I know it's a cliche, but it's a cliche because it is true. You cannot be an effective parent (or in fact an effective anything) if you are struggling. And so it is very true what they say: You have to put on your own oxygen mask first, then help others.
Which is why this post is all about asking for help, one way or another. Here's another truth I'm only starting to realise now: There are no prizes for going it alone.
I know I am a much better mum when I am well rested. When I have had some time to myself, whether to shower, to write, to exercise or just to chat to a friend on the phone. These things cannot find their time and place with two kids, unless someone actively helps out. Often that someone has to be my husband, who, I'm lucky in that way, is eager and happy to take the kids for an hour.
At the other end of the spectrum are my friends, the ones I call upon when I need to vent, ask for advice, go for a walk. I feel it is one of my successes as an adult that over the years I have got better and better at asking for their help when I need it.
However, sometimes, asking for help from friends is not enough. Sometimes you need a professional, someone with a dedicated skill set to listen without judgement and give targeted advice. Today I have partnered up with Dr Tzotzoli, an HCPC Registered Clinical Psychologist based in London. She is offering a free 20 minute session, through Skype, to anyone who feels they could benefit from a professional's help (subject to availability).