That’s the number one response I offer these days when people ask how I am. Is it because I don’t get enough sleep? Nope. It’s because I over commit. I work a lot, I have side hustles to help us with the extras. I volunteer at church, I don’t miss any game or concert or class party my kids are involved in. I keep the house running by myself because single moms just have to. But it has left me feeling tired, empty, drained, depressed, overwhelmed….you name it, I feel it! I have been pushing so hard, for so long, that it honestly doesn’t occur to me to ask for help most days. This is just my life!
I have been consciously working on self-care since I read Martyrs Don’t Make Good Mamas a year and a half ago. It led to some soul searching, and some awesome self-care, which has improved my mood drastically overall! I have read more books, had regular massages right in my own living room (#winning), upped my water intake to a gallon a day and been a much healthier mom overall. Yet even this more Zen version of myself made me wonder why I don’t ask for help with the day to day things, so I started asking around. It seems to be universal that moms don’t admit they need help, or maybe that we don’t know specifically HOW to ask for help! There were 2 reasons almost everyone gave me when I asked why they don’t ask for help.
Fear of Rejection
It’s scary to ask for help! What if someone says no? *GASP* Does it mean they don’t love you? Does it change one single thing about you? NO! It most likely means this isn’t a good time for them, or that they are not the right person to help with whatever you need. After summoning all of your courage and voicing your need to someone, it can feel extremely personal if they say no. I found this 100 Days of Rejection idea that I loved, and it really helped me to realize that hearing a “no” isn’t the end of the world.
Worry about what other people think
“What other people think of me is none of my business.” It’s easy to convince yourself that you should do or not do things based on popular opinion, but at the end of the day, it’s none of their business! If you need help, there is no shame in asking for it. Whether you need a neighbor to grab your mail for you or need a stranger to help you zip your dress up in a changing room, it doesn’t matter what they think of you for asking for help!
Struggling to get the dishes done when you are sick? Need a gallon of milk but the baby just went down to sleep? I have found that most people actually want to help, but don’t know how. Asking for a help with a specific task can make it easier to start asking in general.
Please remember it’s okay to ask for help! You may end up being pleasantly surprised at how willing and eager your friends are to help you with a little of your burden. And don’t forget that help can be a 2-way street if you have a chance to bless another mama, pay it forward! Maybe if we all pitch in, we can all feel a little less tired and truly enjoy our self-care time even more!