Confession time: Do you feel like a burden when asking for help? Would you rather do it yourself vs. waiting on someone else? Do you ever feel like the only way for it to get done “right” is for you to do it yourself? My answers: yes, yes, yes. Did you have the same pattern?
I don’t know what it is; maybe a mom thing, a woman thing, or asserting independence and strength thing? Who knows, but the burden that comes with wanting and trying to do it all myself is a lot to bear. It’s exhausting! I am trying to change this way of thinking because I’m over being tired and angry. When I sat down to write this post, I had a certain idea of what I wanted to say and halfway through, I changed my mind (of course!). I think if I can keep this thought that asking for help is okay, I’ll become much more successful in my day to day life.
The Weight of it All
So much has to get done in a day. Waking up, getting ready, working, dinner, laundry…the list goes on and on. The tasks of keeping up with a house, life, and family never ends. There are probably lots of things we could outsource to other family members, co-workers, or friends. So why don’t we? For me, it’s the reasons I mentioned above: I feel like a burden, I don’t always want to wait, and I have a certain way I like some things done. We need to re-frame our thinking. We need to take the weight off of our shoulders and breathe a little.
Our loved ones actually enjoy helping! Often times they don’t know what you need help with because you probably do so much yourself, so they just assume you don’t need it. We want people to be mind readers (well, not always!), we want them to pick up on our cues of frustration, we want them to just offer. Think of all the headaches, and hurt feelings we could avoid if we started to communicate better.
Even Better? Think of What We Are Teaching our Children!
I want my daughter to seek help when she needs it, and not adopt my “I have to do everything” way of thinking. I want her to see how including others is fun! When we work together things get done faster, things can get done safely, and no one will feel resentful. When everyone is involved there aren’t feelings of “oh I have to do this” while someone else gets to keep doing what they want. When everyone gets involved then it BECOMES fun…unless that task is putting away groceries and they are putting it away in the “wrong” place. Just kidding!
I try to get my daughter to ask me for help all the time, or I ask her if she needs help with a task. Lots of times she ignores me or says “no help mommy!” There is a fine line of being too stubborn to ask for help and simply struggling, and working through something in order to gain new skills. A lot of times, she is falling into the latter, and I embrace that.
There is a strength that is found when asking for help. Sure, it feels like a weakness because we want to be able to do all the things. We think we should do all the things, especially as moms. Think of it this way…we are preserving strength when we outsource! Asking for help cleaning up gets the task done 15 minutes faster, having your spouse prepare everyone’s lunch gives you ten minutes to just sit and decompress, and asking a friend to babysit the kids gives you a much needed date night. Just thinking of all those payoffs gives me such a sense of relief!
So let your batteries recharge, steal those minutes when you can, and get the help you want and deserve. Communication is key! It is something that I am working on every day. Do it for yourself, do it for the kids! You will both be better for it.
Tell me some of your struggles with asking for help. How can we re-frame our thinking?