I’m tired of asking for help.
I know I suck at asking for help in the first place, but really, I’m tired of asking for help.
Ask for Help: That seems to be the current mantra of parenting in the twenty-first century and I kind of think it’s bull shit. Every mom group, postpartum support group, breastfeeding conversation, or play date, someone always has to bring up “ask for help” and remind us to get some “help”. It’s the current slogan we are plastering over how to survive motherhood.
“Why don’t you ask for help?”
“Don’t forget to ask for help.”
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”
“When was the last time you asked for help?”
“Maybe somebody could help you with the kids?” or the dishes, or the laundry…
“Just ask, someone will come”
What if no one answers the call?
I hate asking for help because I’ve been turned down too often. I hate asking for help because the times I need help are not times that work for other people. Can you see my problem? By the time I’ve built up the courage to get over my anxiety to call or text someone and quickly get crushed because they’ve made other plans, they aren’t available, or they are just not interested. I’m tired of playing the game where it’s me, me, me asking for help all the time. I’m sure there are others who relate and know what I’m talking about.
Some people hate asking for help because it’s associated with failure, while that association is true, I’m tired of being told no (or being given a plethora of related excuses). Asking for help is a major blow on my mama ego and knowing that I can’t do it all (like they told me I could), it’s not nearly as defeating as being told no.
I’m tired of nobody being there when I needed the help, or if they were there, they weren’t there.
Like that time I did call someone to help because I was feeling suicidal and the response was mediocre at best. Or that time when I was struggling on my previous medication and the help was the bare minimum to get me by.
Why Me? Why Not You?
In the past few months, I’ve learnt one very important thing about mama self-care and staying alive. It’s not that I need to ask for help, but I need to offer help before someone needs to ask for it. And that sometimes, just being nice is more rewarding than I ever imagined.
This isn’t about me being vocal about my struggles, but about me needing to be there for you before you struggle. We are all busy moms, and parents, and people, and sometimes this doesn’t happen, but in the perfect world where everyone would ask for help, nobody would need to.
I’ll still be asking for help in the desperate Facebook posts for a friend to babysit or join me for dinner, but I’ll be wishing someone was there for me before I needed that. And when I see your post asking for a hand, I’ll be wishing I brought over coffee two hours earlier.
I know there are women in my life who have reached out and offered and I refused. Despite my refusal because of my embarrasment and maybe self pride, that offer of help was exactly what I needed to make a bad day better, and a terrible week into something to be proud of.
Let’s start helping moms before waiting for them to ask for help. Do their dishes, sweep their floors, and bring them a milkshake. Don’t wait for it, just do it. We’ve been building this culture of needing to be asked before we help, without teaching and encouraging the selfless giving of our selves. I think this is the missed connection.
I’m tired of asking for help because I feel forgotten in the hustle and bustle of daily lives. Maybe it’s because I don’t have rock solid mom friendships or ever-present family connections, but like others, I’m at this point in my life where I need to offer of myself more.
I’m terrible at giving of myself. My crippling anxiety makes reaching out to other people one of the hardest parts of my day, but as I build myself up to be a stronger version of myself, I’m getting there.
I’m trying to offer help to the mama’s in my life before they need it. I’m trying.