As moms we carry the world on our shoulders, or at least we think we do. We don’t think to ask for help or accept help because no one offers or it’s “easier” to just do it ourselves. When my oldest was born and my husband and I adjusted to life as parents this was my chief complaint: my husband was no help.
To his credit, he would ask if he could help but the mental load of delegating tasks to him with instructions was too much of an undertaking for me. I was mentally maxed out and didn’t even have the words (or energy) to explain to him how to help. We went round and round arguing about how he wasn’t helping but asking to help if only I would tell him how to help. It was an endless cycle that we went to many therapy sessions for. If you’re there now, I encourage you to seek therapy because it’s more than just a simple issue of delegating who is helping in the home.
Cue our second son arriving.
We now have a beloved babysitter who helps us keep up, and a family calendar system to help my husband and I communicate. If it isn’t on the calendar it isn’t happening, and the calendar is first come first serve. We are mid home renovation and crammed into a fraction of our home functioning with a newborn, toddler, and both my husband and I working from home. The dog took to reverse house training and began pooping only on the rugs, leaving the easy to clean hardwood floors untouched. I knew delegating the rug cleaning and storage until the renovation was complete had to be done. I started to learn that outsourcing tasks was a great way to accept help.
By this time we took on the mantra of “make a decision and move forward.”
We stopped second guessing ourselves as parents and spouses. Part of accepting help is to give each other grace to make decisions in the moment to keep our family moving forward. It isn’t always perfect, or easy, but it forced us to grow in trust with each other. We learned to let down our guards and expectations of how things were supposed to go according to each of us and just trust each other to get the work done. I trusted my husband with my needs, and the needs of our family, and accepted whatever help he could give to meet those needs. We learned a lot about how to meet each other’s needs and learned to love each other better through the process of accepting each other’s idea and actions of helping. Be warned, it is a messy process, but we both learned to bend to accepting help from each other before our marriage broke completely.
Present day we are expecting baby boy #3 any day.
The skills I’ve learned in accepting help from my husband within our home has allowed me to now accept help from others.
A woman saw me struggling to load my Costco haul into the trunk and offered to help me load, I gladly let her. She didn’t know how I liked my trunk organized with groceries but it doesn’t matter. She happily loaded my groceries and remarked how she had been in my similar situation as a young mother. When my in-laws, neighbors, parents, and friends offer to help I now happily accept. Their help is appreciated and I’m grateful for it. They wouldn’t offer to help if they didn’t mean it. Many times it’s their way of showing me love; I have finally recognized that and started accepting help. I’ve felt love in abundance from just my openness of accepting their help. My perspective has shifted because I view all the help in my life as a gift, even if it requires a little instructions from me to get the help required.