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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

First, you have to ask

Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. – Matthew 7:7

I was reading the daily selection in the book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy and was really inspired.  The concept of the lesson?  Just ask for help.

As I’m sure is common, many women – especially mothers – spend most of their day worrying about those around them.  It is so easy to put everyone else's needs above our own. Of course the kids need to play, everyone needs to eat, the house needs to be clean, the school needs an extra hand, your friend needs a shoulder to lean on, the dog needs to go to the vet … the list goes on and on. So what do you do for yourself?

I thought about that and realized that there isn’t much that I do for myself without feeling guilty.  Sure, I work because I enjoy it, I read because I enjoy it – but why is it that I do all of these things and still feel guilty, like I’m taking something away from someone else who really needs my time?

I’m slowly discovering that it’s OK to ask for help.  Step one:  I asked my husband to watch the baby Saturday morning so that I could go swim laps at the pool and read a book.  It was so simple. He immediately said, “Yes!  Absolutely! GO!  Get out!” 

A few days later we had a small accident at home involving the baby and our dog.  I won’t go into the details, but it ended up with a perfectly happy baby that had a few cuts glued shut on his face and a pretty hysterical mommy.  I really felt like I just needed support and wanted to call a friend, but immediately said, “No.  She’s busy.  She has her own problems.  She doesn’t need mine on top of hers.”  I kept debating and it dawned on me, that’s what friends are for.  Friends are there to help you when you need it the most.  Sure, they’re there for a random cup of coffee, or a play date at the pool – but what they are really there for is in times like this.  Times when you need someone to assure you that it was just an accident, it could have happened to anyone, the baby is fine, and you aren’t a terrible mother.

So I called, and you know what?  I was right.  She dropped everything and came over and that was just what I needed.  All I had to do was ask. 

So why not ask for help when you need it?  The worst that could happen is that person says no and you’re back to square one.  At least you tried right? 

All you moms out there that do things for everyone in the world, but not for yourself – ask someone for help.  Ask someone to watch your kids so that you can go for a walk – alone, or to a movie, or to the mall.  It’s OK, it’s more than OK and you’ll be a better mom for it. 

I’m a work in progress, but maybe some day I’ll ask for help without debating it for an hour first.

Until the next time …
The girl behind the lama

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