Friday, September 10, 2010

h is for help

Help: Ask friends and family for a hand and support if you need it. Be specific about how they can help you.

I'm on the verge of tears, I'm surrounded by the hurricane that is my two boys, they've been Super Curious, trying and just plain naughty. I think I'm about to lose it.

So then why don't I call a friend and ask for help? Why don't I just admit that I'm not coping? In hindsight of course, I'm incredibly honest and can tell friends I had a bad day.

Last week.

But just not on that particular day.

I've asked myself this question often: Why do I struggle to ask for help? You know, pick up the phone and just ask? After giving it some thought, here are some of my conclusions:
  1. Friends of mine who don't have kids are at work.
  2. Friends who are stay at home mums also have kids of their own. And aren't they struggling with exactly the same issues as me? Why would I burden them with my kids too?
  3. Those who are work at home mums are so busy trying to juggle their kids and work.
  4. My mother in law already looks after both of my children once a week for a whole day. I can't ask her again.
  5. I'm too proud to ask.
Well, actually No. 5 is the major reason.

Pretty much every time.

I swallowed my pride last week and asked a friend to look after my boys as I had to work on  a Sunday (don't ask me why, just don't). She was so happy to accept, my kids had a fantastic time, and I wonder why I struggled so much with asking.

And when the shoe is on the other foot, I'm so honoured to be asked. I'm happy to do so and I find it's a win-win with the boys too. An extra playmate for a few hours, for a day? Fantastic!

So, what's my problem? More humble pie perhaps? 

Do you struggle to ask friends or family for help when you really need it? Why?

The A-Z of Parenting Tips were inspired by this article in the Courier Mail.