All the independent women raise your hands! If you read this blog, then chances are you’re a go-getter—you hustle to make money and want to be the best mom on the planet all at the same time. Me too, momma. But ladies, we just can’t do it all.
I take that back. We can do it all, but we can’t do it all well, thrive, and take care of ourselves without help. Amy Poehler wrote, “every mother needs a wife,” and that’s so true. We just can’t do it all alone, and if you do, I applaud you. I’m also here to remind you to give yourself a break.
It’s taken a lifetime of lessons to learn that I don’t have to go at it alone, and I’m better off with some help. Especially this week. My mom raised me and my two sisters to stand on our own two feet and taught us we could do anything we set our hearts to, and I can’t thank her enough for instilling that fierce independence in her two girls. It’s something I hope to pass on to my littles.
Thanks to her, I even know how to change my own oil. True Story. As a parent, you hope your kids will never feel alone, but she wanted us to be able to thrive on our own regardless of circumstance.
Of course, I want to be the kind of mother who does it all, but I’m learning a little bit of help goes a long way. It just takes some guts to ask for it, as the saying goes.
Collaboration, teamwork and partnerships make the end result of anything, especially parenting, even better than anticipated. I’ve touched on this in blog posts before, and think about it all the time. It really does take a village, but no matter how many times I remind myself of that, it never gets easier to reach out. I want my kids to feel and value a sense of community.
This week I’m working to get over the fear of asking for help and of seeing my own flaws for what they are–human. Fear often stops us from seeking help. Fear and pride get in the way. My own included.
I’m a firm believer that all women are strong, and as strong women, we want to be able to do it all. We want to own our achievements, independence, and be able to say and feel like we did it all. Sometimes this isn’t humanly possible. We only have two hands, there are a limited number of hours in the day, and the truth is, it’s rare that anyone does something completely on their own anyway. Asking for help and using your team doesn’t mean you can’t take ownership of your own achievements. It just means letting the people in your life play the role they’re meant to play. It means letting people in and having a richer life for it.
Ladies, we need to get over this fear. A little pride can be a good thing, but the best things come in moderation. Seeking the help you need can be a good thing. Here are some tips to help you understand when a little help can go a long way:
Start Small. Begin by designating small tasks, and see how it makes you feel. Observe how much lighter your load feels, and let the idea roll around in your brain. How would having some help make me feel? Where would my life change or look different?
Make a list of all the areas in your life you feel someone else could help or at least assist you. What needs to be done sooner rather than later?Can your partner take the kids to school a few times a week? Could your neighbor grab you some odds and ends at the store, or share carpooling responsibilities? There will be small scenarios and big ones. Write them all down so they get out of your head. Don’t think about the cost or logistics just yet.
Seek help in safe spaces. Try your family first, or a fellow mom or business owner.
Accept the help that’s offered to you.
Say yes. Don’t think twice about it. Next time someone wants to lend a hand, just go for it! I did this once at the grocery store and accepted a nice young man pushing my heavy ass cart and kids all the way to my car in row 3. It felt amazing, and receiving that small act of kindness made my day brighter.
Accepting help. This can be the hardest part. But honestly, we all need it. So when it reaches out, be kind and shake its hand. Oftentimes help comes when you don’t realize it’s needed most.
Receiving help isn’t about you or your inadequacies. It’s about the other person. Help is something they feel compelled today to fill up their own bucket.
Remember, you are not a failure. Change your perspective when it comes to reaching out. Think about the other side–the person who has the time, the skills, or the heart to be of assistance. They’re asking to be let into your life and your family. Think about how hurt they may be if you decline, especially if they are someone close to you.
Letting people in and accepting help is never about your shortcomings. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. The people who offer up their time are seeking you out to help lift you toward a more balanced life with even greater success.
My birthday is the 4th of July, so some would say I’m the queen of independence. Yet even I am working on accepting help from loved ones and neighbors who want to see me happy, relaxed, and rejoicing.
Give it a try.
Help is always popping up when you most need it.
P.S. I’m here to help you, too, lady!
P.P.S. Special thanks to my mother-in-law who was the inspiration behind this post. Thank you for all of your help, big and small.