How Can You Help? Don’t Ask, Just Do It

We all have those times in our life when we need a little extra help. We need to lean on someone, we need a break, or we need some serious assistance. It’s normal. We mothers can’t do it ALL all the time, though we do try. So, when we find ourselves drowning or in a major pickle, others tend to pick up on it. And, sometimes those who recognize the subtle cries for help, are first in line to offer their services. You’ve had those friends or co-workers tell you, “Let me know if you need anything,” or maybe it sounded a bit more like, “Is there anything I can do?” Sometimes it’s just words, but most of the time I’d like to think it’s a genuine offer. But, how often do we actually take it? How often has someone uttered those words and you immediately respond with, “Well, actually, a homecooked meal for my family would be great! Thanks!” So many times, we mothers swallow those words and respond with a mere “Oh, I’m fine. Thanks.” But really, we’re not fine, and we’re crying for help – on the inside.

how to help a friend in need

So, why don’t we take the offer of help?

I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s not about pride as much as it is about inconveniencing someone else for MY problems. As difficult as it might be to even admit that we need help, it’s even more difficult to ask for it – especially to someone outside of close family. The guilt I feel when asking someone else for help is enough for me to just smile and nod and turn them down, but I know that is only doing a disservice to myself or my family depending on the circumstance.

My family recently went through a very trying time with my husband completely out of commission. It was a couple of months of pure exhaustion on my part working full time and taking care of 5 kids. To say I needed some help was a complete understatement. Of course, I had so many friends and co-workers offer their prayers and concern; but I had a large number also offer help. They wanted me to let them know if I needed anything, but the problem was, I was never going to ask for it, purely out of guilt. However, my saving graces were those friends who didn’t even offer, they just did it.

offering help to a friend in need

These people were my heroes.

They didn’t ask; they didn’t wait for me to come to them; they simply took action without my go-ahead. They had a pizza delivered and texted me, “Pizza is on it’s way!” Or, they left a small basket with restaurant gift cards at my front door. Or, they cooked dinner for my entire family and delivered it one day. Every single one of these kind surprises came in SO clutch and cut out the middle awkward part for me. I didn’t have to sit there and try to figure out how they could specifically help my family and me. I didn’t have to randomly text them with a special request. I didn’t have to feel bad about anything. They eliminated that step for me and for THAT I was even more grateful. They knew I needed help and instead of just offering words, they DID something.

I’m not saying those who asked if I needed help weren’t genuinely offering assistance or didn’t care; of course they did. It’s just that sometimes we mothers can’t ask for it or maybe don’t even realize we desperately need it, so cutting out the middle step was super helpful in itself. So, the next time you see someone else in need, or you learn of a co-worker’s unfortunate circumstance, try just taking action instead of offering with words. I guarantee the grand gesture would go such a long way.

Jennifer Gonzales
Wife to my high school sweetheart, Ross, and mother to 5 children: Trip, Conner, McKenzie, Piper, and Sutton, I am a born and raised Southern Louisiana Lady. I am a graduate of Mt. Carmel Academy, received my Bachelor’s in English with a concentration in Secondary Ed. from LSU followed by my Master’s of Education from UNO, and for the past 15 years, I have been outwitting high school boys as an English teacher at Holy Cross School. When I’m not grading papers, driving to baseball practices, or making grocery runs, I can be found cheering on my LSU Tigers, cutting up with my girlfriends, and attempting DIY projects around the home. I’m all about sippin’ some wine during the sunset while the kiddos play in the yard and the hubby works the grill. I’m living my best mommy life these days and am always happy to share the journey with others!


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