So, many of you know my crazy husband, who is filled with grandeous ideas to save the world....one "at risk" child at a time! This drive of his leads to many trips around the world. His latest endeavor has him in India for 10 days. That may not seem like a long time, but when you have a husband like mine, who is ever so helpful around the house and is actively involved in the day to day care of our children, then his absence is sorely felt by all!
When he first started on these trips I would smile, wave good-bye, then begrudgingly undertake the day to day grind of caring for our family. I would "suck it up" and pretend like I had it all together, because, after all, isn't that what "good" wives and moms do?
Many years and many tears later I have learned a valuable lesson.....ASK FOR HELP!!!!! Nobody expects me to manage caring for a household of 5 young ladies all alone. (I was the only one who was holding myself to that standard.) So, yesterday, I did just that. I picked up the phone and called my trusty SIL and asked her to take my Monday afternoon carpool duty, which involves dropping D off at 2:30 to piano lessons, picking D up at 3:00, dropping S off at 3:00 for guitar lessons, taking D to math tutor, returning to pick up S at 3:30, then returning to pick up D at 4:30. And if that doesn't sound crazy enough I still had dance lessons and swim practice, so guess what I did? Yup....I picked up that trusty phone again and texted my neighbor and asked her to take dance "duty" for the night, and if she would mind dropping S&D at swim on the way (so they were a little early, but it's all in the name of my sanity, right?)
Now when I first started asking for help I felt....wait for it.....GUILTY!!!!! I am glad to say that I didn't feel a twinge of guilt yesterday. I felt a sense of relief. I knew I was doing myself and my family a great favor by not putting such high expectations on myself that I could never live up to.
By releasing myself from transportation duties for the afternoon I was able to focus my morning on homeschooling my girls, knowing that I would still have time to make dinner for my family, which we were then able to share with SIL and her husband as a thank you for their help. It also gave me some much needed time together with my little girls, which is sometimes hard to come by in our crazy evening schedules. (My two oldest girls swim 5 nights a week and my husband works evenings, so much of our time together is spent in the car.....not always so much fun.)
I wish that I had learned the art of asking for help much earlier on in my motherhood. I think many moms fear asking for help. Society places such high pressures on us to be able to "do it all". We "should" be able to hold down a full time job, get the kids the best education possible, cart the kids to all of their extracurricular activities, make the family a home cooked meal, and still look good for the hubby when he comes home. For some reason we still live with the "Leave it to Beaver" and "Happy Days" mentality of motherhood. I encourage you to LET. THAT. GO!!!!
I did and my family is ever so grateful that I did!