There are many things that are hard about being a mom like never going to the bathroom by yourself, remembering when you last showered, and sticky hands stealing your food off your plate. We could talk about the heartbreaking difficulties or laugh about the more amusing ones, but instead let’s talk about the most important one.
Asking for Help
Generally I’m not the type that balks at asking for help, but I do like to do things on my own. Things I know I can do. But there’s something about this mom thing that makes asking so… taboo. Even though I know it’s okay to ask, I’m still hesitant – aren’t you? Even when I get offers to help it’s hard to take it. I feel like I should be able to do everything and it’s embarrassing to ask for help.
Maybe it’s the stories about how our great-great-great grandmothers birthed 20 kids, sewed all their clothes, tended the farm, and cooked every meal from scratch. She did it “all on her own.” Or maybe it’s just as simple as trying to prove that life really hasn’t changed that much since having kids. (Don’t you hate how everyone always reminds you that kids will change your life? They tell you that they WILL but the HOW part is kind of fuzzy…)
With my daughter, not being able to do it all (or even half of it) caused me a great deal of anxiety. I thought I should be able to keep up with laundry, dishes, cleaning the house, showering, cooking, plus all the other aspects of taking care of a very dependent little being. This was not the case. Not even by a long shot. Add in a second baby and you know I’m not getting everything done on a daily basis.
But I still struggle with asking for help.
Help so I can have a break.
Help so I can take a shower alone.
Help so I can just run down to the basement quick.
Help so I can… do something – anything – with full use of both arms, without anybody hanging off of me, and no crying/whining.
The first person I need to be able to ask for help is my husband. I love him dearly and he does help – don’t get me wrong – but sometimes he just doesn’t know or understand what else I might need help with. He’s not a mind reader but it’s like I want him to just know and do things so I don’t have to ask. I mean, I’m home all day, shouldn’t I be able to figure out how to do everything that needs doing?
The other things that are tough to ask for help about fall under parenting advice. It’s such a tricky area. I hate asking anyone for advice on how to parent my children (even when I’m feeling like I need it) because the clash of philosophies comes into play more often than not. And… it feels like failure. If I’m asking for help it means I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, right?
Wrong…I know that now, but I still don’t like to ask for help. Because… well, being mom is something I want to be awesome at doing. I want to excel at motherhood. I want to be able to do it all myself. So I have to remind myself that asking for help isn’t a weakness, it takes strength.
What’s the hardest thing for you as a mom?