Yesterday I had a Virtual Baby Shower/Blessingway. For you it might be no biggie but in Poland we don’t have this tradition and it was my first baby shower ever 🙂
It reminded me about the feeling of overwhelm, asking for support and how it all show up in my life.
You know, being pregnant might be (and is) overwhelming. For me it showed up with shopping for the baby. Seriously. In general I like shopping. However, for some unknown reason, shopping for my baby seemed just too overwhelming for me. How should I know what kind and amount of clothes he needs? What size? What items are essential? How to fit that all into our tiny apartment? And of course, the money. It all costs a lot and I don’t want to buy some shitty stuff. I want my baby to have the best we can afford. This mindset led me to feeling overwhelmed and not buying anything at all for a really long time.
I was postponing and procrastinating it for as long as I could. It just felt it was TOO MUCH. I went into my regular coping mechanisms: food, sweets, too much tv shows to numb myself and just not feel what I was feeling. Feeling your feelings is a really difficult skill to learn, if you ask me. But when I go into my old patterns, I know it’s a sign that something is about to come up.
On top of the overwhelm, I felt lots and lots of fear. If I can’t figure out such a basic thing as shopping, how will I deal with more important baby stuff? It was a really bad place to operate from and I wanted to change it.
What do I really want?
My friends from my coaching training, with whom I was connecting every week for our weekly calls have asked me how I’d like to feel instead. The first thing that came to mind was: calm. I wanted to feel calm and relaxed about all of this. Okay, so what did I need to feel this way? I needed support. They’ve asked me about the baby shower. I told them we don’t have such thing in Poland. My parents and siblings supported us a lot with gifts for the baby, which I’m super grateful for, but the idea of gathering with your girlfriends to bless and celebrate your baby was foreign to me. I loved the idea but didn’t see it happening for me. Sadly.
And then, out of the blue, my mentor, Jey said: „We will throw you a Virtual Baby Shower!” Wow! I was both surprised and delighted! I would never have thought about such solution! Of course we can do it this way! I will be able to celebrate my baby and me becoming a mother with my friends and thanks to the Internet we can do it so easily, despite time difference and location. Awesome!
Resources are available
The feeling of overwhelm shows up when we think we don’t have the resources to deal with a particular situation. I felt I have to do all the baby shopping myself. And for me it just seemed too much. I thought I didn’t know anyone with babies, I didn’t know the names of the baby clothes or what this little bundle of love needs.
What I needed was to tap into resources. Inside and outside of myself.
I’m really good with researching and planning. So I did my research. I’ve spend few days on Pinterest, I talked to friends who have babies (turned out I know people with babies!), and finally I’ve created a list of necessary items and things to do.
But then, there still was the aspect of feeling alone in this journey. We, as women, operate in communities much better than solo. This is just the evolutionary thing. I was lucky enough to have amazing Sisterhood in my coaching training. They offered to support me both with their whole-hearted conversations and with my very own Virtual Baby Shower 🙂 Most of them are moms or want to be moms and I felt really understood, held, and supported in my fears and questions by talking to them.
My fear started to fade away. I knew I had it in me to prepare everything for the baby and if in doubt, I could always connect with one of my friends and ask for support.
Ask for support
What I’ve learned along the way that if you ask, you receive. Asking for support is an art but it can be learned.
I knew my family wanted to buy us presents anyways, so I’ve asked for really specific things that we all loved and adored. Win-win. I knew my friends wanted to support me as well, so we came up with this on-line call and baby wish list on Amazon. Both experiences were amazing and I’m grateful for all of this amazing people in my life.
You may think that if you ask for specific support, you may seem demanding. Or that people have better things to do than to support you. If those thoughts crossed your mind, ask yourself this: what serves you better? Waiting in silent and suffering or taking action and asking for what you need?
It doesn’t mean you’re demanding. It means you take responsibility for yourself. You can ask for support with love and kindness. In general, people are good and want to support you. Really. Your friends and family love you and want what’s best for you. By giving them specifics, you only help them love you. And if they don’t – do you want to spend your time with people who don’t care?
Forms of support
It doesn’t have to be material things. Asking for support may have many different forms:
- You can ask to be listened to.
- To be seen.
- You can ask for advice.
- For someone to hold space for you.
- For a hug.
- For reflection.
- Or you can ask for very specific things: for your hubby to do the shopping or to make you a cup of tea.
I know it’s easier to wait for someone to support us by guessing what we need. However, by asking specifically for what you really want, you learn how to receive and feel good about it. You also give other people permission to behave in the same way with you. Wouldn’t you prefer to support someone you love in a way they really want it, instead of guessing?
At first it may be hard, but every time you do it, you become better and better at it. I’ve tried it myself.
What to do in overwhelming situations?
Step 1: recognize what’s really going on.
- What do you want to change but seems just to overwhelming thing to do?
- Did you fall into your unhealthy coping mechanisms because of that? What kind?
- How does it show up for you?
Step 2: acknowledge your fear.
- Feel your feelings to be able to release them.
- Tap into your fear. What are you really afraid of? I mean, really. Usually the layer you see first is just the cover up.
Step 3: get clear about what you want.
- How would you like to feel instead?
- What would you like this situation to look like?
Step 4: what resources or support do you need?
- How would you behave differently if the opposite of what you’ve been thinking may happen was true?
- What kind of support do you need?
- What internal and external resources do you need?
Step 5: ask for support.
- Who can you ask for a specific support that you need?
- Do it!
Step 6: enjoy receiving 🙂
- Really take it in. Breath it, live it.
- Say “thank you” and express your gratitude to your giver.