Friday, November 21, 2008

Asking for Help

I am trying to let go of my need to "do it all." Or at least my need to appear that I can "do it all." This week Michael has been in California. Normally, when he travels I about kill myself to do all the things he normally does around here as well as the things I do. This time I asked for help!

It is really hard to ask for help. I feel very guilty doing it. It means I have to admit that I can't "do it all." It also means I have to depend on others. That feels like I'm inconveniencing them. And above all else, the last thing I want to do is cause someone else more work.

Michael usually takes Rehm to school. Dragging the three girls out of the house by 7:20 for me to get him there is pure torture. So this week I asked a neighbor who has a child in his class and walks her child to school everyday if Rehm could walk with them. All I had to do is get him to the bottom of our street by 7:20! Which I can do from my front door! This has made a huge difference in my week. And while I know it didn't add any extra work for my neighbor, as they walk by my street on the way to school anyway, I still feel guilty that she did this for me.

Rehm had a scout meeting Monday evening. It was at 7:00, that is when the twins go to bed. I knew it would last until at least 8:00 possibly longer. I knew I couldn't take three tired girls and make them be still for this meeting. I knew Rehm couldn't miss this meeting because it was the Pie Throwing meeting! (Anyone who sold at least $250 in popcorn got to throw a pie in the Cub Master's face.) So what did I do? I asked for help. I dropped him off and his den leader was nice enough to bring him home. I felt guilty! Even though it was all of 5 minutes out of his way to bring him home. I didn't "do it all."

And normally I work at church on Wednesday evenings. I took this week off. It isn't fair to the children who are all normally in bed by 7:30 to ask them to be up until 9:00 and still expect them to go to school the next day and be pleasant. I felt guilty letting my co-workers do my job for me. It is my responsibility. And I felt guilty that my wonderful in-laws had to bring my kids home from church that evening. But everyone was in bed at their normal time. Surprise, they were pleasant children the next morning, not whiney, crazy, overtired children!

Because I've asked for help this week, I'm not crazy today. I'm tired because I've stayed up too late the last three nights. But I'm not overwhelmed. I'm not stressed beyond measure . I'm thrilled that Michael will be home and can share some of the child rearing responsibilities but it really has been a pleasant week. But now I have all this guilt that I didn't "do it all." That I didn't do everything myself to take care of my children.

Why is it so hard to ask for help and admit we really can't "do it all?" Why do I feel like I failed, if even a tiny bit, when I have to admit that I need help, that I'm not perfect, that I can't "do it all?"

I'm so grateful to everyone who made this week so much more doable for me! I could have done it without you, but I would have been crazy, mean Mommy by the end of the week instead of some-what sane Mommy. My children and I thank you for your help!

1 comment:

Brenna and Molly said...

I know just how you feel! I'm much more comfortable when I can offer an immediate way to reciprocate ("I'll drive to if you drive from" type of thing) but sometimes that's not possible and then I feel guilty. I have no problem helping out folks - especially those like you who still have little ones. I've been there before and folks offered to help me so I'm just paying it forward! Today I drove 2 extra kids to school. The mom hated to ask knowing that I have to get myself and my 2 out the door but she was in a bind. From my end it meant leaving a whopping 5-7 minutes early - hardly a sacrifice! The end result was my kids had friends to drive to school with and everyone got a good lesson in pitching in to help out a friend. Trust me - your friends wouldn't have agreed to help if they hadn't really meant it! You have wonderful friends. :)