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Asking for Help with the Kids

My mother-in-law is out of town and I had a doctor’s appointment. What do I do with my kids?

Are you embarrassed to ask for help with your kids? 

I am. 

When I ask for help I feel like it says (1) I can’t do my job (as a mother) and (2) I’m asking too much from someone else and I hate feeling like I’m putting others out. 

I wish I could say I’m the type of person that doesn’t care what others think — perhaps to my own disadvantage — but I do. 

And I may be even more self-conscious about that perception because of my . 

I want to be seen as someone who is capable and self-sufficient. 

For me to ask for help is to say that I cannot do it, and that word is just not in my vocabulary. 

The truth is that I could do it, drag the kids and the car seat, stroller, carrier, diaper bag, bottles, snacks, blankets, toys, books, etc… alone, but why would I want to? 

Good things come when we can honestly accept and even solicit assistance.  And I’ve realized that people are often very willing to lend a hand, they just need to be given the chance. 

Normally, we don’t mind imposing on family. But if your family choices are slim to none, for whatever reasons, asking someone other than a family member for help, even if it’s a close friend, can be very challenging. 

So this week, I faced that challenge.

The hardest part for me was making the call, so I texted my friend. 

She was so willing to help out; her only question for me was “what time my love?”     

I had a doctor’s appointment and a few blocks from the medical plaza was a lovely park.

I dropped her off with the kids, gave them kisses and walked away as my baby girl was screaming her head off. I felt horrible… for my friend.

Toward the end of my appointment, I texted her for an update. They were doing great! 

She sent me pics and even got some video clips of the kids playing and just enjoying each other’s company.       

On my way to pick them up, I felt such a warm feeling of gratitude and love for the help and assistance she provided me. Feelings I might have missed out on had I chosen to go it alone.   

I know it was probably just a little thing for her, but for me — the person that has such a hard time asking for help — it was a pretty big deal.  

Putting myself out there might have shown my vulnerability. But being vulnerable is authentic, it’s compelling, and shows that I’m human. 

And it lets people into our heart.   

Gabriela Klein July 14, 2011 at 05:22 AM
Great article, Ruth. There is greater joy in giving than receiving. Don't we have a hard time believing that sometimes? But when a friend can give, in a way that can actually be appreciated, not resented, it's a good feeling. I enjoy helping friends, especially when they ask. I'm sure your friend did too.
Lydia Plunk July 14, 2011 at 01:38 PM
Trust me. It gets easier):- Maybe because it makes it easier for others to ask you.
Ruth Milligan July 14, 2011 at 03:38 PM
What a great point you make! If we are willing to help, we should be willing to accept help. Thank you for your insight Fred.
Ruth Milligan July 14, 2011 at 03:55 PM
Thank you Gabriela.
Ruth Milligan July 14, 2011 at 03:59 PM
So true Lydia! I look forward to it getting a little easier :-)

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