My daily chore list gets longer by the minute, as does the pile of laundry and stack of dirty dishes.
The number of activities and events my sons are participating in and attending grows with each season.
I feel like I am merely surviving on most days.
Yet, I still cannot find the courage or strength to ask for the thing I need the most.
The Case of Comparisonitis
So many of the moms I know seem to have it all together.
- Clean house.
- Well-dressed and groomed children.
- Healthy meals.
- Daily workout routine.
- Endless activities for their children.
And it appears from the outside they are doing it all without any help.
If they can do all of that and more without help, then why should I ask for help?
Why do I seem to be struggling to keep my head above water most days?
Ultimately, I am not asking for help because it feels shameful. It is admitting I cannot do it all (even though I love to act like I can) when everyone else can. I have always been a Type A, overachieving, perfectionist that HAS to have it all together at all times. There is no time for rest. Only success. In the words of Ricky Bobby, “if you are not first, you’re last!” (Sorry for the lame Talladega Nights movie reference).
I have viewed asking for help as a weakness instead of a strength.
Asking for help meant I was not a good mom, wife, daughter, sister, student, or co-worker. It made me feel incompetent. It made me feel I was complaining about all of the wonderful blessings in my life. The mask I had made for myself as a multi-tasking queen was going to crumble.
Then I found this quote and my perspective began to shift.
“Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.” – Unknown
I realized there is strength and bravery in asking for help. That I can still be a strong and powerful woman with the help of others. That I can lean on others in my time of need and help to hold them up in theirs.
Help didn’t have to mean weakness anymore.
Asking for help is still really hard.
Although I am beginning to realize the beauty in asking for help it is still hard.
I have been taking baby steps by asking my children and husband for more help around the house. Especially with better home organization because when things have a place it is easier for everyone to remember to put things back where they belong. Asking my parents and in-laws for help with projects when they come to visit.
I recently hosted a birthday party for my two boys and had multiple moms reach out and ask if I needed help with anything since I am 38 weeks pregnant. I said no.
Could I have used some help?
Did I need help?
In my mind, no.
I think this was a test that I didn’t quite pass. My perfectionist tendencies are too deeply rooted for this to be an overnight change.
But I have spoken to my parents about the help I want when they come to visit after our third son is born. I have told my husband what I expect from him in my immediate postpartum period.
For me, these are steps in the right direction. It is starting to accept that I can ask for help.
Maybe next time a friend or neighbor asks if I need anything after my son is born I will have the strength to say, “a hot meal would be nice one night!”