre by other mums from my church: feeding pillow, breast pump, sterilising equipment, baby carry sling... and much more.
  • Gifts from family and friends - baby clothes (several hand knitted pieces by granny and great-granny, a hand-crocheted blankie from a friend dropped off with dinner one day; my cousin from Austria sending care packs of baby things from her daughter who's five months older)), toys, books.
  • And daily, Mr. who never stops working and sorting things out around here - right now he is fixing the fridge - in addition to making cups of tea, cooking, bringing me cold drinks when I feed the baby. He is truly amazing and his support is unwavering.

The truth is, I've had to consciously accept that these gifts are given freely, and that I would devalue them by refusing any of them. Especially with Mr. though, it's been tough. When I sit on the sofa feeding the baby or just letting her sleep on me while he goes here and there, working on this and that, it takes a lot of determination not to ask him if there's something I can do to help or if he'd like me to do that... I feel like I'm taking advantage, when I know in my head that he is only trying to bless me and is doing these things because of love.

I have to get better at accepting freely given love. There's so much of it around.

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Thanks so much for sharing!