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This isn’t my first baby—but I still need your support more than ever

“Please know I still need you.” Sometimes I whisper these six words under my breath after you’ve walked away or after we hang up from a phone call.

There are nights where I cry myself to sleep holding these feelings in, and there are early mornings where I start my day feeling stressed the second my eyes open, and am simply thinking it. And sadly, there are other times I feel so alone and helpless and expect you to read my mind and know I need your help.

Please know I still need you.

Yes, I’m a seasoned mom—I have four children. I am pretty sure I could change diapers with my eyes closed at this point. I have (fortunately and unfortunately) become the most progressive and talented multitasker around. There are moments when I’m cooking dinner, responding to a work email, quizzing a kiddo on their times tables, getting another one off their time out, taking my turn in Candyland, and nursing a baby at the very same time.

It’s a lot.

Do I deserve a pat on the back? No. I’m just doing what I need to be doing to survive and to ensure that everything that needs to get done, well… gets done.

All I want you to realize is that I still need you. I need my people, my friends, my fellow moms, my village.

Too proud

With my first few babies, I think I was too proud to accept help. I put pressure on myself to think that since these were my children that this was my job and my sole responsibility. So maybe that’s why I felt I should have declined your offer to hold the baby while I napped? Why was I so foolish to think I couldn’t have used—moreso even deserved—just 30 minutes to rest?

What I wouldn’t give for you to offer your help now—with dinner or dishes or watching the kids for one hour while I slipped out to get groceries alone. What I wouldn’t give for just One. More. Offer.

Please know I still need you.

I’m not as put together as I seem

Moms are superheroes no matter how many children we are taking care of. C-section or vaginal delivery, breastfed or bottle fed, married or single—we all are simply doing our best We go down in flames every single day trying to meet the high standards of the “Superhero Mom” cape that has been bestowed on us.

But the truth is, no matter how old my children are, no matter how independent the big ones get, no matter how “put together” I may appear, I humbly share that I am not always managing this very well all on my own.

Please know I still need you.

There are some days that it’s all I can do to get everyone to bedtime, days where I feel like I’m drowning, days where I want to take the cape off—without guilt—and hand it over to you for a short while.

The tiny nap.

The hour grocery shopping trip.

And yes, even selfishly a few hours out with my partner or girlfriends to regroup and remember who I am, before I was given this title of mom.

I need that. I need you. I desperately want to be given a short window of time so that I am able to miss my babies and wake up or come back to them refreshed.

Please know I still need you.

Fear is always there

As I’m about to bring my fifth baby into this world, I have let the majority of this pregnancy be coupled with frustration and fear. I have felt incredibly alone throughout the busy days of meeting the needs of four young children and running a business and feeling the constant, increasing weight of the world upon my shoulders.

I force myself to take deep breaths in and foresee a loving village around me that will be there. I am going to graciously accept help from my friends who have already offered to be an extra set of hands to snuggle the baby when I need to run out or to have my older kids over for a playdate when they need to release some pent-up energy.

I want to be enough for my children. I also want to have enough left over to sustain myself. I want to be able to do it all and do it flawlessly, but the truth is… I can’t.

It’s been said that behind every successful woman is a group of other successful women who have her back. But the truth is, behind every happy and thriving child is a village of family members, friends, neighbors, teachers, and coaches who are supporting and molding and helping even in the smallest of ways.

Yes, I believe with every fiber in my body that it takes a village.

Please know I still need you.

Because I do. I really do.

Regan Long

Regan Long is a mother of 5, author, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and paid family leave advocate. Regan founded The Real Deal of Parenting, an online platform that provides heartwarming and witty content to millions of readers worldwide, a large percentage of those being mothers.

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