As moms, we don’t ask for help. We think we're not supposed to ask for help -- and let’s face it, we often don’t like to. “Women believe that we’re supposed to handle everything ourselves, which is often at the root of why we’re unhappy,” says Randy Kamen Gredinger, EdD, a Wayland, Mass., psychologist, life coach, and blogger specializing in women’s issues. “We do everything, and feel unappreciated, but then we don’t want to ask for help. We need to be more collaborative.”
In September I made up my mind that it was high time to stop and ask others for help. I started slowly with my husband and have to say it totally works. I remember when I was talking with a friend about how I was going to get my girls to cheer. The carpool had canceled and I had to be at Ben’s football practice and the girls cheer at the exact same time. DRAMA, a moment of wishing I could split in two. Her responds… “why don’t you ask your husband”. Seems like a big DUH to most, but for me it was such a strange responds. Ask my husband to help out with something? Then it hit me. I wouldn’t ask my kids or husband to do something without help and believe it or not I am starting to understand that asking for help can be a sign of strength and wisdom because it’s hard asking for help but a smart decision when you know you could use some help. Not only is it a save the sanity smart decision, but it is a way to discover that others care about you.
Here is why all moms should ask for help
1. Even Us Super Moms Need a Break: This might come as a surprise to both your kids and husband, but really one woman cannot do it all. You don’t usually run your car on empty, so don’t run yourself. I wrote on facebook a couple of days ago, “Everyone should believe in something…. Today I believe I will have another Diet Coke”. Behind the subtle joke, I am beginning to understand that I need time to breath… become grounded. I had gotten to the point I couldn’t help but burst into tears in the comfort of darkness and solidarity. I thought when my kids went to school life would be a box of chocolates, but it actually got worse. Between homework, extra activities, and a clean house I had forgotten who I was. Not to worry, I am on the road to recovery and actually think I am almost there with this one.
2. Friends and Family want to help: Though this might sound totally lame. My therapist said the best reason to ask for help is because it gives others the opportunity to help. Unless you ask, they aren’t going to help because they don’t want you to feel as if they are intruding. Therefore, when you need a helping hand, ask your friends and family. Now the interesting aspect I have discovered through this process is the matter of true friendship. As you most know, I am a talker and pretty much make it a daily habit to become “friends” with anybody and their dogs. Yet, a true friends is hard to find. I love this quote
“A true friend is 1 who sees the 1st tear in your eyes, catches the 2nd & stops the 3rd from falling and. if a 4th one happens to come, they slap you sill and says “Knock it Off.”
A true friend has time for you and sits and listens to what you have to say. They ask how you are doing and what they can do to make the day a little easier. I know I am a true friend as I would raise heaven and hell to ensure that I am doing all I can to be loyal. After weeks of watching and seeing how I am treated by others. I know who my true friends are and who I want to share my life with. I also know that my dear sisters have really joined into these ranks. I am trying to wean myself from those that my therapist refers to as “laugh and lunch” friends… those that are great to go out with once in a while, but will never really care about me. I need collaboration... a give and take :)
3. We Deserve a Break: A few weekends ago my therapist suggested that I save some money and take my husband on a weekend get away. This was the first actually get away from our kids that we have ever taken. I know, sad! The day I was going to drop my kids off from Friday to Sunday with my sister I was having the hugest panic attacks. I had butterflies in the stomach and was freaked out to leave my kids. I had my session that day and she told me that I work hard and I deserve a reward. I find pleasure in making my kids happy, but now need to learn to make myself and my husband happy. I set the tone for my family. In other words, I am the “heart” of the family. When I am feeling tired and drained all the time, my family senses it and things don’t run as smoothly within the household. Plus, I love my husband so much more when it is just the two of us. What a way to reconnect.
For you, my loyal readers… Why not start today? What is it that you can ask a friend or a family member to give you some help with? Let me know in a comment and I will see what I can do!