I’m one of those people who have a hard time asking for help, even if I really need it. I guess I’m afraid I’m putting the other person out and they’ll secretly resent me, which is stupid because I rarely feel that when the situation is reversed and I’m helping other people. In fact, I felt BAD when I offered to pick up some stuff at the grocery store for a friend who recently had twins and she said she didn’t need anything, that she had just gone the day before. I also think another small (okay… or not so small) part of me wants to prove that I can do it all. I can keep it together while my GI Joe is gone for a few months, raising the kids alone and keeping the house in order all by myself. After all, many women have it a lot worse than I do and get by just fine.
A month into the hubby being gone, of driving the Princess to preschool in the mornings and Monkey Boy to preschool in the afternoons, of lugging 50 pounds of groceries across an icy parking lot while holding a newborn in his carseat and the wiggly hands of two young kids, of 102 degree fevers and countless temper tantrums and meltdowns, of cleaning a room and walking into it five minutes later to find it covered in toys and cheerios, I’ve officially proven that YES, I CAN DO IT!
…however, that doesn’t mean I WANT to. Luckily my mom and grandma flew up to visit. It was their first time meeting our newest addition (I think he needs a cute nickname… Sir Chunksalot? The Beefinator?) and my mom’s first time to Alaska. I told them before they left that I fully expected them to come up, wreck my house, spoil my children and leave me to deal with the mess and that this was (sort of) okay- as long as they helped while they were here.
So far my grandma has a new nickname- the Baby Whisperer- and my mom has proven her mad organization skillz by helping me clear out our large walk-in hall closet and transform it into my new craft room. Do they make messes? Oh God, yes! Are they spoiling my children? Duh, they’re grandmas. But I cannot tell you how nice it’s been to have someone else calm my crying baby or have someone else read the 5th bedtime story. I forgot what it’s like to have 5 minutes to myself! They keep asking if I want them to spend a night or two at a hotel to give me a break and I tell them that while their almost constant bickering makes me a little batty, I am just so grateful to have them here that I could cry. Just this last week and a half I:
left the house BY MYSELF
went to the store with NO KIDS
took a NAP!
got my hair done (for the first time in TWO YEARS!)
didn’t have to make a meal
shoveled the whole driveway and walk without having to check on my kids every 30 seconds
It’s been…. well, beautiful. But it’s also made me realize that despite my unwillingness to ask for or accept help, I REALLY need it sometimes. I know this about other people. I yell at friends who don’t ask for help as much as I think they should. But when it comes to myself I seem to think I have to suck it up and deal or else I’m a failure. I’ll have another couple of weeks after my family leaves where it’s back to just me and this kiddos before my husband gets home, but at least I’ll have had this little break, a time to take a deep breath and relax before the weight of my little world is back on my shoulders. So my advice is this- take a break. Whether it’s a trip to the spa or five minutes of sitting on your bed with loud music playing to drown out the happy screams of your toddler playing in the next room, make sure you get some you time. No one can do it all but somehow most of us do, or at least manage some semblance of pulling “it all” off. It’s only going to be that much harder if you’re running on empty, so recharge and get some energy for the next big, awesome thing you do.