Like many women, I am notorious for not asking for help until it’s too late. You know, until you are at your wit’s end, running from mounds of laundry and piles of dishes, hiding in the bathroom just so you can have 5 minutes of quasi-peace. Yup, those times. Waiting to ask for help when your subliminal house has burned down seems a bit silly, yet we do it all the time.
Let’s examine a few weeks ago. I had deadlines all over the place that I wanted to keep (and not turn in late), I needed to prep our snacks and meals for the week, I had laundry that needed to be done that day if anyone was going to have clean underwear for the next day, and I was really sick. It turned out that I had an upper respiratory infection and needed to be in bed. Go figure.
I soldiered up and claimed the day to be productive. I put on good music, dressed down to my shoes and decided to fake it until I made it. Well, my 3 kids didn’t get the memo and decided that day was going to be the day they would all cling to me and ask every question the planet. Day gone. Nothing accomplished.
But why? Because I couldn’t ask for help. I underestimate my family relentlessly. My 4 year old and 9 year old each have their chores to do. If they finish, I feel bad asking them to do other things around the house that I just can’t get to. My husband works all day out of the house, so I FEEL BAD about asking him to pitch in when he gets home. You see the pattern.
I FEEL BAD WHEN I ASK FOR HELP.
It’s a sickness, really. It’s taken me years to even realized I needed extra help, and now I’m to the point where I know I need it, but I feel guilt asking for it. Mom is supposed to be a superhero, right? Wrong.
There’s this hidden stigma that if we ask for help, that means we aren’t doing this parenting thing right. That we are failing miserably, and our kids will grow up to be lazy jerks that don’t care about anything other than themselves. That we are worthless. That we signed up for this, so we have to grin and bear it. Nope. Wrong again.
So, this is what I’ve vowed to myself. I’m going to ask as soon as I think about it. My kids may not be able to help (or want to), but they need to know that sometimes Mom needs help too. They also need to see that it’s just fine to ask for help, even when you’re a grown up. I’ve also worked on asking my husband to help more. While he does work outside the home, I work inside of the home and need to treat myself with the same respect I treat him and his work position. I need him to do the dishes EVERYDAY. Not when I’m having a horrible day. Not when I need to take care of the baby. Everyday. It’s a job I loathe, so why not delegate?
Is this something that you struggle with too? Let’s make a vow together. We’ll ask for help when it’s needed. Every time it’s needed. No excuses. You with me?