Keeping up with 2 little girls, writing assignments, music gigs, the house, laundry, ETC, backwards, wearing ass kicking boots and a smile, without spilling my beer. Ok, ok, so I spill my beer, but my floors have never been more germ-free since I started putting a little alcohol on them. Who needs ammonia...
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Asking for help is hard.
First of all, thanks for all the positive feedback on my first post! You guys rock. One of the responses helped me recall a valuable lesson I’ve learned over the last few years: the importance of asking for & accepting help.
My deeply Catholic mother went to a convent in high school (yes, she was going to be a nun) and believes to this day that if you want something done, you do it yourself. Growing up, my mother NEVER asked for help. I was never taught how to ask, in fact, it was shameful to ask for anything really. I heard the word impose quite a bit. We couldn’t go anywhere without being invited first, and if we did go somewhere, we were publicly humiliated if we didn’t offer to help. But asking others to help us? That was sinful.
Since my brain wasn’t able to process the skill of asking for help, the universe had to give me opportunities to learn. When my oldest was 8 mos, I went out to celebrate a good friend’s birthday at The B.O.B while the hubs stayed home with the baby. After 1 beer & 1 shot, I broke my hand falling on the stairs. Rather, I thought there was a stair, and I tripped and… yeah. I wasn’t drunk yet; I’m sure many thought I was, but no, I’m just klutzy. I wish I had the security video from that, I’m sure it was hilarious! You would think breaking your hand wouldn’t be a huge deal, but try making a bottle of formula, changing a diaper, strapping on your bra, etc with 1 hand. The hubs didn’t have much vacation time, so I had to find someone else to help me. My FIL’s health was failing (he passed away a few weeks later) so my MIL couldn’t help. My folks could, but I would have to stay with them in
. Ugh. That was tough! A week back “at home” was so painful, I decided that doing things myself, even with a broken hand, couldn’t be as agonizing as reliving my teenage yrs. Lesson #1 from the universe almost got through, but ultimately: FAIL.
Lesson #2 came when my oldest was 2 and had episodes where she would scream bloody murder for hours upon end. We sought help from our pediatrician, who ultimately gave us his personal cell phone # so he could catch her mid-episode to uncover the problem. 3 months of that on top of dealing with several assholes telling us we were simply raising a difficult child was beyond frustrating. Finally, we were able to do a test mid-episode that fixed it. No more scary 3 hr scream-fests. I learned how to say Intussusception, and took a small step toward the asking for help thing.
Lesson #3 was the life-changer. We just moved into our 2nd house (with the help of 2 friends – see how terrible I was about asking for help?!) and within weeks of moving in, I discovered I was pregnant again. Unplanned, just like our 1st, but at least we had the space for a new baby, right? Well, almost immediately, I was sick. So sick, I couldn’t keep a damn thing down. I was put on Zofran, which was a lifesaver, but still felt sick the entire pregnancy. I lost 20 lbs the 1st trimester. At 28 weeks, I started contracting and ended up in the ER to stop the contractions nearly a dozen times. The universe was SCREAMING at me to ask for help. So I did. I got help from my sisters, parents & our new neighbors. A quick word about good neighbors: PRICELESS! Especially when you don’t have immediate family living nearby. They made us several meals, picked up my oldest from school, had her over for playdates, even came over and cleaned my house a few times! I still had to get over the guilt from the imposition this had to have been; I felt I needed to repay everyone somehow, but my neighbors wouldn’t even accept a thank-you card. Then, it happened, my very own Oprah certified Ah-ha! Moment: People actually want to help me? Really?!
When lesson #4 & 5 hit: baby #2, followed by a sprained ankle last summer (told ya I was klutzy); I felt better about asking for help. Even though I still have my overwhelming moments, while I can’t always grab a beer to provide a temporary fix, I’ve learned to ask for help not only when I really do need it, but to make sure I take time for myself at least once a month.
Asking for help is tough. Since I have started openly accepting help from friends & family, I consider myself a more giving person, willing to offer help when I can. Call it karma or whatever, but a circle of helpful friends is vital for survival… and sanity for that matter! I’m hoping my children grow to appreciate what friends & family do for us, and learn how we can help others as well.