I grew up surrounded by cousins, aunts, uncles, and a community of others who kept an eye on me. My kids are not that fortunate and the #momguilt is thick. Growing up around the family meant lots of free babysitting and support offered to my parents. I often wonder if I am robbing my children of missed relationships and a community of support because we decided to move to a city with multiple levels of diversity instead of 2 miles from family, blood family.
You’ve heard it, I’ve heard it, and we both probably try very hard to build a family (the cool term these days is “tribe”) away from family. I am green with envy when I see my friends’ children hanging out with their grandparents often and most times because they live in the same city or close by. They are having Sunday lunch with their families and I drool over it. They have a date night with their spouse and family serves as sitters. As I have grown in my journey of parenting, I find myself realizing that it was my decision to not relocate near family and, well, I just need to ask my “tribe” if they in my heart my “tribe” for help.
The problem is, I DON’T always know how to or even want to ask others for help. I am sure you’re killing the game by asking for help.
Here’s an example: I was in Sam’s 12 miles away printing a poster when I received a phone call stating my son’s therapy session ended at 4 instead of what I had scheduled for 5. Again, I was 20 miles away during rush hour and it was 4:15 … TRAFFIC CLUSTER. I felt immediate anxiety and was backed against a wall. My wife was still at work, and I was stuck 12 miles away printing a stupid poster and stuck in traffic. He was 12 miles away. Thoughts of “I have no one to pick him up, I do not want to inconvenience anyone, will he be kicked out of therapy because of my mistake?”
Like the social media lover I am, I took my worry to Facebook hoping someone would help me out. My last resort. Crying and worried while trying to take back roads, the notification came to my phone. A friend answered my plea. She was in the area and would pick him up for me with a car seat. A sigh of relief. So I thought. I was embarrassed, ashamed, and felt as though I was an inconvenience to her after she had worked all day and was headed to her own children. She fussed at me and reminded me to “JUST ASK!” She saved the day; she saved me. Do you “just ask?”
Really want to know why I was afraid to ask for help?
1. Fear of asking incorrectly (I didn’t know how to ask and still struggle with it).
2. Fear of releasing control.
3. Fear of inconveniencing a friend.
4. Fear of the person not allowing me to reciprocate the help.
5. Fear of losing my “I can do it all” title.
Did any of my 5 reasons resonate with you? How did I come to this thought of “I have to do it all?” My pride? I watched my mom ask for help and I loved being with family and close friends while my parents were at work, dinner, or just to have a break from my spoiled behind. I have so many valuable memories in the absence of my parents. Maybe it is because I have seen how some people feel or react when their “helping” services are abused. Whatever the reason may be, I know that I need help. I just am afraid to ask.